Without further ado, here's what everybody wants to see.
|Cristo Redentor||Eiffel Tower||Globe Theatre||Great Library||Great Lighthouse||Hagia Sophia||Hanging Gardens||Heroic Epic||Kremlin||Notre Dame||Oracle||Oxford University||Pentagon||Pyramids||Sistine Chapel||Statue of Liberty||Stonehenge||Temple of Artemis||West Point|
|Statue of Liberty||1||4||2||1||1||1||2||2||1|
|Temple of Artemis||1|
|Great Library||Oxford University||10|
|Statue of Liberty||Eiffel Tower||4|
|Great Library||Cristo Redentor||2|
|Great Library||Statue of Liberty||2|
|Great Lighthouse||Great Library||2|
|Pyramids||Statue of Liberty||2|
|Sistine Chapel||Statue of Liberty||2|
|Great Library||Eiffel Tower||1|
|Great Library||Globe Theatre||1|
|Great Lighthouse||Oxford University||1|
|Hagia Sophia||Cristo Redentor||1|
|Hagia Sophia||Eiffel Tower||1|
|Hagia Sophia||Oxford University||1|
|Hanging Gardens||Globe Theatre||1|
|Hanging Gardens||Statue of Liberty||1|
|Heroic Epic||Globe Theatre||1|
|Heroic Epic||Oxford University||1|
|Oxford University||Statue of Liberty||1|
|Sistine Chapel||Eiffel Tower||1|
|Statue of Liberty||Cristo Redentor||1|
|Statue of Liberty||Kremlin||1|
|Temple of Artemis||Great Library||1|
|West Point||Statue of Liberty||1|
|Statue of Liberty||15|
|Temple of Artemis||1|
My baby, the Kremlin, wasn't so popular. Only 7 of 63 players picked it, none pairing it with my Oxford.
The #1 choice by a mile was the Great Library. I didn't expect it to be that popular. It is strong, but it's really not that hard to build normally. Perhaps my Great Person rule to nerf an early Academy actually had the opposite effect. If an Academy can't be had by the first GP, then the answer is to generate the second one ASAP, and the GL is the route to that.
Then we had an amazing three-way tie! Oxford University, Pyramids, and Statue of Liberty. The Pyramids is quite understandable. On Immortal it is often out of reach conventionally, so simply using the Muse as a 500-hammer shortcut is fine. The Statue is also big, but requires Representation to really shine. Surprisingly, only 2 of the 15 Statue players paired it with the Pyramids. I guess the rest intend to build the Pyramids conventionally.
Oxford University I think is a better choice than the Great Library, but apparently players disagree. Let me enumerate some reasons why.
- The Great Library comes much earlier than Oxford, and you can simply build it conventionally. The other way around is also possible, but Oxford takes considerably longer, including the 6 universities.
- Oxford is simply stronger from turn 1, producing more beakers. And it continues to increase in power throughout the game as the capital grows. The Great Library's power is static, just the two scientists. The GL may get ahead for a short time with Representation and settled scientists, but Oxford will catch up soon with cottages and trade routes.
- Big Great Scientist points from turn 1 are powerful, but also not much of a loss as compared to conventionally building the GL. Because Great Person costs escalate, you don't really get more GP by having the Great Library from turn 1, you just get them sooner. You can build the GL around turn 100 conventionally, which adds up to only 600 extra GPP before then, which diminishes to less than one extra GP by the medieval age.
- Besides abstract analysis, Oxford is also stronger in the concrete. For this particular Carthage on this particular map, Oxford makes out quite well. We have three Financial commerce tiles in use early (clams/oasis), which give Oxford a bigger baseline to multiply but don't help the Great Library.
Of course, you can simply have both cakes by picking both Oxford and the Library. You get all the benefits of both, and icing where they multiply with each other. Many players did, making it the top combination overall. Great Library/Pyramids was second. These approaches I think might actually overdo research and overfocus on a space race. Early research speed doesn't correlate so well with time to space. Bigger empire size and population is more important in the long run, which includes either more corporate resources or making strong use of State Property.
Research is important, but you also need production and growth expansion to make use of it, which is why I think the Kremlin is so essential. Sullla has commented on several of our multiplayer games that early GNP is overrated while early food and production are the real tells. No wonder provides food and very few provide production, with the Kremlin's indirect production being the biggest producer. Kremwhipping settlers or offensive military I think is the strongest route to a big empire and a fast victory.
Popular combo #3 was one I never thought of: Statue of Liberty/Eiffel Tower. That's a mega Creative trait, turning the Statue specialist into an artist for 6 culture. Neat interaction, though I'm not sure it's fastest to any of the win conditions. If it's good for culture, that'll be the +50% and Artist GPP, not the artist culture itself. Two players used Statue also for faux-Creative with Sistine Chapel, which is an interesting angle, getting Creativesque culture while employing a better specialist than an artist.
After those three combos, the field was very diverse, with no other combo being picked more than twice. I would've bet Statue of Liberty + Pyramids to be popular, but only two players went for it.
Only a few players took a militaristic approach. Only two players picked my militaristic combo of West Point/Pentagon, with a few other hybrid approaches in Heroic Epic/Oxford, Heroic/Globe, Pentagon/Great Library, and West Point/Statue of Liberty. I was hoping that fighting would be more attractive, but perhaps Immortal is too high for that. Or maybe if you want to conquer, it's just better to do it by powering research to an appropriate flashpoint like Steel or Rifling.
Writing now after the fact, Kremlin/Globe Theatre may be worth another thought. This Carthage can make +15 food at size 5, with a lighthouse and the flood plain farmed. It can grow every single turn with a granary. That means you can average a whip every turn. This wonder combo adds +15 hammers/turn! Plus you get to whip (good food:hammer conversion ratio) 5 times as often as usual! I didn't properly think about this combo originally, but it might be the most powerful out there. (Add Heroic Epic, Bureaucracy, and a forge: 123 hammers per whip!?)
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