In Game Notes 016-cho-ko-nuts-notes.txt
Rather than repeating my pre-game strategy and analysis, I will refer you to my notes.
Log File 016-cho-ko-nuts-logfile.txt
A tediously boring computer generated play-by-play that I cannot see as being of any interest to anybody unless you have developed some tool for parsing such things and want to recreate my game for research purposes or the like.
The Starting Situation
Seafood is not my favourite. But at five food, I'll take it.
Qin Shi Huang of China
So, Four Opponents
Landmass: 30% Water
No Technology Brokering
No Tribal Villages
No Random Events
Beyond the Sword 3.19
BUG Mod 4.5 [Build 2221]
BULL 1.4 [Build 243]
BAT Mod 4.1
1: I can reroll the map as many times as I want.
2: No restarts or mulligans for any reason... except if I accidentally hit the end turn button, when I mean to found a City.
For all other pre-game planning, I will refer you, once again, to 016-cho-ko-nuts-notes.txt. I trust one will stop reading at the appropriate place if one wishes to preserve the mystery.
Suffice to say, after Holy Cow (a Huge Rainforest Map), I was sick and tired of micro-managing my empire and wanted to try my hand at a much smaller kingdom.
Strategies & Spoilers
So don't read beyond this point, if you don't want to know.
My special unit this game was the Cho-Ko-Nut (actual spelling, Cho-Ko-Nu). It requires Machinery. So, I researched that. And then (and only then) I discovered that I, also, needed a source of Iron in order to construct (my much beloved) Cho-Ko-Nuts. So, I researched Iron Working and took note of the map.
I had two viable options for Iron. One close in (above left), already crowded by other cities. And another twenty tiles away (above right), which seemed like a much better city location.
I opted to take the close in location, settling Iron c'Ore, which by the end of the game had a top end City Size of three and could build a Cho-Ko-Nut every eight turns. Had I allowed Iron c'Ore to work the Wheat (I did not), I would have had a top end population of (around) six and be able to pump out a Cho-Ko-Nut every five turns (these numbers coming from an End of Game Golden Age), as this is what the Barbarian founded city of Kassite (also known as the Far Away Iron Source) was capable of with its Wheat and Iron.
Anyhow, at the time (40AD), it seemed like a choice between settling a crappy city for Iron now or settling a much better site for Iron down the way. Well, since I would have encountered (and eventually did encounter) Barbarians at the second site farther away, building close in was the way to go.
I doubt I will think about this much in future games. The only real choice I had (and thus, the choice I took) was to take my lumps and found a crappy city in order to secure Iron.
Of course, what I should have done (and will do next game when I play the Romans) is beeline Iron Working and settle my second or third city to gain access to Iron, while at the same time, researching Machinery so I can build Cho-Ko-Nuts... that Machinery part not applying to the Romans, as their special unit is the dreaded Praetorian.
And yeah, I just checked again, the Praetorians only require Iron. And having access to an early unit of such power (some say, over-powered) is the major reason why I will be playing Augustus Caesar, next game.
And during that next game (since I will be playing a similar map, using the same Map Script), I anticipate delaying the settlement of my second (or third) city until I know where the Iron is.
And from there, it shall be Praetorian Rush-Rush, Baby!
Now vs Then
GNP vs Power
At 750AD, the Chinese Empire dominates in Commerce (left graph, China in red-purple). And with No Tech Brokering (and only a handful of opponents), this means China will be able to out-tech its competitors. Thus, to win, all China has to do is stay alive... which might not be all that easy as it is tied for last on the Power Graph (to the right).
At 1400AD, the computer finally concedes that China's Power (right graph) has overtaken that of the Aztecs. And thus, by dominating both Commerce and Power, China has the game in the bag.
Conceptually, the reason I included these graph sets is to highlight my overall game strategy: early weakness for late game advantage. I very much depend upon the AI's resistance (and/or unwillingness) to go on the offensive.
Workers at the Front
Of course, the Power Graphs are not all that indicative of Power. The above screenshot is taken (more or less) when my (China's) Power first exceeds Montezuma's. But his capitol has just fallen, so the situation is far from equal. China is way ahead.
Also note, I have a nice stack of workers (six workers, total) building roadways and working on infrastructure, fairly close to the fighting. The roads aid the war effort, allowing faster troop movement. But it's also an indication of how far ahead I am. I really don't care if I lose a stack of workers, anymore. The game is over. And from here on out, it will be clean-up: convincing the computer that I have won.
Montezuma eliminated Isabella from the game, early on. So, the remaining four Civilizations all had plenty of land; so much so, Barbarians played a major role in this game... or if not major, they were there until the end.
Thus, I have some observations about this particular map (and/or these generalized map settings) and how I imagine tripling the number of opponents (while playing on a similar map) will effect my next game.
There was an over-abundance of land.
Next game, I expect an over-crowding.
So more and earlier wars.
I, also, expect fewer (if any) Barbarian Cities.
Wonders were easier to get, as there was little competition.
More competitors will mean more competition for religions and key wonders.
But I still expect to be the tech leader.
No Tech Brokering is, certainly, an advantage for me.
So, I will allow regular Technology Trading next game and expect more tech parity.
I liked the Marathon Game Setting.
I will be using it again.
It subtly tilts the importance of units, as they move three times faster (in comparison to normal speed) .
Marathon Game Speed is, also, not any slower to play.
I just have to hit the End of Turn button more often.
City Maintenance can be handled every third to fifth turn.
The following are not map specific, so I'll organize them in a separate listing.
I very much enjoyed not utilizing Slavery or Nationalism.
Without the need to Whip or Draft, I could limit my City Screen Management.
As such, the game was very much quicker to play.
I continue to enjoy having Civilizations Peace Vassal to me.
I want to continue this trend.
If one does not have a State Religion, every Religion in a City provides +1 Culture.
This is good to know.
Finally, and most importantly (is this the most important thing) by playing on a smaller map, the game did not crash a single time. That was nice. Usually, towards the end, when there are hundreds upon hundreds of units, the game crashes every five turns or so. And I wind up saving the game a dozen times per turn (as a protective measure, after I complete this task or that). And not having to bother with any of that was a delight.