Home - Adventure Thirty-five: Mach Five - Page 1

Adventure Thirty-five: Mach Five

I didn't take a whole lot of pictures. I was more focused on getting through a playtest (this is my third) in time to open the scenario.

rb-adv35-2.jpg - 51kb

I started by going right for Bronze Working, both for chopping and to whip work boats. My first worker action was actually to farm a wines, before BW finished. I think this is the right move early, creating a nicely balanced 2-2-2 tile in Golden Age, and I'm curious to see whether other players think of it and agree. And Paris' second build was also a worker. Nothing else to build - a warrior would complete too quick and still leave me with nothing to do until Fishing. Barracks or scouting warriors are the usual, but both unnecessary here.

It occurred to me that Slavery actually seems nerfed considerably in this game. With extra production from most tiles, whipping carries a greater opportunity cost. And with the game running "fast", an anger penalty of constant turns is harsher than usual. I guess a Golden Age works better when people aren't victims of enslavement. :) I whipped extensively at the capital, since that was the only way to leverage the seafood masses into strong production values, but hardly ever whipped anywhere else.

Presently I started dotmapping, and it took me an hour. I did not plan this while tweaking the map, but I really outdid myself on creating city site tradeoffs.

dotmap.jpg - 80kb

Here's an analysis. Start with sites A1-A2, which are a very simple tradeoff between pulling in more water or getting a river city for the health and later levee. Sites C and D follow pretty naturally to hold resources and pull in as much water as possible. S is certainly weak, and wastes the silver, but is the only way to get any of that water up there, since building eastwards would clash with one of the R sites.

But now we get deluged in conflicting priorities. The site I most want to build is R, which neatly redeems every land tile west of Paris and also earns river access. But it has two serious flaws: it's not coastal (no Great Lighthouse boost or harbor), and it leaves that northernmost fish eternally unused. R2 redeems the fish and coastal access, but loses the river and two land tiles. R1a and R1b can be built in tandem for the best of both worlds, but the cities are _seriously_ cramped for space against all the other cities. (If R1b is built, R1a claims no more than 7 available tiles. And R1b loses three marine tiles to ice.)

Over east of Paris, we of course have the stone/marble tradeoff that I intentionally set up. I feel that Marble is probably stronger overall, unless you want the Pyramids. I've decided to skip them for this run at least (going max cottages), so have chosen the marble instead. Problem is all the X tiles, which go to waste by settling M. I want to settle on one of the Ys to claim the X tiles, but can't because that's within two spaces of M!

The only way to redeem the X's is to eat another inland city, probably on the southermost X, leaving open both Z and O3. But once again that leaves everybody crammed together like proverbial sardines.

By the southeast Oasis, O1/O2/O3 is another set of tradeoffs. The big strong single site is O1, neatly fitting with everything else, being at the magic distance 4x3 from both Paris and M and 5x0 from D. But that leaves me unable to claim any extra ocean at O3 and Z. O3 plus Z gets the most water, but sacrifices most of the X tiles unless I mash in a dedicated X city. O2 is the opposite of a compromise, blocking everything else good in the area.

Finally I decided that the only power is Max Power. Ocean tiles are absolutely worth claiming in perma-Golden Age, and claiming max ocean was also the key to the strongest showing in the Civ 3 version of this game. Also, the more cities I fit, the more I benefit from per-city boons like the Hanging Gardens and Salon. The last kicker is Sid's Sushi, which will most definitely be a whopper here - more cities means more bonus Sushi food.

dotmap2.jpg - 60kb

So this is the plan. Next question is which sites come first? Sheesh, I can't stop trading off here. The two strongest sites are R and X, with ample food and hammer resources -- but both miss out on Great Lighthouse routes. Well, here's the plan: settle both R and X first, then build the Great Lighthouse, then fill in all the coastal cities.

Anyway, back to playing.

I double-whipped the first settler, overflowing onto the second (ha, the whip took Paris to 18/17 food in the box, and it grew even while building a settler!), and also squeezed in a double-whipped Creative library before overflowing onto the Great Lighthouse.

And the Oracle falls in 1660 BC. That's pretty quick... am I too late on the Great Lighthouse? Nope, got it.

great-lighthouse.jpg - 63kb

With the eternal Golden Age, I noticed that the dynamic of tile selection was drastically different than usual. Forests are now splendid. 2-1-0 grassland forests (or farmed plains) are pretty marginal: that citizen can produce more hammers by being whipped and regrown. But 2-2-0 Golden Age forests are doubly productive and very good, and 2-2-2 farmed river plains are stellar. Even plains forest at 1-3-0 is worthwhile. I found myself focusing my workers on roading to the new city sites, ahead of actually improving tiles.

The Great Lighthouse delivered me a Merchant only 17 turns later. Hmm, another thing that's nerfed at high speed is the productivity of a settled Great Person. Fewer turns in the game means less payoff from settling. Actually, a browse of the tech preferences list revealed that I was only Code of Laws away from bulbing Civil Service.

merchant-civil.jpg - 11kb

Speaking of the Great Lighthouse, I noticed it wasn't quite as powerful as I'd thought. There weren't enough rival cities: the GL was only creating domestic routes. Post Currency, cities already have two foreign routes per city, using up most of the available slots. And I couldn't establish any overseas city of my own to sneak in the "intercontinental trade" domestic bonus.

I got the Colossus, but at the simultaneous cost of several other wonders.

wonders.gif - 39kb

The AI built the Great Library! In 640 BC!! Holy crap, I love it!

280bc.jpg - 131kb

So here's my happy island, now fully settled. Looks like it wasn't even possible to crash below 40% research, so expanding at max rate was probably the right thing to do.

Here's the tech log so far, with a few comments.

Mining finished end of turn 3.
Bronze Working turn 10.
Fishing turn 13, with a chop timed right on the work boat.
Pottery turn 16. Whipped work boat #2 on turn 18, overflowing into the granary, which finished with two chops on turn 20.
Sailing turn 22. Chopped work boat #3 on turn 24 and double-whipped lighthouse on turn 26, overflowed onto a police warrior.
AH turn 25.
Chopped work boat #4 to sail out for contact on turn 28.
Writing turn 29.
Mysticism turn 31
Masonry turn 33
Polytheism T36
Monotheism T38 (beelining Monarchy)
Monarchy T45
Alphabet T49 (needed to see rival research, to time the Colossus, Great Library, Hanging Gardens)
Metal Casting T54 (Had to get to Colossus now. Asoka had Metal Casting, I think via Oracle.)
Mathematics T57 (but Asoka beat me and snatched the Hanging Gardens.)
Currency T61 (fix an economy dipping below 50% research)
Code of Laws T63
Civil Service T64 (lightbulbed)
Iron Working T65
Calendar T67

Index | Next