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OCC on a shoestring

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  • OCC on a shoestring

    Hi all,

    I've been lurking and reading this forum for a month or so and have learned
    a lot from you all. A few days ago I read the thread on the origins of OCC,
    how it began with a challenge to land a ship using the fewest cities
    and how someone finally did it with one city. I started wondering
    what was the smallest size city with which you could reach AC
    before time ran out. I don't know if this has been tried before or not,
    but I gave it a go.

    I thought about a size 12 city - never build a sewer system.
    Then I thought about a size 8 city - never build an aqueduct.
    Could you get all the research done in time?
    Would you have enough production capacity to build a space ship?

    I decided to go for size 8. I followed all the standard OCC rules
    plus the added restriction of no aqueduct.
    To see how my progress would measure up to a normal OCC game
    I chose the 'Four Whales Comparison Game' map.

    The early game wasn't too different, as you would expect.
    I had middling luck on exploration and hut tipping.
    My NON settler got killed by barbs early on. But hey! I didn't
    even need him after he had irrigated 4 squares for me.
    That was all I ever used.

    After I delivered my first caravan for a whopping 90 gold pieces
    I saw that trade wasn't going to be worth the effort. So when my 3 routes
    were established, I built caravans and saved them.

    I pruned the research tree a bit - no need for sanitation or refrigeration.
    I passed up Mobile Warfare/Robotics and did without a Manufacturing Plant.
    I knew I couldn't get to 80 shields anyway, so I just built lots of caravans.

    I built only 3 wonders - Colossus, Copernicus and Newton before Apollo.
    I used a colosseum instead of Shake's.
    I skipped Darwin's hoping another civ would build it and I could trade
    for the techs, but that didn't happen.

    I gave away techs like mad - as soon as I got them.
    I begged constantly for money from my five allies and got lots of gifts.

    My research rate only once reached 2-turns and that was just after I got
    Computers and went for Flight. But I had a long run at a three turn rate.

    So how did I do? Surprisingly well.

    I got Space Flight in 1640 and built Apollo in 1650.
    I had 20 caravans and 2200 gold which got me 15 structurals
    and 6 components in 21 turns. Then I ran out of caravans and went broke.
    I had 33 shields of production capacity.
    I just barely got Superconductor in time to start building a module.
    It took a long time to crank out three of them.
    I finally launched a 15-3-3-1-1-1 ship in 1808 and reached AC in 1823.

    All with one size 8 city.
    I was pretty pleased.

    Then I went back and looked at the Log for the original OCC 4-whales game.
    The best result posted back then was Paul's 1816 launch and 1831 landing.
    I was completely shocked.

    Much to think about here.
    Is building a big city not worth the effort that goes into it?
    Is the return less than the investment?

    Now I'm thinking of trying OCC with a size 4 city.
    To heck with land management, just gimme those whales!


    [This message has been edited by samson (edited April 12, 2001).]
    [This message has been edited by samson (edited April 12, 2001).]

  • #2
    I hope you have kept a log. Don't limit yourself to size 4 since it will be hard to keep food balance. Just don't use 'WLTKD' to grow. You'll eventually grow beyond size 4.

    I'm not a big fan of OCC since if one or two AIs are killed early you will be slow in research whatever you do.


    • #3

      Originally posted by samson on 04-12-2001 12:16 AM

      Then I went back and looked at the Log for the original OCC 4-whales game.
      The best result posted back then was Paul's 1816 launch and 1831 landing.
      I was completely shocked.

      Much to think about here.
      Is building a big city not worth the effort that goes into it?
      Is the return less than the investment?

      Interesting game no doubt! Just one thought that crossed my mind. When we played the 4-whales game for the first time, the OCC strategy was still in its infancy and pretty crude. Paul would blew 1831 away if he replayed the game today.

      That being said, an interesting experiment well worth to follow up!



      • #4
        Great work samson. Innovative thinking and a very impressive achievement.

        For a while I felt we had reached the point where we were standing on the shoulders of the giants who posted here a year or two back. But the present generation is starting to produce some amazing stuff of its own.

        I guess your game illustrates (again) the awesome power of the caravan.

        By coincidence I was musing on an idea as I walked home last night which has some similar thinking to yours in it. I wondered whether a size one strategy might work - only founding cities on or next to a special and aiming only to work one square.

        I guess the room available would run out quite quickly and the starategy would then have to change gear. In view of your post I'll give it a go.


        • #5

          Originally posted by East Street Trader on 04-12-2001 07:22 AM
          By coincidence I was musing on an idea as I walked home last night which has some similar thinking to yours in it. I wondered whether a size one strategy might work - only founding cities on or next to a special and aiming only to work one square.

          I guess the room available would run out quite quickly and the starategy would then have to change gear. In view of your post I'll give it a go.

          Be careful EST! - this sounds like you're walking around the corner into Sleaze Street.



          "Our words are backed by empty wine bottles! - SG(2)
          "One of our Scouse Gits is missing." - -Jrabbit


          • #6
            Were you playing on the usual deity, 7, raging level? or lower?
            "Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master" - Commissioner Pravin Lal.


            • #7
              Xin Yu -

              I didn't keep a log at the time because I didn't really expect to succeed.
              However, I started doing save games each turn after a while so I should
              be able to recreate a log. I'll post it when I've got it done.

              I think with the right combination of specials a size 4 city could be stable.
              If not, I might try a size 5 city and make the 5th citizen a scientist to halt growth.

              Eli - It was a saved game start - Deity, 7, raging, medium map. Civ 242.

              EST - Thanks.

              Carolus Rex -

              I didn't mean to compare myself to Paul or the other OCC masters.
              I'm sure what you say is true. I have only started playing at OCC
              myself in the past couple of weeks. My point was that if a neophyte
              can do this well with a size 8 city, how much better might the masters do?

              Some more thoughts on this experiment ...

              I don't really think a size 8 OCC strategy can seriously compete with
              the canonical OCC approach. However, a size 12 city might be able to.
              To go to size 12, I would only have had to build an aqueduct
              and bump luxuries from 10% to 20% during Republic and I'd get about a 35%
              increase in trade and science. Up to size 12, the path is pretty much
              the same as the Canon. But when the Canon has built Shakespeare,
              Size12 will have built Isaac Newton and will start to get ahead in science.
              While the Canon is building Newton, Size12 will be piling up caravans
              for the space ship.

              I think I'll try a size 12 city and this time use a more recent Fortnight
              game for a fairer comparison.

              Thanks to all.


              [This message has been edited by samson (edited April 12, 2001).]


              • #8
                Congratulations, Samson! Amazing achievement indeed. You have invented a new exiting variation to OCC-challenges. We have seen OCC with despotism, OCC without wonders and OCC landing in BC-years. Maybe some others which I don't know about. Now we have a new comptetition: who lands on AC with smallest OCC.

                Samson, I'd be interested to know how did you handle the researching? How much help did you get from the AI? Could you somehow prevent the AI from giving you unnecessary techs as gifts (like sanitation & refridgeration)? Stuff like that, I'd be very grateful to know!


                • #9
                  Thanks Marko.

                  In researching I used micromanagement of beaker counts and giving all
                  techs to the AI as soon as I got them. I was a little sloppy in the early
                  game because it was just an experiment. Later I got more careful.
                  At the start of each new tech, I checked beaker requirements and shifted
                  workers from land to sea squares until I got the right mix to get the
                  next tech in the minimum turns with no waste.

                  The AI was quite helpful. I had five worshipfull alliances and the sixth
                  civ, the Zulus, were never less than cordial. I gave each new tech I got
                  immediately to all civs. On all turns when I didn't have tech to give
                  I asked for gifts. I got lots of money. Which I used to pay maintenence
                  and rush-build caravans. I ran at a deficit most of the game.
                  Max research, the rest to luxuries. After I had Electronics and Democracy
                  I could set luxuries to 0 and go 100% to science.

                  I got more techs in trade from the AI than ever before in an OCC game
                  which helped compensate for my lower number of bulbs. I took techs
                  even if they were off-track for me and then gave them to other civs.
                  This allowed me to beg for more money.

                  I held back Combustion for awhile, then realized it didn't matter if
                  some else got to Flight first and gave that away too.
                  I gave techs away right up to Space Flight. Then, when I ran out of money
                  building my ship, I went back to the other civs and gave them SF
                  for cash and everything else, too.

                  No Civ ever attacked me, even after I launched my ship. Two turns before
                  I landed on AC, I got a message that the Chinese spaceship had been
                  destroyed by the Greeks. I laughed.

                  I think being very small made me less of threat to other civs and they
                  just ignored me.



                  • #10
                    WOW! Samson, I think you are really on to something here! If steady 3 turn advances were possible with a smaller city size, then it's just got to be more efficient, since the best that could be done, if I remember correctly from my own game with a larger city in Four Whales were advances every 2 turns. I've often wondered myself, whether all the things needed for a bigger city (Shakespeare's, aqueduct, sewer, celeberation time, etc.) were worth the extra time and expense. Your game seems to prove they aren't. I can't wait to see your log and give your method a try in the next OCC comparison game. I'm thinking size 8 is probably best.


                    • #11
                      Kudos to you Samson. That's an impressive way to step out of the shadows!
                      "I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance."
                      Jonathan Swift


                      • #12
                        Well done! perhaps the Paulicy now needs a new chapter...

                        Scouse Git[1] --

                        "Staring at your screen in horror and disbelief when you open a saved game is one of the fun things of a succession game " - Hueij
                        "The Great Library must be built!"
                        "A short cut has to be challenging,
                        were it not so it would be 'the way'."
                        - Paul Craven
                        "Our words are backed by empty wine bottles! - SG(2)
                        "One of our Scouse Gits is missing." - -Jrabbit


                        • #13
                          Thanks solo and Bird.

                          I'll be away for a few days,
                          put I'll get that log together when I return.
                          And the results of my size 4 OCC game, too.



                          • #14
                            Here's the log for my size8 OCC game.
                            It is reconstructed from saves, so in places I give status not events.
                            I thought it would be easy to construct a log from saves, it is not. It's a lot of work.
                            A lesson learned - in the future I will keep a running log.


                            4000 Start with Alphabet, Bronze Working, Masonry, Warrior Code.
                            3950 Hut-chariot. Rome founded.
                            3750 Warrior. Hut-50 gold.
                            3700 Code of Laws. Start researching writing, going for Republic.
                            3650 Hut-25 gold.
                            3550 Warrior.
                            3300 Writing. Greeks - trade Warrior Code for Ceremonial Burial, peace.
                            Researching Literacy, building Library.
                            3150 Give all techs to Greeks, enthusiastic, no alliance.
                            3100 Library rushbuilt.
                            2850 Chinese - give all techs, enthusiastic, no alliance.
                            2800 Literacy. Republic not available, researching Mathematics.
                            2700 Temple. Starting Colossus.
                            2650 size 3
                            2450 Hut-50 gold.
                            2400 Mathematics, researching Republic.
                            1950 Republic, researching Mysticism. Hut-horseman.
                            1900 Revolution
                            1850 REPUBLIC. Taxrate: 0/80/20, 129 gold, 4 turns. Chinese - give all techs, alliance.
                            1650 Mysticism, researching Astronomy.
                            1450 Astronomy. Switch from building Colosssus to Copernicus. Taxrate: 10/80/10, gold 186, 4 turns.
                            1400 Chinese - trade for Map Making and Iron Working, share maps.
                            Greeks - trade for Currency, Horseback Riding, Wheel, share maps, no alliance.
                            Greek Map reveals Zulu and Indian units near my horse.
                            1350 Researching Trade, 8 turns.
                            1250 Zulus - give all techs, peace, no alliance, share maps.
                            1050 Indians - give all techs, share maps, alliance. Polytheism from Indians, Pottery from Chinese.
                            1000 Egyptions destroyed by Barbarians.
                            975 Trade, researching Philosophy.
                            950 Aztecs - give all techs, share maps, alliance.
                            925 Germans - give all techs, share maps, alliance.
                            Greeks - trade for Construction, give all techs, alliance.
                            Chinese -
                            900 Copernicus Obervatory built. size 5, taxrate: 0/80/20, 5 turns, 143 gold.
                            800 Philosophy, Seafaring. Researching University. 10 turns.
                            725 Marketplace.
                            675 Beads Caravan.
                            625 Copper Caravan.
                            575 University. Cloth Caravan.
                            475 Gift of Monarchy from Aztecs.
                            425 Build University. Size 6, taxrate: 0/80/20, 6 turns, 149 gold.
                            400 Bridge Building.

                            Now giving all techs away and asking for gifts each turn.

                            375 Beads to Athens, 90 gold.
                            350 Copper to Athens, 80 gold.
                            325 Colosseum. Start Colossus. taxrate: 0/70/30
                            300 We Love.
                            275 S7
                            250 S8
                            225 Banking. We love Ends. taxrate: 10/80/10, 415 gold, 4 turns.
                            200 Cloth to Athens, 224 gold.
                            175 Colossus built. Engineering. Gold 161, 3 turns.
                            125 Wine carvan.
                            100 Theory of Gravity.
                            50 Food Caravan.
                            25 Navigation. Taxrate 10/80/10, 332 gold, 3 turns.
                            1 AD Food.
                            40 Physics.
                            60 Food. Settler killed by Barbarians.
                            100 Magnetism. Food.
                            140 Food.
                            160 Economics. Invention from Germans. Wine to Thermopylae, 145 gold.
                            180 Wine Caravan.
                            220 Gunpowder.
                            240 Built Isaac Newton's.
                            280 Metallurgy. Democracy from Germans. Harbor.
                            300 Revolution -> DEMOCRACY. Status: 10/80/10, 412 gold, 3 turns, 47 trade, 228 science.
                            320 Built Bank. {Note: This was a mistake. I didn't need it. This could have been 3 caravans instead.}
                            360 Electricity.
                            380 Salt caravan.
                            420 Steam Engine. Wine caravan.
                            460 Built Galleon to carry Salt and Wine to Indian cities.
                            {Note: This was a mistake. Payoff was very low. Should have saved the caravans, not built ship.}
                            480 Medicine. Status: 10/80/10, 705 gold, 3 turns.
                            520 Built Stock Exchange. {Another mistake.)
                            540 Conscription. Feudalism from Zulus.
                            560 Food caravan.
                            580 Railroad.
                            600 Salt and Wine to Bombay for 75 and 30 gold. {Note: Ouch.}
                            620 Food caravan.
                            660 Chivalry. Food caravan. Disband galleon.
                            680 Food caravan.
                            720 Industrialization. Chemistry from Indians. Food caravan. Status: 00/90/10, 3 turns, 827 gold.
                            760 Food.
                            780 Corporation.
                            800 Salt freight.
                            840 Electronics. Oil. Dropped luxury rate to 0. Status: 10/90/00, 3 turns, 1200 gold.
                            880 Food freight.
                            900 Explosives. Status: 0/100/0, 3 turns, 1386 gold.
                            920 Food
                            940 Change to 10% lux.
                            960 Refining. Food. We Love.
                            980 Build Engineer. Size remains at 8. We Love cancelled.
                            1020 Steel. Build Factory. Status: 0/100/0, gold 1323, 3 turns.
                            1040 Communism from Greeks.
                            1060 Power Plant. Engineer is mining grassland.
                            1080 Combustion.
                            1100 Food freight.
                            1140 Leadership. Food. Status: 1761 gold, 3 turns, 6 caravans, 6 freights.
                            1200 Automobile. Food. Disband Engineers.
                            1220 Superhighways.
                            1240 Food.
                            1260 Mass Production. Status 10/80/10, 1939 gold, 3 turns. trade=70, science=336
                            1280 Food. We LOVE. 2 squares of polution.
                            1320 Tactics. Sanitation from Germans. Build Engineer, size 8, We Love ends.
                            1340 Status: 0/100/0, 2184 gold, 3 turns, 6 caravans, 9 freight.
                            1360 Food freight.
                            1380 Machine Tools.
                            1400 Food freight.
                            1440 Miniaturization. Food freight. Status: 2763 gold.
                            1480 Offshore platform.
                            1500 Computers.
                            1510 Research Lab. Status: 0/100/0, 2 turns, 2400 gold.
                            1520 Flight. Monotheism from Chinses. Status: 0/100/0, 3 turns, 2663 gold.
                            1530 Food freight.
                            1550 Radio. Food freight.
                            1560 Status: 3 turns, 2915 gold, 6 caravans, 14 freight.
                            1580 Advanced Flight.
                            1610 Rocketry. Status: 3 turns, 3230 gold, building SETI
                            1640 Space Flight. Switching to rush build APOLLO.
                            1650 APOLLO. Status: 0/100/0, 3 turns, 2166 gold, 6 caravans, 13 freight.
                            1660 Structual 1
                            1670 Plastics. S2
                            1680 S3 Atomic Theory from Aztecs.
                            1690 S4
                            1700 S5
                            1710 Nuclear Fission. S6
                            1720 S7
                            1730 S8
                            1740 S9
                            1750 Nuclear Power. Genetic Engineering from Germans. S10. Status: 4 turns, 2771 gold, 2 caravans, 7 freight.
                            1752 S11
                            1754 S12
                            1756 S13
                            1758 Laser. S14
                            1760 S15
                            1762 Component 1
                            1764 C2
                            1766 Superconductor. C3
                            1768 C4
                            1770 C5
                            1772 C6. Status: 0/100/0, 5 turns, 374 gold. 1 chariot left in Rome.
                            1776 Amphibious Warfare. researching Fusion Power.
                            1780 Status: 40/60/0, 305 gold, 8 turns.
                            1786 Germans start spaceship.
                            1788 Module 1 completed.
                            1792 Fusion Power. Sell Research Lab. Status: 100/0/0, 513 gold.
                            1794 Sell University
                            1796 Sell Library.
                            1798 Module 2 completed. Chinese start spaceship.
                            1808 Module 3 completed. Launch spaceship.

                            Build a bunch of defensive units and structures.

                            1823 Arrive AC.



                            I used an non-standard opening, going for Republic first and building
                            a library/temple combination instead of the Colossus.
                            My reasoning was that with high-trade squares like whales, the extra trade
                            from Colossus at size 4 would only be 5 over a base trade of 14, giving
                            a 35% increase in science vs. the 50% increase in science that Library
                            provides. And library can be built much sooner. I think going for Colossus
                            first is only justified when the terrain is trade-poor and the relative
                            increase can be 100%.
                            As things turned out, I should have gone for Monarchy because Republic was
                            delayed by a twisted tech-path.

                            I wanted to boost my science rate as quickly as possible because of the small
                            city size I was planning to use. So I switched from building Colossus
                            to Copernicus. Same logic here as with the library, except that Copernicus
                            gives a 100% increase in science. Copernicus is the crown jewel of Science Wonders.

                            Usually I can get University as the free tech after Philosophy. Not this time,
                            I had to pick Seafaring and then research University.
                            Again my focus on speeding up research led me to build University before Colossus.
                            In fact I didn't get Colossus built until 175 BC, a very late date.

                            After switching to Democracy in 300 AD, I should have settled into building
                            caravans and collecting gifts. Instead I made a series of blunders that
                            screwed up my endgame. I build a Bank and later a Stock Exchange.
                            Both of these were useless as I ran at 90 or 100% science for most of the game.
                            A commodities expedition to India was also a waste of time and shields.
                            If these three mistakes has been avoided, I believe I would have had enough
                            caravans and money available to build my spaceship parts in the minimum time.

                            This was an interesting experiment. I started out not knowing if a size 8 city
                            could even finish the research in time to build a spaceship. I learned
                            that production, not research is the bottleneck. I think OCC could be won
                            with an even smaller city size.
                            I also think that a size 12 city, which does not require that much more
                            of an infrastucture than size 8, could actually do very well, under certain
                            conditions, when compared to a 20+ city.
                            I plan to do more experimenting. If nothing else, I expect this research
                            to improve my opening game in OCC.



                            • #15
                              Scouse Gits,

                              Sorry I forgot to thank you.
                              Thank you.