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Winning the Space Race Peacefully – The Endgame

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by Orion071, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    if you have a large empire, then it's worth it.
    I even research it and build the kremlin to $rush labs and factories cheaper.
     
  2. Orion071

    Orion071 Home School Tutor

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    Updated for Walords 2.08! They changed the cost of some of the pieces, but the path is pretty much the same. I moved Fusion higher on the list to grab the Engineer to help finish the Space Elevator (with I believe costs more in Warlords and requires Satellites to build).
     
  3. vra379971

    vra379971 Deity

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    I recently played a game on Monarch, Space Race, and was I think...4 techs behind about four civs coming into the last section. It had been a brusing game, alot of delclarations of war which we (America) ended up winning, but...that didn't help the economy any.

    So, how did I catch up?

    I raced to Rocketry, started Apollo, finished Satellites and Apollo, went over to Computers for Labs while fighting off attacks by Shaka, Montezuma and Isabella, then headed over to Fiber Optics. As soon as I got Fiber Optics, I set research to 0 and built the Internet. At about 1k a round, I picked up 30k gold while I was waiting for the internet to build. What did I do with this cash? Alot went to building labs in mid-production cities, and the rest went to building bombers.

    Anyway, 30 turns later (Epic Speed) I had my Net, and every tech left.

    With my cash horde (and a saved GE) I rushed the SE, and was well in command of the Space Race.

    I'll never ever researh techs in the future age again as you get get it for free and not waste cash. The money is a much better and more effective tool! Long live the Internet!
     
  4. InvisibleStalke

    InvisibleStalke Emperor

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    If I am trying to get the Space Race win in a tight race (or just going for an earlier win) I will prioritize computers before rocketry - I've had games where I had computers before assembly line. Research is your main bottleneck - until you have researched all the parts you don't really have a production bottleneck and still have plenty of time to build all your factories and coal plants. Getting a lab into my science cities is a priority.

    This relies of course on having good defenses - but by then I probably have a HE city producing an artillery every turn and machine guns defending cities. Tanks and Infantry can wait a while (unless I have a very aggressive neighbour).
     
  5. Orion071

    Orion071 Home School Tutor

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    Since Beyond the Sword has an expanded Modern Age and switched around all of the techs for the various spaceship parts, it makes sense to completely re-visit the entire thing in a new post. So here is my tech path for BtS 3.0.3.- (all spaceship component costs are listed for Epic speed)

    0) Rocketry - This of course unlocks the Apollo Program. Really, any city can build this now. The entire path takes so long to research that it doesn't really matter how quickly you build this. Heck, you can't build any spaceship parts yet anyway.

    1) Plastics (needs Industrialism) - Plastics gets the bump because it's required for Computers now. This comes early enough now that it might be worth it to build the Three Gorges Dam. Normally I avoid this because my major production centers already have Coal Plants, but we still haven't unlocked any spaceship parts yet. If you're dying to build something, then have fun.

    2) Computers (needs Radio) - The Internet gets moved to this much earlier tech. It's still too expensive for a minimal gain, but like I said before, we haven't unlocked anything yet. I don't know the AI's preferred modern tech path yet (my only BtS space win was a runaway), but this might gain us a tech or 2 if they go a different path. I still say it's not worth it.

    3) Superconductors (needs Refrigeration) - This tech is important because it unlocks the Labortaory. Every city needs this improvement because of its 25% research bonus as well as its 50% bonus to spaceship part completion. We also unlock our first piece, the Thrusters (1800:hammers:, 2x speed with Aluminum). We need 5 Thrusters, but build these parts in lesser production centers. Even if they take 30 turns to build, we still have plenty of time. Get those Labs done first, though!

    4) Satellites - Here we unlock the Docking Bay (3000:hammers:, 2x speed with Aluminum) on our way to Robotics. The Docking Bay is actually the most expensive piece to build, but the Aluminum bonus makes it a little easier than the Engines. Again, we still have 6-8 more techs left, so this doesn't have to be done by one of your best cities. Keep building the Dam and the Internet and let a lesser city build this piece.

    5) Robotics - Here is the Space Elevator. Personally, if you're in a tight space race, this tech can be skipped altogether. It's a dead end and the Space Elevator is vastly overrated. An extra 50% is not worth the hammers. It does let you build Mech Infantry, so if you're worried about defense you need this tech.

    6) Composites - This unlocks the Casings (1800:hammers:, 2x speed with Aluminum) as well as everyone's favorite Modern Armor. Like the Thrusters, these should be built in minor production cities. You have the option of building 1-5 Casings, but anything less than 5 gives you a chance to fail the launch. It's completely ridiculous to not build 5 Casings. Even if they take 30 turns in your minor cities, you still have lots of time.

    7) Laser - A new tech that doesn't unlock anything but is on the path to Fusion.

    8) Fiber Optics - Here's the Cockpit (1500:hammers:, 2x speed with Copper). It's a pretty easy build, so again let a lesser city build it. Your top 3 production centers are needed for the last few pieces.

    9) Fusion (needs Fission) - You get a Great Engineer for this, so use him to finish up the Three Gorges Dam or the Space Elevator. He can't help you with the spaceship parts. This unlocks the Engine (2400:hammers:), the hardest piece to build. You only have to build 1 Engine, but you have the option of building 2. Building 2 Engines depends on how good your production centers are. You need your 2 best production centers to work on the Engines. In my test game, the 2nd Engine knocked the arrival time from 19 turns to 16 turns (Epic speed, remember). It's highly unlikely that you can build the 2 Engines and the Stasis Chamber (with the next tech) quickly enough to make the 2nd one worthwhile.

    10) Genetics (needs Medicine) - Here's the next to last tech and the next to last piece, the Stasis Chamber (1800:hammers:). Plan this build so it finishes roughly the same time as the Engine. If your 2nd best production center is much worse than your best city, it might be better to have it build the Engine instead. You still have 1 piece left, so have a city ready for...

    11) Ecology - Here's the Life Support (1500:hammers:, 2x speed with Copper), a fairly easy piece to build. If you time it right, the Engine, Stasis Chamber and Life Support should all finish around the same time. If you can do that and still squeeze in a 2nd Engine, then more power to you. Now all you have to do is survive until the ship reaches Alpha Centauri!

    Other people have listed ways to speed up production if you have a piece lagging behind the rest. After Ecology, Towns are useless, so you can plow them under for Workshops. Although you can't rush buy or slave pop for spaceship parts, you can still chop forests for them (wooden Engines?? :confused:). Also, the new espionage system allows more ways to stop other civs than ever before. Just remember, for stopping other civs, you only have to stop 1 essential piece to stop the whole thing. Usually that's the Engine, but it can also be the Stasis Chamber.
     
  6. mabraham

    mabraham Deity

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    In BTS, the corporation of Mining, Inc would seem to be a no-brainer for anyone needing late-game hammers, i.e. just about everyone. Since a space race is partly hammer-limited and partly science-limited (which can be speeded up with more hammers for building Laboratories) then founding this corporation would have to help your cause, and prevent an AI from aiding their cause.

    Further, you can spread it early on to some AI civs who you don't regard as threats in the space race, and your corporation city will earn more gold, which is hopefully multiplied by the usual buildings and Wall St. This means either more hammers rushing, or more science from being able to change the slider. Remember that the earlier you spread it, the better the pay-off, since there's a one-time capital outlay, and a per-turn benefit (unless they switch to a blocking Civic, or replace it with a different corporation). Sometimes an AI will spread it for you once you have seeded it to a couple of their cities, but it's probably leader-dependent.

    Sid's Sushi is also beneficial, since that provides a tile-independent source of food for your production cities, allowing for fewer farms and windmills and more workshops and mines, or even avoiding the need for State Property. It's obviously also good for your commerce cities to run more specialists and cottages, and as above you can spam it to weak AIs for the same economic reasons as above.

    For these reasons, I always plan to save up a Great Engineer and a Great Merchant for these corporations. The latter can be easily had from Economics, or from cities that founded suitable wonders (Great Lighthouse, Colossus, maybe Temple of Artemis), or with good ol' fashioned specialists. The former requires either a GE-suitable wonder (Pyramids, Hanging Gardens), or planning a long, long time in advance and running a dedicated Engineer. Your first chance to run more than one engineer anywhere comes with the Ironworks (+4 engineer specialists), which is normally only a tech or two before you get Railroad, which is not enough time to grow a GE, so early planning pays off with a quicker Mining, Inc. There is a point early in the game when you should be using such specialists for another purpose, since leaving a Great Person unused while waiting for these corporations has a significant opportunity cost. Also, remember to store these Great People somewhere safe... so not on the coastline, and not in a frontier city!
     
  7. mabraham

    mabraham Deity

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    It needs to be pointed out that State Property disables the effects of Corporations entirely, so there is a trade-off between running Free Market (or possibly Environmentalism) with corporations and State Property without them.

    Free Market comes with a trade route per city (more valuable on continent and island maps, and if you've build harbours and/or customs houses) and access to a variable (and adjustable!) amount of extra :food: (Sid's Sushi), :hammers: (Mining Inc.) and :gold:. You could also run other corporations in non-production cities for their bonuses, but this pair of corporations clashes with each of the others, so their headquarters can't all be in your Wall St city, and the clashing corporations can't coexist in any city.

    State Property comes with +1:food: per workshop and watermill, and +10% :hammers: per city, and no maintenance costs for distance from palace.

    For a perfect production city (see this article "Vocum Sineratio: Evaluating Production") running the equivalent of 20 workshops & watermills, around 15-20:food: is gained by State Property, and at most about +6:hammers: from the 10%. On island or continents maps Sushi can effectively generate 5-10:food: in most cases, largely depending on how much coastal land you or your vassals have captured. Mining Inc can generate about the same number of :hammers:. So in ordinary scenarios, maximising the :hammers: output in these cities requires State Property.

    However one only needs to maximise hammer output in these cities at the time one starts to build the necessary projects and wonders - and not before! Before, one needs to maximise the science rate while planning infrastructure for the transition, and in many cases the corporation benefit of :food:, :hammers:, :gold: and a trade route across the whole civilization, outweighs the benefit of +1:food: per workshop/watermill (with indirect access to more :hammers:), the 10% bonus to :hammers: everywhere, and no distance penalty to the palace.

    So, given the availability of the required Great People, I think the perfect scenario is to found these corporations in your Wall St city with the usual Market/Grocer/Bank combination, and spread them everywhere while teching through to Superconductors for the Laboratories. Meantime you've planned which are the main production cities, and you've grown them to size 20 with Sushi and farms ready for the transition point. You can keep your post-railroad bored workers busy maximising the farm content to get them to size 20 in good time, and then pre-build all but one turn of your workshops and watermills over these farms. Once Mining Inc. has built enough Labs, switch to State Property and during the anarchy your workers can finish off the switch to production-based improvements. Now your production cities are already at size 20 and staying there because you planned how to supply 40:food:, and producing maximal :hammers:.

    The catch is that you need to grow the right Great People. Getting them very early and saving them is a high opportunity cost - you could have rushed a useful wonder, or settled them for rest-of-the-game benefits. Best is to contrive a scenario where you have two cities committed to growing your GE and GM by building any wonders of those types there, and keeping their GPP pool fairly pure. You may need/want a third GP farm for some Great Scientists for Academies (for example), and to prevent your GE and GM popping too soon, but take note before each new great person pops how much the pop pushes back the pops of the GE and GM, and make sure the two critical ones won't be too late to be effective! The relative order doesn't matter too much, since there's quite a time between getting Chemistry and heading off for Medicine/Railroad, then coming back to do the other path, and you can pick the tech path at the time based on when the GE & GM will pop or have popped!
     
  8. mabraham

    mabraham Deity

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    Over time, I've come to disagree with myself...

    My analysis overlooked some important considerations. These are

    • You have to build a number of banks (6 on a Standard map) to get access to Wall St, and if your slider is staying at 100% then you may not be getting good value for these buildings, either outside your Wall St city or pre-corporation times. After all, the time spent building these things could be time spent building observatories or riflemen.
    • You also have to spread your corporation to (at least) your spaceship production cities, which costs some gold. Wider spread (to your civ or an AI one) needs to be carefully considered in terms of the :gold: cost of spreading the corporation (the :hammers: cost is less important) and the number of turns left in the game for any benefit to be reaped.
    • Under either State Property or Free Market, your production cities will be full of workshops and watermills. The gain from SP is 15-20:food: and 6:hammers:. The gain from FM is whatever your corporations gain, plus a trade route (which is now irrelevant in the final phase of a space race). Each :food: fewer from Sushi than required costs you :hammers: that Mining has to be able to make up in order to be competitive. If either you have enough Sushi-:food: or Mining-:hammers: that you're ahead, then you are probably paying serious maintenance costs. Thus your civ could afford these corporations in your production cities, but not elsewhere.
    • You should have arranged for a golden age during the final research and start of production phase - so switching civics at :hammers:-time is free. Before then, Free Market for the trade route should be common to both final-:hammers:-strategies.
    • On an islands map if you've had to conquer distant territory to get enough :science: to be competitive, then you will want to run State Property regardless.
     
  9. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    If ahead in tech I like to build Cristo Redentor so civic changes can happen outside GAs.
     
  10. fed1943

    fed1943 Emperor

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    I just do not agree with the "serious maintenance costs" of corporations:
    The HQ gives 12 gp for each brand; with courthouses that balances would be 24 gp cost in each
    city. Then the food corporation allows merchants, if still needed. Last, the secondary cities can,
    with the help of the mining corp, build wealth if still needed.
    Best regards,
     
  11. mzprox

    mzprox Prince

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    The key for me to win the space race on immortal difficulty (without going to war) is to build the internet. I don't go towards rocketry at all, internet is what give it to me and I can build the apollo program then. by the time the apollo is ready I'm starting to build the space elevator and teching forward to fusion to get the great engineer. In my last game one of the civ had 6 spaceship parts when i was still building the apollo, but i could still win quite easily (immortal diff).
     
  12. Yxklyx

    Yxklyx King

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    Some observations from a recent Monarch game using BTS 3.17.

    I head straight to Superconductors first to get the Labs and then I get Genetics because at this time most of my cities are experiencing health problems (I usually run corporations and free market).

    Espionage is very important. I had three parts destroyed. I slowly increased my espionage slider and after I researched everything I set it as close to 100% as I could as well as creating Spy specialists everywhere. I then built tons of spies and was able to destroy parts - also Perform Counterespionage. Espionage is key during this stage. Make sure you've got Security Bureaus everywhere. ESPIONAGE IS KEY!
     
  13. mabraham

    mabraham Deity

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    All this presupposes that your opponents are close enough to you that you need to sabotage to win the race. If you're far enough ahead, you don't need to worry. Defend your main parts-building cities with a spy and expect that to be enough.
     
  14. pquetzal

    pquetzal Chieftain

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    In BTS, I have ramped up espionage points enough to destroy labs, and other buildings in the opponents cities, but have been unable to find the space ship components (engine, stasis chamber etc) while perusing several of his cities although he is always destroying my components. I have launched my ship several times, only to be beaten by 2-3 turns!
    Is this a bug in BTS?
     
  15. thpe94ad

    thpe94ad Chieftain

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    What achieves the maximum number of points in the 10-12 turn period after launch?
     
  16. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    Once your rival has finished a spaceship part, it's a completed project and so can't be destroyed (just like you can't destroy the Internet or SDI or their Apollo Program).
    You can however, sabotage production on spaceship parts as they're being built.
     
  17. Ignorant Teacher

    Ignorant Teacher Emperor

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    You can also capture their capital after they launch. Automatic mission failure.
     
  18. Rittmeyer

    Rittmeyer Prince

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    Wait, I'm pretty sure this can't be right... I also had pieces of my ship destroyed by enemy spies in more then one ocasion. Could it be that the AI can do it, while the human can't?? It would be pathetic...

    I even came up with a way to avoid heavy spionage by the AI, using the queue to finish 9-12 parts in a matter of only 2 turns, making sure every possible Spy-sending AI (only those in your continent can do it, for some reason) had a counter-espionage mission done on them.
     
  19. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    My understanding was they could be sabotaged during construction but not once they were finished. I may be mistaken though - it's been a while since I've used spies at that stage of the game.
     
  20. nickrparish

    nickrparish Chieftain

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    Thanks Orion071! I'd been struggling with getting a space win on monarch for ages and your BTS tech path got me there!!!!!!!

    Other than your cool tech path, the other thing that got me over the line was that I learned to stop warring around the mid-1600s, at 12 cities, and embark on the space race tech path. I think before I was trying to do 2 things at once: space race tech path AND try and get the upper hand on the other civs on the continent through war and trying to control land. I learned in this game that it's one or the other; dominate land or space race.

    Cheers.
     

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