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Exact opposite of CS Slingshot

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  • Exact opposite of CS Slingshot

    Since the CS slingshot was such a major strat for so long, with BtS and before when CS slingshots were nerfed, there would be multiple ways of doing anything else than CS slingshots. But what about the exact opposite of what a CS slingshot did. Is it a viable strat? If not, what else needs to be considered, but not from the CS slingshot path?

    Sounds like a really tough game but we should explore. Isn't that what a Uni does, research and experimentation?

  • #2
    CS Slingshot represents rapid "vertical" growth, in that you gain a lot of power - through technology, without claiming a lot of land.

    The "opposite" would be rapid horizontal growth, to the point where the economy redlines. You have little technology, but a lot of land. This could be called the "Expansion Boom".

    Generally speaking, the expansion boom beats the CS slingshot. It's more straightforward, it's more reliable, it's safer.

    The CS Slingshot appeals to the "noobly" instinct to keep your science rate at 100%, for some reasons players tend to fear their economy dropping to 0% (heck, some fear it dropping below 80%). It seems to take many players a long time to understand that 3x the cities at 30%, researches the same speed as 1x cities at 100% (but with the former also giving 3x the production so you can do 3x as much with your tech). The "sweet zone" tends to be from 40% to 60%, higher indicates you should be expanding more.

    There are many viable opening strategies which end up with the baseline research rate at 0%, researching primarily through representation specialists, or through sack income from warmongering (ie you capture some cities and use that cash to fund some research, as a supplement to what you pointy-stick directly out of the victims).

    The only time it's really challenging to do so, is under adverse conditions. If your leader is not Organized, Financial, Philosophical, Charismatic or to a lesser degree, Creative, and if the map has very little coast, it's relatively easy to expand so quickly that you boom then bust, actually going into deep negatives and suffering strikes. But with smart research choice you can basically expand as quickly as you can [train settlers, workers and garrisons] and once you redline, stop expanding, and be able to pull up before the economy crashes. With BAD research choices (basically skipping over the fundamentals) you can end up with a collapsed empire.

    It could be an interesting concept for a game, since it is something less skilled players tend to understand poorly (expansion speed is quite possibly the single best measure of skill).


    • #3
      That certainly does sound like an excellent basis for a course. Figuring out how to encourage and monitor those factors could be a little tougher, but I'm sure there's a way.
      I make movies. Come check 'em out.


      • #4
        How about a restriction that you can only build units before a certain date? 1000 BC maybe? Although it might be good to allow certain improvements that obviously aid growth, like the Monument for non-creatives without religion, Granary and lighthouse. This encourages horizontal expansion without stipulating how the player does it.

        I would be really keen to play in a AU course like that


        • #5
          I think it'd be best to just say "Expand as fast as possible", perhaps with one rule:
          Optional Rule: NO TAKING CITIES, EVER! Live or die on the basis of your initial land grab! (exception: Barbarian cities and culture flips).

          Reporting should definitely be done at specific dates rather than era changes. With the important thing to report being mainly the demographics page along with city locations.

          Civ/Leader Choice:

          A) These traits allow for faster expansion in terms of training important units more quickly:

          B) These traits ease, to a degree, the challenges of having an oversized empire, aka "Not going broke".

          C) These traits are fairly neutral:

          We'd want at least one trait for Column A.
          A+A means that expansion is extremely easy but the finances will be quite troublesome.
          A+B is a good balanced approach focusing on economy.
          A+C gives a different kind of balance.

          By FAR the best trait for rapid expansion (REX) is Creative. Nothing else comes close, for a strong early game, Creative blows everything else out the water. It tends to eliminate some strategic decisions in that placing greedy cities is easy and effective. But creative is THE trait where you win or lose on the basis of your early game, no other trait drops in effectiveness so rapidly.
          In order to be a true "rapid expansion" leader, they pretty much NEED to be Creative, or at least have mitigating circumstances, for example Brennus who combines Charismatic with Mysticism with Spiritual which gives an abundance of effective cultural options.
          I would be not inclined to go with a leader for whom REX is a perverse objective, for example Organized is supremely suited for REX, while Financial is not (for financial you want to have more commerce plots, meaning less food/hammers for pumping units). Likewise certain leaders just scream "Rush rush rush", including ideal REX leaders like Hatshepsut. Ideally the leader should be one for whom rapid non-violent expansion is a good best choice.

          I would be inclined to go with one of the following 3 leaders from BTS:

          An old REX combo, minus praetorians...
          Zara - Creative/Organized - Bad UB, no Early UU. The ultimate A+B trait combo for REX.

          For a game with difficult decisions...
          Justinian I - Spiritual/Imperialistic - Traits that are not so wonderful, but the option of fast religion for some border popping.

          For a single-minded focus on Creative...
          Gilgamesh - Creative/Protective - An early melee UU (which is not great for a rush) fails to complement the protective trait thus eliminating it from the picture. An excellent UB for this kind of game provides a safety net against a failed economy

          Non-BTS leaders:

          Well if we want to expand FAST...
          Catherine - Creative/Imperialistic - The queen of REX, but will the economy go bust?

          Hmmm deja'vu?
          Washington - Expansionist/Charismatic - A rather balanced leader who can certainly grow quickly.

          Map Type:
          REX is most interesting on land heavy maps where you must crowd out your neighbors. Using a production heavy map makes the expanding easier and the budget balance harder, which I think is ideal.

          Pangaea: Due to a relative lack of coastline, this map type is production heavy and with a relatively central start location city sites are extremely contested.
          SOLID (less coast), ROCKY (more production), LOW SEAS (more land)

          Global Highlands: Very hill-heavy map, commerce can be hard to come by.

          This map can be brutal, you can reliably expand until your economy collapses, the only obstacle is barbs.
          TINY LAKES

          Start should NOT have floodplains!

          Those are my thoughts on setup .


          • #6
            Those are some great suggestions, Blake!

            I will start working on a scenario incorporating some of those concepts, and then we can open school just in time for the fall!
            I make movies. Come check 'em out.


            • #7
              Is not, as a practical matter, "not to take city" almost "always
              peace" or is raze allowed?

              Best regards,


              • #8
                is this idea still active?, no posts for a week now.

                just subscribed to apolyton and find the university to be somehthing i will most likely enjoy.

                from blake's analysis above, the idea of playing gilgamesh suits my biases well, as i have been playing him non-stop since i bought bts, pretty much independent of his traits and more for sentimental and Epic reasons.

                i don't war well, especially early and so gilgamesh's cre trait complements my tendency towards the early land grab (i never seem to get copper anyway for the Vulture) and his lack of any financial bonuses made me think that playing him would improve my game overall. his protective trait suits a feudalism slingshot, i am 2 for 2 on that one (no marble, monarch, big and small, small, so only 4 other civs to compete for the oracle). early vassalage+theocracy=CGIII longbows at a time when the ai can only come at you with swords. in short, they lose if they declare at all (stalin declared on me b/c i choked him w/culture and no OB, he marched towards my cap Uruk, by the time he got there his stack of 5 swords and a spear looked in fear at my 3 CGIII longbows and didn't fire a shot).

                the key for me to keep expanding on these two games was getting two cities out quick at least one of which could rapidly produce settlers while the capital was building the oracle (and, well, i had stone so i also got the wall for the spy and the GG bonus and the pyramids which kept Uruk busy while waiting on monarchy and writing for feudalism). Sumeria starts with ag and the wheel so i usually tech pottery first and then go for bronze as the early cottage has been important for my economy. a lot of techs to grab for oracle feud, and having a few early cottages is like growing gold in the BFC. i guess that's situation dependent.

                anyway, did the discussion get moved, is the idea still cooking, looking forward to playing whatever civ is chosen i think i will learn a lot.


                • #9
                  I wanna try this so get on with it suckas :P


                  • #10
                    I will hopefully be able to launch the course this weekend. My apologies for the delay.
                    I make movies. Come check 'em out.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fed1943
                      Is not, as a practical matter, "not to take city" almost "always
                      peace" or is raze allowed?
                      I think he meant no taking cities at all. For the purpose of requiring REX, capturing and keeping a city is only a little different than capturing, razing, and then resettling. The point of the exercise is to require the early land grab, not to let people expand by genocide later.

                      On the other hand, going out and razing a nearby AI gives a player more room to over expand, so it might be educational... But it encourages building an offensive army at the expense of putting down more cities, which seems to go against the point of the exercise.

                      Or am I wrong? Wouldn't be the first time...

                      Oh, and the difference between this and "always peace" is that the AIs aren't constrained against taking your cities.

                      si vis pacem, para bellum


                      • #12
                        My interpretation of this course is the same, khearn. Players will have to deal with their ability to expand in the early years as opposed to counting on growing via military means later. But yes, it won't be "always peace" because the AI can certainly expand at your expense
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                        • #13
                          I think in a normal game Blake is overstating Creative; Stonehenge is a very much underpriced wonder that gives the same free cultural expansion. (In BTS, until Astronemny) And founding an early religion is another good, but much slower way to get the free cultural expansion.

                          But if there's a restriction against starting construction of any wonders / researching a religious tech whose religion isn't discover yet until the last settler is built then Blake has a point.
                          1st C3DG Term 7 Science Advisor 1st C3DG Term 8 Domestic Minister
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                          • #14
                            I find Financial to be the most critical on any level-creative is nice but not that nice. I tend to expand to 10-20% research and then start going back up as cottages go online.
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                            • #15
                              I apologize, as it ended up being a very busy weekend and I was not able to get the course ready. I will aim to have it up on Tuesday for everyone.
                              I make movies. Come check 'em out.