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Adventure Forty-eight: Holiday Wishlist

This is the story of my game of Civilization IV Adventure Forty-eight from Realms Beyond Civilization.

The genesis for this idea was a little bit convoluted. About a year ago, I played a few OCCs, including the one I posted as Weekend OCC 6. I'd won consistently, pushing the difficulty up to Emperor with a narrow win. But of course, each of these OCCs involved lots of map rerolling looking for food resources. So I eventually thought, what about just going nuts and making an OCC start as lucrative as possible? Can a single city with the best possible terrain win on Immortal... nah let's pump it all the way up to Deity. And I did win that by a narrow but definite margin, about 4 techs ahead to space.

This event then came about because I happened to catch on tv Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Yes, really. The movie features a super-weapon capable of transmuting a planet's terrain and life. That connected in my head with my custom-sculpted map OCC game. In fact, the working scenario title was "The Genesis Device", until I realized it would work on theme and timing for the holiday season. And it's a small sized lightweight game, good for some quick holiday gaming, and should get better response than Joy To The World last year.

As for the scoring system, I had come up with it a while ago and kicked around a few event ideas with Sullla using it. It was a reaction to other fastest-finish games, where the right move is always maximum trading and trying to get the AIs to farm techs for you. No Tech Trading gets around that but is a really blunt hammer. What we really want is a measure of how far ahead of the AI the player gets, and counting techs came to mind as a simple way of doing that.
- Fighting to slow the AIs becomes an option, rather than speeding yourself to the exclusion of all else.
- Trading is available but requires careful consideration.
- Non-spaceship techs can figure just as prominently.

I opened up the map rules more than in my solo game, where I tried to stick to normal map behavior - no forest on most resources, most Calendar resources must be in jungle, normal resource placement like silver on tundra and so on. Not here. Let's let players go crazy and keep the rules simple. The loopholes of grass floodplains and water forest definitely needed plugging, though. I also put floodplains resources out of bounds, because otherwise it's strictly superior for every tile to be floodplains at 3 base food. That's not necessarily bad in and of itself, but the problem is the un-fun conditions - the worker speed penalty and ill health. I think the game would be more fun without that.

Speaking of un-fun, that's what also would be me creating customized saves for each player (as Adventure 45.) I decided to save myself sixty hours of Worldbuilder madness and let the players do it themselves. The cost is spoiling the map. But that's not a big deal in an OCC. And thanks to SevenSpirits for setting the precedent of a pre-revealed map in Starfall.

Sitting Bull fell in place as the leader, between the Philosophical trait (you will seriously have 30+ specialists in this city) and resourceless UU. Speaker complained in the info thread about the Protective trait, but it's there intentionally as a bit of an equalizer. Protective will help the players that need it, that don't manage to set up a huge runaway city and find themselves in war trouble. There is also the approach of an Oracle sling to Feudalism or Machinery, followed by an offensive of Drill IV longbows or crossbows thanks to his UB - will anybody try that?

I intentionally chose Isabella and Suryavarman as the player's two neighbors, as leaders that emphasize religion and have conflicting favorite civics. The player should be able to pick one of them for a strong easy buddy, but have to stay wary of the other. The map generator also threw the Zulu in randomly, but I smiled at that in thoughts of revenge for some players in Weekend OCC 6. Shaka's not too hard to befriend either, and stinks enough at teching that the player should have a big tech lead by the time he attacks, if ever.