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  • Apolyton University

    I've taken a lot of notes over the last several days about the "Best" concept.

    I herewith rename it Apolyton U., and will tease you all as follows.

    1. It's critical that we have a standard mod to work with. I'll look to the group to get that done, and add my comments where appropriate. As you all know, I'm focused on human-like, killer AI opponents.

    2. The curriculum. Maybe not the greatest metaphor, cause we're learning from and teaching each other, but what the heck.

    I've got notes on each of these, and will put them up over the next couple of days, but here are my initial thoughts on the first 'trials':

    Exploration
    Crowding & Culture
    Crowding & War
    Science
    Naval Power
    Golden Age
    Isolation
    Resource Poor
    **(e.g., the Aeson Challenge)
    Capitol Capture
    Great Wonders

    In each, I want us to try to highlight a specific aspect of the game, and share our best moves / concepts for achieving a defined goal.

    I'll post my suggestions for trial structure, settings, etc., but I expect that others will comment and help evolve the concepts before we play any of the specific games.

    Also, the order listed above is random; we might want to consider an order that makes sense given the development of the mod and also the upcoming patch.

    Lastly, participation by a Firaxian would be much welcome, although I don;t know if that's possible.

    Must sleep.

    /CivIII dreams commence
    The greatest delight for man is to inflict defeat on his enemies, to drive them before him, to see those dear to them with their faces bathed in tears, to bestride their horses, to crush in his arms their daughters and wives.

    Duas uncias in puncta mortalis est.

  • #2
    Are you talking about comparison games, or a collection of discussions? Either way would be informative and interesting...
    The first President of the first Apolyton Democracy Game (CivII, that is)

    The gift of speech is given to many,
    intelligence to few.

    Comment


    • #3

      Exploration
      Crowding & Culture
      Crowding & War
      Science
      Naval Power
      Golden Age
      Isolation
      Resource Poor
      (e.g., the Aeson Challenge)
      Capitol Capture
      Great Wonders

      In each, I want us to try to highlight a specific aspect of the game, and share our best moves / concepts for achieving a defined goal.
      emphasis mine

      You know my answer to this. The best way to get Great Wonders? Rush 'em with leaders. Second best? Capture. Third, build them. I usually try for 1 and 3. I dislike 2, even though it's easier than 3.

      As for the standard mod concept, given that Soren has acknowledged various upgrades to the AI that are coming with PtW and that PtW will include an key new upgrade path (sword -> medieval infantry), we should probably attempt to generate a concensus on concepts we know are NOT going to be addressed by Firaxis (at least in the near future):

      0 range bombard (oooh, those nasty little bowmen)
      HP bonus per age
      Naval movement, a/d stats, tech prereqs.
      Science (messing with the caps)

      Some random ideas of my own for killer AIs:

      -play with the resource settings in the editor (make certain resources really scarce?)
      -crank up the aggressiveness of certain powerful "builder" AIs (such as Egypt)

      -Arrian
      grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

      The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.

      Comment


      • #4
        And Arrian's obsession with GLs grow...

        You have truly come over to the dark side.

        You'll like my plan for the GW trial.

        Re the mod: I hope someone picks up the ball on this. I agree with your overall thoughts, although I suspect 0-bombard may create GL generation issues.
        The greatest delight for man is to inflict defeat on his enemies, to drive them before him, to see those dear to them with their faces bathed in tears, to bestride their horses, to crush in his arms their daughters and wives.

        Duas uncias in puncta mortalis est.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Marquis de Sodaq
          Are you talking about comparison games, or a collection of discussions? Either way would be informative and interesting...
          A mix I think, although it will play out howeer the participants want it too.

          Some games as competition, some for direct comparison (we've all gotta get good on using screenshots), some for discussion of used / proposed techniques.

          Don;t change that dial... I'm gonna post my ideas tonight.
          The greatest delight for man is to inflict defeat on his enemies, to drive them before him, to see those dear to them with their faces bathed in tears, to bestride their horses, to crush in his arms their daughters and wives.

          Duas uncias in puncta mortalis est.

          Comment


          • #6
            Theseus, you didn't mention the Barbarian Uprising question.

            Comment


            • #7
              If Soren's gonna tell us about the Barb in a few days (he said he would ) it seems kinda pointless debating it too much.

              Mod Stuff:
              I think that +1hp per era would be very useful.
              I think almost everyone agrees that a boost to naval movement would be a good thing. Perhaps +1 for Sail units and +2 for Non-Sail?

              How about tweaking the Tech Tree to get rid of some of the really useless techs?
              Other techs could have their cost adjusted to keep the same time to complete the path, it's just that some of them are meaningless at the moment.
              Or would this be too big a change?
              If I'm posting here then Counterglow must be down.

              Comment


              • #8
                The Curriculum

                OK, without further adieu, a humble attempt at creating 10 "trials" for the group. They're sort of in order, but my feeling is that everything is up for discussion and change. I've tried to put them in an order that acknowledges the upcoming patch. BTW, I think the order is conducive to starting before getting the standard mod done.

                Some of the games have specific goals other than winning. Gameplay will obviously involve lots of aspects other than the stated goal, but it'll be interesting to see how people alter their typical play to support the letter and intent of the goal.

                Again, the idea is to share and LEARN!!

                _______________________________


                1. Exploration

                Goal: Be the first among us to uncover the entire map. Any predictions on the earliest date?

                Settings: Huge, archipelago, 60% water, 16 civs, warm, wet, 5B, raging, Monarch. All win types (although not necessary to play through).

                Civ: Rome

                Notes: The Great Lighthouse will be key. The settings should produce some big islands that will require land units for exploration. 16 civs means map trading is critical. This is one that doesn;t need to be played all the way to the win.


                2. Crowding & Culture

                Goal: Give peace a chance!! But no turtling... this is specifically about cultural expansion. How many AI cities can you flip? War only allowed to capture GWs and resources (or in defense). Gold star for a Cultural win!!

                Settings: Large, Pangaea, 80% water, 12 civs, normal, temperate, 4B, no barbs, Monarch. Cultural and Spaceship win types.

                Civ: Babs

                Notes: Haven't seen much on 'poly about cultural steamrolling... let's see what people come up with.


                3. Crowding & War

                Goal: Psychotic bastards, here's your chance!! At least 1 city must be captured in each aggressive phase (with some crossover allowed): Archer, Horseman, Swordsman, Knight, Cavalry, Tanks, MA... however far you get before the win. Gold star for Warrior too. Must win owning all GWs.

                Settings: Standard, continents, 80% water, 8 civs, warm, normal, 3B, raging, Emperor. Conquest-only win.

                Civ: Japan

                Notes: Not required.


                4. Resource Poor

                Goal: Much like the iceberg, we need to learn how to deal with adverse conditions.

                Settings: Large, continents, 60% water, 9 civs, cold, dry, 3B, Monarch (gotta give a break here). All win types.

                Civ: China

                Notes: / nods to Aeson. / It's gonna be ugly... gotta go Machiavellian on the AI's ass.


                5. The Golden Age

                Goals: Maximize your GA... show how your GA leads to the win. Both military and GW triggers allowed (and encouraged). Not quite a gold star, but GAs with the IW in place are to be admired.

                Settings: "Standard" across the board. Standard, continents, 70% water, 8 civs, normal, temperate, 4B, roaming, Monarch. All win types.

                Civ: Zulu

                Notes: This should be interesting, given the many different philosophies. I might even play it twice.


                6. Great and Small Wonders

                Goal: Build as many as you can, either straight up or with GLs. Captures don't count, although if they're useful, go for it. BIG gold star if you can show you beat an AI civ to a GW by 4 turns or less (@[email protected]$#@^%$%#!).

                Settings: Large, continents, 70% water, 10 civs, normal, temperate, 4B, roaming, Monarch. All win types.

                Civ: Egypt

                Notes: I think this will be the toughest.


                7. Science

                Goal: A blinding tech lead. Is it possible to hit Modern before any AI gets to Industrial? The comparison will be on the number of techs lead at the win. Gold star for a super-science city. A twist: Must own all science GWs at the win.

                Settings: Small, continents, 60% water, 6 civs, wet, temperate, 5B, no barbs, Monarch. All win types.

                Civ: Greece

                Notes: My guess is that the tortoise beats the hare.


                8. Naval Power

                Goal: Rule the seas. Must build AND use at least 1 of every naval unit until the win. Must build at least 10 Privateers. Gold star for innovative use of MoWs, subs, blockades & interdiction.

                Settings: Standard, archipelago, 70% water, 7 civs, temperate, dry, restless, Emporer. All win types.

                Civ: English

                Notes: Hmmm, if you rule the seas, what does that mean for intercontinental invasions?


                9. Isolated

                Goal: You're all alone... what do you do?

                Settings: Huge, archipelago, 60% water, 10 civs, normal, temperate, 5B, restless, Emperor. All win types.

                Civ: Persia

                Notes: A builder's delight, until...


                10. Resources and Capitols

                Goal: Defined warfare. Must win having captured ALL resources and the capitol of each AI civ. If you want to capture the rest, that's up to you.

                Settings: Standard, continents, 60% water, 7 civs, normal, temperate, raging, 5B, Emperor. All win types.

                Civ: Germany

                Notes: UP (tm) in action. Panzer blitzkriegs. Intercontinental invasions. Much fun.
                The greatest delight for man is to inflict defeat on his enemies, to drive them before him, to see those dear to them with their faces bathed in tears, to bestride their horses, to crush in his arms their daughters and wives.

                Duas uncias in puncta mortalis est.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Theseus - I will ruminate a bit more on the initial 10 courses before responding.

                  But, on the subject of mods at AU (standard or otherwise): I would suggest that no mods be used initially. I don't think we want to muck with the lesson plan by playing with mods -- if the goal is to play against a more challenging AI opponent, then I suggest that mods come into being slowly -- only after any specific mod is proven to the class to push the AI quality measurement a little farther towards the "Killer AI." I experimented with a bunch of mods in the past, and while I found a fair number that the AI used (and used "intelligently"), I can't say that I found one that provided any sort of relative advantage to the AI -- in other words, even if the AI used certain mods as they were intended to be used, the benefits of the mod were as easily exploitable by the human player as by the AI.

                  And if the mods merely migrate towards 0-range bombard, expanded naval movement, more HPs in advanced eras, etc., we're really not doing much more than superimposing our own concepts of "fair play" or "game balance" on the game designers' concepts. If the mods move towards AI production bonuses below 6, tweaking the "default AI difficulty level," or adding/subtracting bonus units for the AI or human, then we're doing nothing to create the Killer AI, we're just tying a finger or two (as opposed to a whole arm) behind our backs or the AI's back.

                  So I would throw out for discussion a start without mods, and a general bias against incorporating mods, such bias to be overcome when the mod-maker carries the burden of proof in showing that the specific mod makes the AI a more challenging opponent.

                  Catt

                  P.S. - I love the fact that the "Best of the Best" thread was completely thread-jacked by Soren Bad Soren!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    3. Crowding & War

                    Goal: Psychotic bastards, here's your chance!! At least 1 city must be captured in each aggressive phase (with some crossover allowed): Archer, Horseman, Swordsman, Knight, Cavalry, Tanks, MA... however far you get before the win. Gold star for Warrior too. Must win owning all GWs.

                    Settings: Standard, continents, 80% water, 8 civs, warm, normal, 3B, raging, Emperor. Conquest-only win.

                    Civ: Japan

                    . Great and Small Wonders

                    Goal: Build as many as you can, either straight up or with GLs. Captures don't count, although if they're useful, go for it. BIG gold star if you can show you beat an AI civ to a GW by 4 turns or less (@[email protected]$#@^%$%#!).

                    Settings: Large, continents, 70% water, 10 civs, normal, temperate, 4B, roaming, Monarch. All win types.

                    Civ: Egypt

                    Notes: I think this will be the toughest.


                    7. Science

                    Goal: A blinding tech lead. Is it possible to hit Modern before any AI gets to Industrial? The comparison will be on the number of techs lead at the win. Gold star for a super-science city. A twist: Must own all science GWs at the win.
                    My favorites. The first for obvious reasons (The search for UP continues, woohoo!). The second because I love Wonders and I love Egypt. The last one because I love getting a large tech lead. I seriously doubt I can gain a full age, however, without being a pyschotic warmonger.

                    The thing is, if 3 is executed properly, it will acheive 6 and 7. The two primary reasons for my conversion to the Dark Side were gaining a tangible tech lead and Wonder hoarding. GLs do the trick for Wonders. Wiping out AI civs breaks up the tech whoring, particularly if you prevent the AI from getting the Great Library.

                    I think the most difficult will be 9, 4, 10 and 7. 9 in particular.

                    2 (culture bombing babs) sounds kinda cool, since it's fairly off the beaten path. I would think that one should ignore wonders (except, perhaps, the Colossus), use the bowmen to waste a neighbor, and just build city after city, rushing temples and libraries. You could become a cultural monster.

                    IMPORTANT QUESTION: cultural linkage on or off for these "trials?" That will make a big difference.

                    -Arrian
                    grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

                    The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh, another thought: count me out for the Huge map settings... and maybe the large ones. So much map, so little time...

                      -Arrian
                      grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

                      The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        All these Challenges sound fun. I will gladly take part in all of them, if I get the time. I just don't understand, do you want to make it like our Minitourneys, with all of us starting with the same savegame, or shall everyone generate his own map, using your settings?

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                        • #13
                          Catt, I agree with your concerns about mods at this time. There is too much about the game we still don't understand to "fix" it with a standard mod.

                          BY the way, my earlier comment about barbarian uprisings was a purposely understated reference to Soren's hijacking. I thought it was hilarious.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Catt: I am in total agreement. Vel, if you're reading this, and since you kicked off the discussion on mods, can you coral some of the other modders and develop a "stepped" version of the mod?

                            Arrian: I thought about cultural linking and forgot to include it. I've generally been leaving it off lately, and would suggest the same here. Re: huge and large maps, first off, we can change any of the settings, and second, I tried to consider slower computers and fast games. I tried to either:
                            1. Set goals that did not require the late game
                            2. Use max water
                            3. Use less than available civs

                            Sir Ralph, I envision the process (and attitudes) being pretty much the same as the recent tourneys / tournaments. Everybody on the same map, compare and contrast experiences. Even on the games where there are defined goals, I hope we keep the competition to a minimum, and just understand what works best. Re: having the time, I sorta expect this set of games, and maybe a few others that people suggest (and, BTW, please feel free to suggest NOT doing one of the above), to take us up to the release of PTW. Also, a number of the "lessons" do not require competing the game, if people can deal with that (I can).
                            The greatest delight for man is to inflict defeat on his enemies, to drive them before him, to see those dear to them with their faces bathed in tears, to bestride their horses, to crush in his arms their daughters and wives.

                            Duas uncias in puncta mortalis est.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I too would be very interested in participating in these 'classes', if I have the time.
                              "I used to be a Scotialist, and spent a brief period as a Royalist, but now I'm PC"
                              -me, discussing my banking history.

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