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Isle of the Sleeping God: a deity scenario.

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  • Isle of the Sleeping God: a deity scenario.


    I started a second deity game with the Aztecs after "Deity for beginners," and found myself on a small continent with the Iroquois. This didn't bode well, as my tech rate would be even worse than usual, and early expansion severely limited (wasting the UU). I kept playing, though, and wound up with an experience that taught me a couple of meta-rules about deity/domination games - rules in keeping with my sense that a good emperor warmonger can win consistently at this level. It also inadvertently offered a scenario which is open-ended enough for some of you to play and perhaps enjoy.

    Aztec history.

    I encountered the Iroquois to the south, and moved quickly to seal off their northward expansion. This limited the Iroquois to a game-high three cities. Given that I wasn't close to mapmaking, and had very little territory to conquer, I decided to save my GA for later. I took the first Iroquois city with archers, and received one level of techs in exchange for peace. Twenty turns later, my new horsemen took the second Iroquois city, which included the Colossus. By this point, I had made contact with most of the other civs, and was way behind in tech. I threatened the Iroquois with war to periodically extort more tech, and took Salamanca when they refused to pony up. At this point I had just discovered iron, and converted my horsemen to knights. The Iroquois had musketmen and cavalry... but only one of each. The continent was mine.

    Unfortunately, in this case manifest destiny meant that I was checked at nine cities. By now I had galleys, but the rest of the world had riflemen. I had no choice but to move into the intermediate phase of my deity strategy: shift into democracy, hunker down, and buy tech for gold and luxuries (we have a monopoly on spices). Over the centuries, I learned that my small size also meant that I had no coal, oil or aluminum - these all had to be obtained via trade. I progressed normally, and decided to take advantage of my continent's "island defense" edge by first building a small but effective defense force, before I started to amass tanks for an eventual war of expansion. (With overland borders, I would tilt toward foregoing a strong defense in favor of building offensive units, and taking the fight to the enemy.) I fought off a helter-skelter Japanese invasion, but usually just paid tribute.

    The rest of the world.

    The other six civs were divided evenly on two much larger continents. (There were also a smattering of islands.) India, China and Japan were stacked up on one, and developed evenly and peacefully. Over on the other continent, the Russians were matched with the Germans and English. Things weren't so peaceful over there, and the Cossacks eventually took over the entire land mass.

    This established Russia as the world's superpower, and their aggressive attitude led to the other continent declaring war on them in 1285. This is what I had been waiting for, as the other civs needed to be bled for a while before I could even consider an overseas invasion against a much bigger civ. The Russians quickly lost their island holdings, but it took 300 years for the allies to gain a permanent foothold of a couple of cities on Russian soil. By now Japan was a monarchy, and the others communist regimes. Russia had displayed incredible strength, but the tide was turning. They made peace with Japan, after losing one city to them, and soon after ended the war with China in 1635, having lost four cities - one on each corner of their empire. This left Russia in a mostly maritime war with India, able to start licking her wounds... and just before I had felt ready to join the fray.

    Aztec state of the union: 1650AD.

    The Aztecs' nine cities are fully improved, except for anti-pollution facilities and institutes of higher learning. Typical of the civ's relative quaintness is the coal plant found in every city. This has left the Aztecs fourth in mfg. goods and GNP, and last of five (by a lot) in size and population. Aztec culture is negligible compared to the rest of the world: there is a handbuilt FP, and the Wall St wonder. Research is complete through satellites. On the other hand, the 6185-gold treasury is the envy of the entire planet. And every worked tile is either mined or irrigated, as well as railroaded.

    The military is very lean, but in promising shape. The first line of defense is a destroyer navy and a fleet of prop bombers and jet fighters... enough to sink most incoming transports, and scare off bomber sorties. Every city has one vet MI, and there are almost ten artillery. Three ICBMs ought to make the AI think twice about a first strike. However, the Aztec nation's future is in the hands of its vet MA: the count is at 32, with the only hitch being that a trade for oil needs to be negotiated yet again. (Deals for aluminum and coal are in place.)

    The Aztecs have no spies in place yet, but it's a safe bet to assume that the other civs have... more. A lot more. Of everything.

    The challenge.

    The situation is very similar to "Babylon and on," although not as balanced (or planned) as Vel's. Can this game be won by domination in the next 400 years? I think it can, and have already made some headway.

    While my starting situation doesn't come close to Aeson's Arctic start, it highlights a similar point: that almost no spawn is too poor, as long as you can avoid being overrun. It's great to expand as much as possible in the early game, but the key to winning via domination requires nothing more than hanging in there. Prudent diplomacy is even more essential than efficient defense.

    The reason you don't need to do much else is the built-in handicap in a domination game in deity: the AI plateaus in tech very early in the game, and there is plenty of time for you to buy your way to real-world military tech parity. This game serves to prove this point. I couldn't have played more conservatively, and yet have a realistic shot of winning. All I had to do is wait, buy, and build... then seize an opportunity.

    Here is the Aztec nation as you would find it:
    Attached Files

  • #2
    The game attached below is in version 1.21. This means that all Mac players can use it, and PC players should be able to upgrade it to 1.29.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Re: Isle of the Sleeping God: a deity scenario.

      Originally posted by Txurce


      The reason you don't need to do much else is the built-in handicap in a domination game in deity: the AI plateaus in tech very early in the game, and there is plenty of time for you to buy your way to real-world military tech parity. This game serves to prove this point. I couldn't have played more conservatively, and yet have a realistic shot of winning. All I had to do is wait, buy, and build... then seize an opportunity...

      This is not true for all of us who have upgraded to 1.29. After that patch, the AI refuse to sell tech if you're not a millionary...
      So get your Naomi Klein books and move it or I'll seriously bash your faces in! - Supercitizen to stupid students
      Be kind to the nerdiest guy in school. He will be your boss when you've grown up!


      • #4
        The Aztecs leave the reservation.

        No one else played this game, and it took me a while to work my way through it. The results were basically what I expected.

        In 1670, I paid for an MPP with China, then allied with India against Russia in a deal that netted me some oil, and signed an MPP with them to boot. Naturally, India made peace with Russia the next turn, but a Russian bombardment of my coast led China and India to declare war on Russia. The war now shifted away from my nine cities and onto the mainland, with the Chinese navy effectively protecting my coast. Japan allied with the world against Russia in 1715, but one turn later, Russia had succeeded in securing her entire continent again. To make matters worse, I again ran out of aluminum.

        My response was to land 14 MI and a settler on a Russian coastal hill with aluminum in 1720. The Russians threw themselves against me, losing an army in the process. My allies invaded Russia again, and began to make real headway, as it was evident that the superpower was spent.

        In 1760, I was ready to invade the continent in earnest. Out of oil again (!), I built a city on a coastal Russian oil site, and took five cities that same turn. Russia collapsed, and the race was to make sure I took most of the spoils, rather than India or China. Culture flipping was a problem, but MA were all I needed to win the day. I left the Russians with one city by 1776, and two turns later, they were eliminated. Russia went from most to zip in ten turns.

        China immediately declared war on India, which was perfect for me, since India's Russian cities bordered mine. I swallowed them up quickly, and by 1790, the Aztecs' nine cities had grown into the largest civ in the world. In the meantime, China was threatening to push India off their own continent. So in 1794, I made peace with India and attacked the Chinese former Russian cities; the next turn, I allied with Japan against China. By 1800, the only city on the Russain continent not mine was a Japanese one.

        This 1782 map shows the Indian and Chinese cities taken from the Russians, just before I attacked one, then the other:
        Attached Files


        • #5
          A long and dirty war.

          The Aztecs now had to invade the other continent in order to achieve a domination victory. The Chinese steadily ground up the Indians, while to my surprise, the Japanese couldn't even take the three Chinese cities in their rear. (Japan was totally modernized, but still had some cavalry - 229 of them - and lost them all.)

          In 1812, I landed some armies in the mountains near Peking, and took it the next turn. I razed it, knowing I couldn't hold it, and built a port on the coast. In the meantime, the Indians were all but dead, and the Chinese edge on the Japanese was almost 2:1. My worry was that the Chinese would get too big before I could cut them down to size. Then I realized that Japan and China had nuked each other, with Japan getting the brunt of it. Neither one had any nukes left, whereas I had five. Hmm. That was one way to take a Chinese city, shrink to fit, and keep it. I nuked the hell out of them, and by 1842, controlled a series of small cities along the coast. Interestingly, I don't think either country had SDI... yet.

          I used my basic modern strategy: build lots of armies, and fight only with them whenever possible. This allowed me to win consistently despite being dominant militarily only at the end. The Chinese failed to successfully invade the Russian continent, and had only one highlight - they built one nuke, and leveled Niagara Falls. Of note is the fact that the AI tends not to build the expensive ICBM while at war, so you should feel pretty safe in this regard.

          SDI eventually became a reality for China and Japan, to my military advisor's consternation. I slowly conquered all of China, regaining what I would lose to culture flips. Then, in 1898, with China on the ropes, Japan wisely attacked me first. I took the cities they had behind my Chinese holdings, planted a few settlers, and prepared to wipe them out. But finally my measly cultural borders expanded enough for a win in 1920.

          So... the conquest of this second continent was steady, slow, uncreative, and very ugly. Culture flipping isn't a problem as long as you keep units outside the cities, which was easy at this stage of the game. (In my Russian campaign, speed saved the day vis-a-vis culture.) The AI does tend to shoot off all its nukes in one wad, which is worth remembering, should you not be the recipient.

          Most importantly, from the big-picture perspective, the Aztecs went from nine cities to being a lock to win via domination in about 15 turns. That shows you how relatively easy the endgame is... about as easy as at a lower level. The key was hanging in there with those nine cities, slowly building a modern military, and manipulating the geopolitical situation to make that first war against a Big Guy not so daunting.

          It's not exactly easy, but anyone can do it, if you know what I mean.


          • #6
            Victory conditions?

            Was this Domination only?
            "It might be a good idea." -- Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western Civilization.


            • #7
              nice reading, and congrats for that impressive win
              btw: did you ever get your GA (there is no mentioning of it)
              Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing?
              Then why call him God? - Epicurus


              • #8
                Jkelly, the victory conditions included everything except space race and diplomacy. In my next deity game, all conditions will be on.

                Alva848, I got my GA when the Japanese attacked me in the middle ages. At this point, I was able to use it to maximize infrastructure in my solidly established nine cities. It could be argued that I might have been better off saving it for the invasion of Russia... but then again, I didn't need it at that point, and the midgame GA probably boosted my overall population in the long run. I think the bottom line is that... it wasn't much of a factor.


                • #9
                  Victory Conditions

                  Hm. Maybe I would have more interesting Deity-level games by adjusting the conditions. I seem to repeatedly keep struggling along until the endgame and losing the space race. I'll be interested in reading about how your Deity games go on the tighter timeline.
                  "It might be a good idea." -- Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western Civilization.


                  • #10
                    I like the idea of SS turned off on Deity. It seems fair to give the AI a realistic shot at killing you in the early going. Then, if you can hang on despite the handicaps until you catch up in research (because research is over, not because you ever can match the Deity AI speed) you get a reasonable chance to beat them militarily despite always being relatively small. A good, exciting game from start to finish. And I imagine there is a feeling of accomplishment, since it probably takes at least 40 hours of hard work to get that win!! I suspect that keeping the SS turned on is going to take some fun out of games that otherwise would have proved fruitful.

                    This series of stories, starting with Deity for Beginners, has been an inspiration for those of us with borderline skills that would like to play in the big leagues but probably can't bat 200.

                    Question: Did you use the recycling blitz technique and, if not, why not??
                    Illegitimi Non Carborundum


                    • #11
                      Jshelr, I didn't use the recycling blitz because I forgot about it. But I just looked up what it was, and will definitely use it next time around. By the way, this is a good example of why these deity games are for beginners. And you're absolutely right that a game with SR turned off is very winnable for solid emperor players. (And that they take forever.)

                      In a few minutes, I'm going to post a thread about a game with SR turned on.


                      • #12
                        Question: Did you use the recycling blitz technique and, if not, why not??
                        What's that?
                        “...This means GCA won 7 battles against our units, had Horsemen retreat from 2 battles against NMs, and lost 0 battles.” --Jon Shafer 1st ISDG


                        • #13
                          It's an Aeson strat thread, back about 75 days. Basically, once you have recycling, you get shields back as well as gold for inprovements that you sell. So if you capture a big city that will be hard to hold due to culture, you are better off selling the improvements as usual, applying the shields to a settler, build a city with it the next turn, and abandon the big captured city. This allows you to hold territory and advance more easily.