At Line 532 in the above Notes, I start a rather extensive Cost Benefit Analysis of Whipping, Wonders, and The Monk Economy.
Of course, I no longer agree with parts of that analysis. But hey, it's there.
Standard World Size
Medium Sea Level
Ancient Starting Era
No Random Events
Six Rival Civilizations
Beyond the Sword 3.19
BUG Mod 4.5 [Build 2221]
BULL 1.4 [Build 243]
BAT Mod 4.1
Rather than starting on a Worker, I will build a Quechua or two and go harass somebody.
When in doubt, build Military Units.
I believe my final adversaries will be on another continent.
I will need to out-tech them.
Assuming I live this long, I anticipate they will only add insult to injury to my opponents.
In the end, we shall see. Maybe, I am not as good as I believe. Or maybe, I was not prepared for the possibility of an (almost) Isolated Start last time.
Strategies & Spoilers
So don't read beyond this point, if you don't want to know.
But are you sure?
Judging by the position of the flag (presumably, in the back of the vessel), the Transport is headed away from my City (the red line shows the possible angle of attack if I am wrong), so I shall let it pass in peace.
Next turn, the Transport ended its movement (the sailors on shore leave, presumably) in Magyar pBarb (a previously Barbarian City).
So, flags have nothing to do with direction. And even at this level of enlargement (in the picture above), the front and back of the Transport are hard to tell apart. But since I have been watching it, I know it is moving away. And I will pretend I can tell a Transport's front from its back (and therefore, its direction of travel), from now on.
This (on the other hand) looks like an attack (four Transports and four Destroyers, total, in three stacks). I will not wait to see if Cyrus has good intentions. His past actions have proved his bad nature to me. I will try to destroy as many Transports enroute, as possible.
In case you are curious, only one Destroyer and one Transport survived my initial onslaught. I got lucky and suffered no casualties. The next turn, his surviving vessels were destroyed. And for whatever reason, Cyrus declined to land his troops in the interim.
It's not so much the 20 Units. I might have been able to weather them. It is knowing that Cyrus would declare. Also, those Battleships would have shredded my Destroyers.
Anyhow, it is at this point that I declared (in my mind, at least) Yara of Ethiopia the Winner.
The Cultural Defeat
As it weren't no Victory.
I will likely go for a Cultural Victory again. The Conquest and Domination Victories yield more points (as one has more Cities and Land after a successful war). But in a losing situation (or a situation in which I am losing), a Cultural Victory may become viable.
Here are a few thoughts:
Caste System is indispensable.
Artists Specialists will win the day.
As such, Farms are more important for the Cultural Cities than anything else.
More Food equals more Artists.
The National Park is stronger than I would have thought.
Only developing the Tiles I needed, I had plenty of Forests in my capital.
Each one of those Forests became a Specialist with The National Park.
And maybe I did not learn that much, as the final pearl of wisdom I wish to make note of is that using [alt]+left-mouse-click in the Building Queue repeats the selected item indefinitely: something that I found easier than scrolling down and hitting the same item over and over again.
You know you want to see them.
Perhaps, just by looking at this graph, one can tell that I did not win... or was not the front runner. Rather than being exponential (like every other Population Graph I have ever published), this one is linear.
The reason for this is simple enough, I started on an isolated island. And once I built that out, that was it. At the time of Optics and Contact, everyone else was stronger than I was. As such, War was not an option. And in such a situation, what's a War Monger to do?
At around T580, I turned Culture on to maintain Happiness... and because I was going for a Cultural Victory. But then, the reason I was going to get slammed by Caesar's invasion was because ever since that point, my Research was flat. And as such, my Troops were slowly getting outdated.
Fighting defensively was fun... as long as I was winning. But I have no need for the slow Death March to Defeat. The truth is that if I knew that final attack from Rome was coming, I would have voted for Ethiopia's Diplomatic Victory the Turn before.
Max Combats in a Turn: 18
Civilizations Dominated: 0
Great Generals: 4
I lost about half of all combats. It's not an enviable record. One mistake (that I may have made more than once this game) was smashing my inferior units against a superior stack. I mean, it seemed like it might be a good way to kill their Units. Sadly, it wasn't. I ran out of troops. But more importantly (I am convinced), it provided false-evidence to the AI that it was winning the War. When, no. I had merely thrown my outdated troops against an opponent rather than deleting them wholesale. Next time, I shall delete them wholesale.
More! Better! Harder!
The game I have been discussing thus far has been the sixth game that I played on this map (zero indexed counting, I do).
I got creamed every time. So, you know, cheaters never prosper.
Anyhow, in trying to compare my games, I came up with the following graphs. The first two versions (they are all of the same thing) will likely be long-term rejects. I like the last two.
The graph on the left shows the turn by turn Research Rate for the first and last games on this map divided by the highest amount (on that turn) in either game. It's a needlessly complicated graph and I doubt I will ever post one like it again. It's main grace (keeping in mind that it has no saving grace) is that it is fairly easy to see by the sloping downward lines, which game is doing worse.
In the graph to the right, I simply divided the Research Rate for Game 00 by the Research Rate for Game 05. But it's still too noisy.
Here's the second graph smoothed (the Beaker Rate for each Turn is found by averaging the Beaker Rate over 100 Turns), so it's actually decipherable. Wherever the black line is above the red line (equality), I did better at Researching in the second game. And every Turn the black line is below the red line, I Researched better the first game.
I would have guessed that I did a better job the second game... and in many ways I did. But the first game started off better and ended better.
I think the reason the first game was slightly better at the start was because I grew the capitol faster (not building any Workers or Settlers). So, I got quick gains.
And at the end, the first game was, also, better because for whatever reason (these things are hard to tease out) my Research became static in the later attempt.
Of course, in comparing the two, it is probably important to realize that I got obliterated in the first game, as I had no troops. In the later attempt, I may have been able to limp on until the bitter end without being conquered. But I doubt there is much chance I would have won... despite my optimism I continually express in my notes.
And that's all a bit hazy. So, why don't I make another graph?
Total Research Game One: 87,942
Total Research Game Two: 87,495
There's not much difference between either the Total Amount Researched or the curves representing how I got there.
So, I guess it does pay to graph things in more than one way.
But I think creating all those graphs is more than enough work between games for a retired dude.
So now, I'm going to try my hand at Portugal, as a War Mongerer... if the map lets me (same settings as last time), because in CIV IV (and perhaps, in most games) the trick is in breaking free of the rails.