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On the road to becoming an expert: Day 2

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  • On the road to becoming an expert: Day 2

    DEMOGRAPHICS

    I'm going to repost this because it goes hand in hand with the other strategy. I wrote this a long time ago and I edited some things like the second example. It wasn't explained very well, and I thought it sounded kind of gay.

    This only works in 1 on 1 games. I'm not saying it doesn't work in larger games, but it's much harder to do and it's not really needed as much. Also this pertains more to duels on a small map. All resource values are assumed to be 2x. It's extremely difficult to do and you have to have a lot of knowledge of the values of resources and how the AI sets the map up, along with an active imagination to visualize how the map looks. Also I am assuming that the age of this map is 3 billion. On 5 billion or 4 billion the resources occur too sporadically to classify into zones. This canít always be used, but a lot of times it can. Either way you can find out whatís in your opponentís city view.

    1. ZONES

    First let us divide the map up into zones. Zone 1 is the artic region, 2 is the part between the artic region and the equator, 3 is the equator, then it goes 2 again and then 1. N1 is the northern artic zone, S1 is the southern artic zone just as N2 and S2 are north and south zones.

    2. DESCRIPTION OF ZONE TERRAIN

    Of course these descriptions are not set in stone, but can be used as basic guidelines for zone formation.

    A. Zone 1

    Very bottom region of map. Glacier, Tundra, plains, and forest can be found here. Plains squares are usually sporadic and are fairly rare.

    B. Zone 2

    Most diverse terrain. Can have just about anything in it. Jungles, and swamps will occur here most, but will sometimes be in zone 3 too. Mountains, hills, grassland, with even the occasional desert square. Mostly grassland however. Usually has the best land on the map.

    C. Zone 3

    Mostly desert and plains. Forests will occur here but will be sporadic. Occasionally there will be some jungle and swamp in this region but it's usually in patches and not widespread. Mountains many times will occur in large ranges. Grassland will also be seen here, but not in large quantities.

    3. RESOURCE ZONES

    Most resources occur in these certain zones, but can however be found sometimes out of their normal zones. Water resources are not included. This table shows zones of the resources, and my rough estimates of how often they will occur in these zones. * indicates a zone where the resource will occur only in extremely rare circumstances.

    Buffalo: 2-35% 3-65% 1*
    Coal: Just about anywhere. Not used in tracking civ.
    Desert Oil: 3-80% 2-20%
    Arctic Oil: 1-100% 2*
    Fruit: 3-30% 2-70%
    Furs: 3-60% 2-40% (only very lower regions of Z2)
    Game: Same as Furs.
    Gems: 2-70% 3-30%
    Gold: 3-55% 2-45%
    Iron: Same as gold.
    Ivory: 3-100% 2*
    Oasis: 3-80% 2-20%
    Peat: 2-70% 3-30%
    Pheasant: ANYWHERE Not as common in 3,1&2 most likely.
    Silk: Same as Pheasant.
    Spice: 2-70% 3-30%
    Wheat: 2-35% 3-65%
    Wine: Just about anywhere. harder to use in tracking civ but can give idea and tell what's in view.
    4. EXAMPLE SITUATIONS

    There are many situations you can tell where a civ is using demographics. It's obviously not a pinpoint of where it is, but it will tell you the zone the player is in.

    A. Lets say you start out on a grassland square, no resources around you except for a forest and a lake. It's the first turn of the game, you both have a city. Now lets say you put your resource on the forest and the demographics say you are first in MFG, 2nd in GNP, and 2nd in Food production (FP). Put your resource back on a grassland square. The new values are 2nd GNP, 2nd MFG, 2nd in FP. In this situation if it shows you are first in FP then it's most likely a whale in your opponents capital. If that's the case it's not of much use to you but it does tell you your opponent is near a water source. However, if you're second in FP still then you have to go down the list of possibilities. There aren't very many that can give this combination of high food and high production along with GNP. Of course there could be a double combination of resources where your opponent built on a resource and has another one in view, but that is more rare and far more complicated. We'll assume the simpler combinations for now. A forest is obviously in view. Silk won't give the food but pheasant will. Now in order to get the GNP your opponent has to be on a river. TO test this we put our resource on the lake. If you're now first in GNP then your opponent has a pheasant and a river in view. This doesn't give a clear distinction of what zone your opponent is in, however it does tell what to look for. If you're still second in GNP then there's two resources in play which is far more complicated and would take a lot of writing to explain how to figure out what exactly they're using. But I want to assert that it is definitely possible to figure out what they're using in most cases.

    B. Lets take another example. You start on a shield grassland square and build your city. You put your resources on the forest next to you which happens to have silk on it. You look at the demographics and it shows you as first in GNP, first in MFG, second in FP. Take it off and put it on a shield grassland square. This time it shows you as second MFG, second GNP, first FP. Now this time put it on a ocean square. This time you get the same values as the first time except now you are second in FP. We have now ruled out that the player is on a river. Now, this time put it on a forest square. Now you are first again in MFG, second in FP, second in GNP. Since we know the GNP of a whale and the GNP of silk are the same and that a whale has the same MFG as a forest square as well as the same FP of a grassland square, we have now effectively ruled that this is a whale in their city screen.

    Obviously there is some room for error using this technique, but it gives you an idea of where your opponent could be and in some cases a very clear idea of where they are. In the examples I know it's a little confusing and I didn't go into all the combinations and possibilities. I basically gave the examples to give you an idea of what this does and how to do it. You can't always use this technique because sometimes there are just too many possibilities. Majority of the time though you can or at least get some sort of advantage from it. It takes a lot of experience and a lot of practice to master using this so if you can't get any results on the first few times don't give up on it.

    This WON'T give you an exact location of your opponent. Most of the time it won't even give you a general location. However, it's best use is in an eenie meanie minie moe kind of situation. All it does is increase the efficiency of your exploration. It is my belief that you will never be able to win every game because there is too much luck in this game, but you can have a 95% win if you play the highest percentage game. Meaning, doing what has the highest probability of success.

  • #2
    We play on smaller than small worlds so the y axis is usually smaller than the normal 50, do you have any experience how this affects the zones.?

    And How does playing at Deity, with two settlers, if the opponent gets two cities down quickly. Granted you will know this by looking at the top 5 cities in a duel.
    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

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    • #3
      Oh there's ways to do it. Each city represents a value. But I'm not going to go into since you probably already know how to do it anyways. And yes I know how it affects the zones. I have studied all the map types and settings.

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      • #4
        I guess I'll never become an 'expert' then!

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        • #5
          Annnnnnddddd, how does it affect the zones.

          In MP, my very first consideration (until I lay the first city) is the hut and special pattern since trade specials really can jump start the tech race and we all know what the huts can do. I am familiar with the patterns for each, but I am amazed that you were able to determine the percentage of each type. Each time I looked at it, I was unable to decern that much detail.

          So which EG zones get trimmed when the y axis is less that 50?

          The normal Y axis we use is
          2 player 40
          3-4 players 42-48.

          RAH
          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

          Comment


          • #6
            The percentages and zones aren't based on the length of the axis. They are based on resources. On a 5 billion year old map it is impossible to discern a zone because the resources occur everywhere. You'll have mountains by artic, jungles weaved in with tundra, desert at the bottom of the map. When a map is created less than 40X50 the game automatically turns it into a 5 billion year old map, at least as far as looks go. That means tons of mountains. Any size map less than 40X50 is an invalid map and will many times end up having the AI run out of places to put human players. It's why you'll sometimes end up on the artic or start on a mountain. So to answer your question, on your map there are no zones. The best you can do is figure out what your opponent has in his cities. And on your map that is extremely useful info because good land is rare. Try starting a game with 7 AI on your custom small maps and take a look at the start positions. I guarantee you'll have at least 1 AI start on a forest or a mountain or some other terrain that they're not supposed to start on.

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            • #7
              Ok, I just did some more tests. If you use the very best settings for land (Large land masses, continents, wet, temperate, 3 billion) you can get away with a smaller map. But even on that setting if you go below a 40X40 map you're going to increase your chances for a really bad starting spot. And if you use 4 billion or 5 billion years or even warm and cool for that matter you're going to get people starting on invalid spots more than likely. Either way, you can't really discern a zone on that small of a map.

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              • #8
                I've seen the artic starts when there are enough civs in the game.

                But since we try to limit ourselves to 4 players (for speed of turn considerations.) An artic start on a 36-46 or 38-48 is rare. I didn't know that the smaller maps assumed that setting, I kind of was aware of it since we always call them Dirtrock worlds, but didn't have it pegged that close.

                I'm used to seeing the groups of 3 east to west (slight angle south) bands of resources. If I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying that on a slightly smaller y axis, that the groups of 3 are just closer to the next group of three. Did I understand that right. I've looked at a lot of open maps, but rarely study the smaller ones after the game.

                RAH
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  When I say resources I mean forests, jungle, swamp, Mountains, etc. I don't mean whales, fish, pheasant. On a 3 billion year map you will see a discernable zone. Much like Earth where you'll have tundra and forests and artic to the north. Plains, desert, swamp and mountains towards the middle. You'll of course see jungle further down than expected too, which is why there are percentages of occurence. So when I'm thinking out a zone, I take into account the possibility of it occuring somewhere and then use the highest percentage of success when I'm having to choose between exploring in 2 directions. All it does is make your exploration that much more efficient, that is all. It is not a sure fire bet of finding someone. The most useful part of it is knowing what your opponent has in his city screen. That way if you come upon forests and your opponent is using silk you know to be a bit sneakier and to look for those resources. Especially when it starts saying you're near a city. There's many many factors that go into my exploration, and when you combine them all together you get the most efficient exploring possible.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks, that was the final confusion. Now I think I get it. Kind of elaborate. I could see this being real useful on a more medium sized map. On our usual tiny maps, once your 13 or so squares from your capital, the close to feature is all you need to triangulate their position in a matter of a few turns.

                    I know you listed the limitations of your method. But from a straight game view, what percentage of games is this the primary method and the accuracy. Or do you use this just to point the general finger and then move to triangulation. Just interested.

                    RAH
                    And thanks for the reasonable discussion (or at least as reasonable as we get. )
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It all depends on the game. I don't use the zones so much as I do the knowing what's resources they're using. The best part of it all is you know what to expect before you enter their lands. It becomes very useful when you're deciding where to move your horsemen which I"ll discuss in the next installment.

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