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No Quarter: Agg AI & No Tech Trading

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  • No Quarter: Agg AI & No Tech Trading

    About the forum choice:

    I wasn't sure in which forum to post this. I noticed there's all kinds of crap here and the AU doesn't seem to be terribly active at the moment, so here goes. Hope I don't disturb any ancestral AU ghosts by doing so.

    So, there's been a lot of talk(!) here recently about the Agg AI and No tech trading settings in particular, and there was some talk (okay, 1 post) about posting a shadowable game with these settings. So here goes.

    DISCLAIMER: The environment turned out to be quite favorable, so if someone will a) read this b) think that the map is too easy, I'll try another map. Shadow games are all relative anyway though.

    Default Settings:
    Immortal/Normal/Standard/Fractal/Aggressive AI/No Tech Trading, feel free to shadow with any speed and difficulty.

    Mansa Musa (I was expecting this to be pretty hard, so I picked a very very good leader for these settings, arguably the best - again, if you think this makes things too easy, let me know)


    Initial WorldBuilder save is attached.

    To play:
    Unzip the save to the ".../Saves/WorldBuilder" folder, then in the game go Single Player -> Play as Scenario and choose your favorite speed and difficulty. You see all the Civs as well - choose Mali. Sorry about that, I suck at making WB saves. All speeds work, though. If you fiddle with the scenario settings, please keep Agg AI and No Tech Trading on.

    Looks to be a no-brainer to settle in place and go Agri->AH->BW, mass forests around and the 2 hammers from settling on a plains hill will definitely help as well.

    I played this to 1AD, will make a writeup in a short while.

    If you shadow, post progress in spoilers with a tag that shows the end date of it, so you can check some spoilers while not getting spoiled if you have played to a certain point already.
    Attached Files
    It's a lowercase L, not an uppercase I.

  • #2
    To 1000BC:

    So, I started on my planned tech path of Agri->AH->BW, to maximize capital yields and quickly start getting rid of those annoying trees. I quickly find JC to the south, and some time after Cyrus to the North. JC seems to have very few resources in his capital, while having a very suspicious nonforested green hill. Which turns out to not be a Copper. Yikes. I might be at the wrong end of some Praets faster than I can say "Skirmisher".

    So naturally the plan becomes to block JCs expansion quickly in the south. There's no way I can settle 2 blockers on hills so I end up settling both on flatland. In hindsight the copper city should probably have been 1W to grab the Cow instead of sharing the overlapped Corn with the capital. Tech path after BW went something like Hunting->Archery->Pottery->Mysticism.

    JC spreads Hinduism, which I quickly adopt in a gambit to get him to Pleased to avoid a war a bit longer. Sury founds Judaism though and promptly puts me as his worst enemy straight away. I go back to no state religion for a couple dozen turns for him to start hating JC more than me - after that I swap back to Hinduism (Shaka adopts it too). Shaka is weehorn (WHEOOHRN = planning for war) but I'm pretty confident that his target is not me.

    To 1AD:

    I happily expand some cities, though Cyrus beats me to several viable jungle cities because I focus on getting a backup force of Axes up just in case. Shaka DoWs on Sury - this becomes a pivotal point in diplo:

    I'd rather befriend Sury than Shaka, but Shaka is hindu so DoWing him would get me a diplo hit with JC, which is the last thing I want. I end up declining his request and after a while Shaka requests the same and I DoW on Sury to get diplo with Shaka.

    Otherwise things are surprisingly silent. JC or Cyrus haven't gone weehorn despite being Cautious for a long time. I finally get JC to Pleased to be a bit more safe. "Being safe" is relative though with this batch staring at me from the other side of the border:

    State of the nation at 1AD. I'm quite confident I'll blow everyone out of the water with my tech pretty soon. I'm also going to settle a last city west on the water, to block JC off from the rest of the world. My power's been a pretty steady 40% of JCs and 60% of Cyrus' - if either go weehorn I can quickly triple my army size with some whipping. Tech path after Pottery went something like IW->Math->Currency->Meditation->Priesthood->Monarchy, as we're pretty low on happy. Now plans are to grow to work a bajillion cottages while steadily building up a military. You might notice I'm about to get Feudalism, after that I'm relatively "safe" for a long time. After that I'm going to go CoL->CS. My first GP is a bit late, it's going to be an Academy in capital for some sweet Bureucracy.

    So far I've been very lucky not to get attacked. I feel I've played the diplo right but still very very lucky not to get the Cautious dudes on me with Agg AI on. Not that a DoW would have wrecked me, but surely would have slowed me down.

    It's a lowercase L, not an uppercase I.


    • #3
      I assume you need the BUG mod to load this?
      I'm consitently stupid- Japher
      I think that opinion in the United States is decidedly different from the rest of the world because we have a free press -- by free, I mean a virgorously presented right wing point of view on the air and available to all.- Ned


      • #4
        No, I specifically made it a WB save so it can be used with any non-gameplay-altering mod, or without any mods (along with any difficulty and speed). I didn't attach a 1AD save though because that would need the mod I'm using.

        EDIT: Do tell if there's a problem loading the scenario... I'm kind of a noob when it comes to using WB.
        It's a lowercase L, not an uppercase I.


        • #5
          To 1000AD:

          So we left off with Feudalism nearing completion and Shaka and me being at war with Sury. I finish Feudalism, which lets me pump out some quick level 3 Longbows, which will be very nice against any possible invasions. Even Sury seems to notice my superiority and agrees to this:

          After CoL and CS, I researched Alphabet mostly out of curiosity since no one had it, and I wanted to see the truth about the tech situation. Of the bigger techs shown that the AIs don't have, I have Alpha, CoL, CS and Feudalism. Pretty nice for this date - with tech trading on the human is usually still behind at this point.

          When Cyrus changed to Vassalage I pondered long and hard whether to use Bureucracy for tech or Vassalage for exp + diplo with Cyrus. I ended up using Bureucracy, trusting my tech advantage to repel any Persian invasions (Cyrus is a real wimp, pretty much the same personality as Darius even though his traits are very good for war). Techwise I aimed for Machinery and Engineering, thinking about taking Steel with Lib at this point.

          At 800AD the scariest thing possible happened - JC went weehorn. With this batch of happy little soldiers. Now, I'm not the most probable target, but still it's quite possible. Wish for the best, expect the worst.

          A while after his stack mobilized - 30-40 units with a ton of CR2 Praets included. At this stage I had been frantically whipping Long&Xbows for the last few turns. *closing eyes when JC approaches border...*

          *no sound of a war horn* *opens 1 eye* Hm. Seems my luck is holding. Now, a DoW wouldn't have wrecked me since I had a TON of level 3 Longs and Xbows and another ton of Skirms serving as military police. Still it would have severely set me back in my teching because of mass whipping and lack of military police. Those jumbos would also have been mean since I didn't have Pikes yet.

          I try half-assedly to bribe Shaka to peace with Sury so Sury would stand a just a little bit better chance against that stack. Yeah, like that's gonna happen. He didn't want my pennies for peace anyway so the point is moot. Sury vassals to JC a couple of turns after the DoW.

          I take back my past comments about gifting gold for fair trade diplo bonus - it's NOT going to happen with AIs you have known from the start (the bonus you get from gifting stuff is inversely proportional to the time you have known the Civ in question). I gifted a couple hundred gold to JC and didn't even get +1. Just ended up boosting my biggest competitor's tech. Sigh.

          To 1740AD:

          I was planning on taking Steel with Lib, but I finally realize how incredibly dumb that is in a no tech trading game, and just make a regular beeline towards Steel. I grab Gunpowder fast so I can build CG2 and D2 Muskets as homeland security. Shaka goes weehorn in 1180 but he doesn't have Knights and I have Muskets so I'm not afraid.

          Shaka ends up DoWing Cyrus, which he of course hated more than me. Amazing - I still haven't been DoWed in an Agg AI game. I mean, I've played the diplo ok-ish I think but still that's pretty lucky. A big part of the luck was JC grabbing some barb cities near Sury which made Sury a land target for him (much much increased DoW chance) and gave some border hate. Here's the diplo situation:

          At the same time JC went weehorn which is pretty scary. His 60-70 unit stack is hanging out pretty far from me so I'm not sure who he's after. Anyway I'm just a couple turns away from Steel after which I'm in a massively advantageous position against anyone:

          My 2nd GP was a GS for another Academy, and the third one was a GE, who rushed Ironworks in Timbuktu. Now that was probably a big mistake but I was still in Bureucracy and it was the only good (best) production city which could take the unhealthiness. I'm really hurting for healthiness and my happiness depends mostly on military police.

          Pivotal point comes in 1550AD when Shaka again DoWs Cyrus. This time I got a small but sturdy stack ready to backstab Cyrus (moused over in the background). Cyrus only has Longbows and Maces since he doesn't have Gunpowder or Horses so I'm not expecting much of a fight out of him. JC also turns out to very probably be weehorn against the previously unknown Civ(s), Justinian and his vassal.

          I can't believe my eyes when I look at the victory screen. It would appear that Cyrus is going for culture. With his 2nd culture city being the one closest to me, Shaka AND JC. How incredibly dumb is that?

          So I'm ripping through Cyrus like paper at this point. At 1625 AD an AI (JC) finally researched both Philo and Edu, so I have to use my Lib which I had preresearched with 1 turn left. Pretty annoying - I was planning on taking Assembly Line with it. Oh well, I guess Steam Power is still a pretty good catch.

          Ondini changed hands a few times in the Cyrus-Shaka war and when Shaka finally retook it it was completely swamped with my culture. Here's the result:

          Cyrus had like 4 cities left and was willing to capitulate. Now I'd much rather had eliminated him than taken him as vassal but Shaka was warring him as well and I couldn't take the chance of Cyrus vassaling to Shaka, so I just accepted his capitulation.

          Here's the situation at 1740AD. I just got AL and another GE, which will found Mining Inc in a few turns. JC has Rifling, but no Steel or Steam power, so I'll outtech and outproduce him in a very short while. I could maybe already do it with my veteran Infantry&Cannon against his Rifle&Cav&Treb but why take the chance when my empire is only going to get better?

          Comments are welcome, if someone happens to stray into this subforum and read this
          It's a lowercase L, not an uppercase I.


          • #6
            I still am amazed that JC didn't try you out early.
            It's almost as if all his overconfident, absolutist assertions were spoonfed to him by a trusted website or subreddit. Sheeple
            RIP Tony Bogey & Baron O


            • #7
              Well I just wrapped this up quickly.

              To 1917AD, Diplomation Victory:

              Shaka DoWed me almost instantly, which was the most idiotic thing he ever did. I had 1 SoD of Inf/Cannon mopping up his Treb/Knight assault and another taking a few of his cities, after which I capitulated him. I got a ton of MiningInc resource from him.

              So my MFG production was almost twice as much as JCs, so I just DoWed him at tech parity (he was speeding up tech quite dramatically as the era bonuses were starting to kick in) and proceeded to bash his face in. Here's one before/after pic of one of his SoDs (he had a few of these wandering around pretty aimlessly):

              Here's his last stand - he was still refusing to capitulate. This has something to do with my vassals and the average power on the map, a Civ won't capitulate if he has above average power on the map, and Rosie&Cyrus&Shaka were probably below him.

              I didn't have the stamina to go say hi to Justinian, so I just quickly teched to Mass Media and won by diplomation. Justinian and Rosie were teching something like Chemistry or Replaceable Parts at the time. The tech pace with these settings can be abysmal if they don't gobble up a few dozen cities early.

              Don't think I cba to do another after all, I tried to write about the thought process of what might happen and how I prepared for that - not my damn reason that I didn't get declared on early Will probably play more with these settings, though the lack of diplo options is pretty annoying at times.
              It's a lowercase L, not an uppercase I.


              • #8
                You played this on Immortal difficulty level? I have only 1 question: HOW???

                I've been winning 50% of the time on Monarch, consider myself a pretty good player, but I have no chance against the AI on Emperor. I simply get out-teched, out-gunned, out-produced and if I am very lucky I can manage to snuggle up to the top dog and survive until he wins. I've played a lot of games on Emperor lately and the main problem seems to be that I just can't seem to get my tech going. After building my 3rd or 4th city, my economy usually crashes to 20-40% tech rate, depending on how much cottage spamming I've been doing and troop numbers. This is usually while trying to get Iron working since I'll have no copper anywhere on the continent. After that development more or less grinds to a halt while the AI flies off to the medieval and later ages. In my last game, surviving to the end as Alexander of the Greeks, my score was 1500 while Washington who had vassalized every other nation had 4500. I was researching Astronomy while he was railroading my lands so he could get his troops to the front faster. (I always play on Agg AI, with No tech brokering, will try with no tech trading to see if there is a major difference)

                I think you should run a "How to do better than survival: Emperor difficulty"-course...
                Diplogamer formerly known as LzPrst