Brett's Games


Turns Out,
I'm Not That Good

Civilization IV (CIV 4)
Beyond The Sword

Game Saves & Log Files

In Game Notes

The Start Includes Two Gems, Two Rivers, Lots of Grassland, and a Few Hills, this is a very nice start, this is for Civilization IV, Civ 4, Beyond The Sword

Fresh Install of Civ 4 BTS
BTS Patch 3.19
K-Mod 1.46


Please see the In Game Notes ( 033-KMOD-GANDHI.txt) for an overview of the Settings.

Also, let me just say, this is a fairly nice Start and although I suck and it took me Ten Tries to Win on This Map, there were another Eleven Tries on Different Maps (using a variety of Leaders and Settings), but this was the best, most luscious Start out of all of them... and I did no end of Map Regenerations in order to secure a lush Starting Position.

On the other hand, I lost nine times on This Map... or at least, thought I could do better; and so, reloaded. Meaning, it's not a gimme. There are challenges.

Strategies & Spoilers

So don't read beyond this point, if you don't want to know.

Just the Word MEGALOPOLIS and nothing more

Just the Word MEGALOPOLIS and nothing more

Just the Word MEGALOPOLIS and nothing more

Eh, with a Lead-In like that, I probably need to take a Screen Shot of my Capital at The End.

A Population 23 City with nearly everything Farmed and only 3 Specialists

In anticipation of a Specialist Economy, I turned almost every Tile into a Farm. But as long as I could grow my Cities, I let them, which sort of prevented the Specialist Economy from ever getting under-way.

On the other hand, had I ever Researched Biology (with it's +1 Food per Farm), my Population would have skyrocketed. So as a Late Game Strategy, Farms are definitely viable.

Also, since I ran Serfdom, my Farms got +1 Commerce. So, it really wasn't a bad play.

All the same, I never really ran very many Specialists. So, Gandhi's Philosophical Trait (+100% Great People Points) was never utilized.

Though really, I like to believe my Core Cities would have turned into Real Power Houses had The Game lasted long enough.

Thus, I go back and forth... and forth and back... endlessly.

The Game

There is no combat until T500, which is when Shaka fell, and from T550 onward, it is all green, this is a combat graph, wins versus losses for Civilization IV (civ 4) BTS K-mod

The above graph tells the entire story of This Game. I struggled to stay alive for the first 500 Turns, basically hoping no one would Attack.

But then, I got strong.

T500 (or so) is when I Attacked Shaka and forced The Zulu Nation to Capitulate.

T550 (or so) is when I brought Cannons online. And the rest was history. First, I Destroyed The Ottoman Empire (my same continent neighbours), eating them whole. And then, turned my sights on Napoleon.

Read the In Game Report, if interested. But there was no point in continuing when I quit (there not being much fun in playing-out a foregone conclusion), as switching all of my Cities to Cannons and Rifles would Decimate The World.

Anyway, the graph (above) is all green, which means I won almost every combat in which I engaged... which is why I waited until Cannons to launch my Attack.

By my count, I was involved in 249 Combats of which I lost only 19. On the Field of Battle, things were completely one-sided.

Sea Net

The image shows my defensive Naval Position, which is described in the text below, so I shall not duplicate the effort, here

The City of Moai (currently building Notre Dame) marks the Land Bridge between India (me) and Shaka (Zulu) and Mr Oranje (Netherlands).

As I've said, I played This Map ten times. And the majority of those times I lost due to War... Wars I did not want. So, part of my strategy in The Final Game, was to set up a Defensive Naval Position, which I nicknamed Sea Net.

The Orange Arrows denote Mr Oranje's only (Pre-Astronomy) paths to my lands.

The Yellow Arrows denote Shaka's only (once again, Pre-Astronomy) paths to my lands.

So, I built a small Stack of Triremes (and later, Caravels and Galleons) to Defend this narrow expanse of water.

Shaka was lucky, in that his Capital exerted enough Cultural Control, so he could Cross the Ocean with Galleys. Thus, he could Attack me in the Early Game. But I could not return the favour.

Previously, I've related how I did most of my fighting with Cannons. Well, I took Shaka out with Trebuchets. Circled in Purple is my Stack of 3 Galleons, carrying 12 Units. Those Galleons immediately returned to Maoi and picked up those additional Units Stacked to the Left (of Maoi).

In the meantime, Shaka had 4 pitiful Units in his Capital.

In due course, Shaka lost his Capital, lost his Stack trying to retake it (well, actually, he just brought his stack in range and I cut it down to size), and subsequently Capitulated.

It was a very satisfying War.

Though, the purpose of this graphic is to show how a dozen or so (give or take: a few more, a few less, who knows) Units protected My Empire from both Shaka and Mr Oranje.

Also please note, at this point in the game, the vast majority of my Naval Units came from Maoi. Producing Naval Units was it's principal purpose.

K-MOD Critique

So Tell Me Again? What's Different?

I intend to use The K-MOD in my next game. But to be honest, I could not see much of a difference between it and standard BTS... or BTS with The Bug Mod, at least.

Combat As Weak As Ever
Though Gilgy was down to a single City, Shaka was unable to conquer him. Hey, maybe, that's an indication of good defence. But it looked more like crappy offence.

In both of my Offences against The Silly Man and Nappy, once their main Stack was destroyed, they offered no resistance. As a Civilization is going down, I would expect it to produce nothing but Troops and to use those Troops effectively. Granted, I tend to only fight Wars were I am going to win... no question, hands down. But the Counter Attack in both instances was non-existent.

I did see more indecisiveness on the part of the AI. Shaka vacillated between Attacking Gilgy and Me, moving his Stack hither and thon... and was smart enough to know he could not Defeat either. But he was careless enough to move his Stack next to my Garrison, allowing me to Attack from the safety of a City. And then, The Next Turn, rather than retreating, he decided to Heal in Place, which allowed me to finish the job of obliterating his Stack.

More or less the same thing happened with Wang Kon. He Declared War on Mr Oranje sending over a small Stack via two Galleons, thought better of it, only to be Invaded by Mr Oranje's superior and more numerous forces.

So if the Combat AI has been upgraded, it's far from clear what those upgrades are.

The Culture War
As The Game Ends, some of my Cities (with No Shared Borders) are under the Cultural Influence of Other Civilizations by upwards of 10% from Trade.

They have Trade Routes. The Trade Routes exert a Cultural Influence.

It's a nice touch, a nice detail. But as far as I can see it is to no effect.

Further, I can't say that I believe my Trade Routes are given the same weight. Like I said, some of my Coastal Cities are very cosmopolitan (under the influence of Foreign Civilizations by upwards of 10%). But the corresponding Cities in other Civilizations are not taking the same hit.

{I've come to conclude there were two reasons for this. First, having constructed The Great Lighthouse, I had more Trade Routes than everyone else. So, I had more incoming Culture. Second, I was comparing my Cities to those of Mr Oranje. But at +2 Culture per Turn, he simply puts out more Culture than me: i.e. his Cities could be expected to have more Native Culture.}

Then again, the effect was essentially non-existent. So, it really doesn't matter.

That said, one of the things I noted (and liked) in the K-MOD Feature List was an upgraded Culture System. But once again, I am not seeing the effect.

I Captured the Zulu Capital of Ulundi well over 100 Turns ago and am presently pumping out +10 Culture per Turn from Buildings. But Sea Tiles that are unreachable by other Zulu Cities remain 84% Zulu.

So, things might have been tweaked under the hood. But I'm not seeing the difference.

Wish List
I am inclined to say that I would like the AI to have a Dynamic Strategy and Build against Builder and War against Warrior. But that really won't work, as it allows the Human to control the AI's reaction. Or more on point, the best way to defeat a Builder is often War (I'm not as convinced the converse it true). So really, what the AI needs to do is fight better. But that's not always fun.

So instead, I would advocate that the AI try to win... always. And as a Civilization (Human or otherwise) breaks away, the other Civilizations gang up on it... unless they are best served by Co-Opting The Victory (whatever that means).

So, as one gains Power, the rest of the world should hate them more and be far more likely to engage in pre-emptive Wars... except for those Civilizations which would benefit from a Joint Victory: i.e. by becoming Vassals or from forming Permanent Alliances.

For instance, in this last game, Mr Oranje's would have been better served by joining the War on Nappy's side, because if Nappy loses, so does Mr Oranje.

Hopefully, a Battle of The Techers (using the K-MOD) is next. But as I have yet to choose a Map, one never really knows.