PolyCast Episode 124: "Patch Your Eye Out"
Ever alert. The one-hundred-and-twenty-fourth episode of PolyCast, "Patch Your Eye Out", features regular co-hosts Daniel "DanQ" Quick, "Makahlua" and Philip "TheMeInTeam" Bellew with returning guest co-hosts Annalee "Cartimandua" Barney and "MadDjinn"; it has a runtime of 59m59s.
The summary of topics is as follows:
- 02m22s | News
Initial impressions following first playthroughs of the substantial June Civilization V patch. Starting with Social Policies, the conversation then moves onto science and technology, including Research Agreements (13m22s); Infinite City Sprawl, also known as I.C.S. (25m22s); difficulty levels (29m42s), and finally Declarations of War (34m58s).
- 44m01s | Forum Talk
What to think, and make, of CivV's starting bias for civilization placement on maps.
- 50m12s | Miscellaneous
Weighing in on the substantial examination into stock image use in Civilization V.
- Intro/Outro | Miscellaneous
A warm welcome back to a Very Important Person to the show, soundalike mishap, and setting priorities.
PolyCast is a bi-weekly audio production in an ongoing effort to give the Civ community an interactive voice on game strategy; sibling show RevCast focuses on Civilization: Revolution, ModCast on Civ modding and TurnCast on Civ multiplay.
I listened to it. MadDjinn and the others had really great insights. I learned a lot about the game which I hadn't even considered before, such as about ICS and the significance of research agreements for catching up tech. Still kinda confused with how that median works or how to manipulate that, but I found it interesting that the system itself can be controlled at all. I also thought you guys were pretty funny and entertaining. Good job with this one.
excited to hear this, though they kind of slagged on the patch last time. RAs still really confuse me and I only sign them if I have tons of gold to burn
I'll try to include more about RAs in my next LP to show what is meant by 'median shifting' and how to use them effectively.
Effectively though, always try to keep a 'high beaker cost' tech available to ensure you get a better return for the RA.
Let's say you had Compass, Theology, Civil Service, the Wheel and Mining available for research.
You have RAs coming due and you're headed to Education. The plan is to finish Theology and Civil Service, then Education.
Deciding to grab Theology first, you can 'shift button' select Civil Service as the next tech. (and Education to be safe if you had multiple RAs finishing at the same time)
An RA finishes, so you're getting 50% of the beaker value from the median beaker cost tech. In this case, Compass is the most expensive, with Mining the least expensive. Theology and Civil Service have the same costs, but the wheel is cheaper and removes one of them. So you end up with 50% of the cost for, let's say, Civil Service. (random aside, it may be less than Theology at this point since the AI goes there first)
The next RA is a bit tricky, as you've now (likely) completed Theology. So the middle two techs would be Civil Service and the Wheel. If an RA came due here, you'd get 50% of the value of (Civil Service + the Wheel)/2. Which is much less than the previous one. So while tech blocking isn't important, ensuring you have the right 'median' is important. You can get in trouble if you don't manage the median well before the RAs come due. It would have been better to get 3 RAs (150% of Civil Service in one shot) signed on the same turn to complete Theology + Civil Service and then open Education for the next few RAs.
Conversely, had you cleared mining up, and had Metal Casting open instead (with the Wheel still there) :
Depending on the timing, you could have either cleared from Mining->Iron Working/Construction to open Metal Casting (same costs as Civil Service) or opened the Wheel to have Horseback Riding and Mathematics available. (less than Civil Service, but 'more' than the average of the Wheel and Civil Service) With the latter, trying to clear HBR out of the list is good, though finishing Mathematics opens Currency, which is a higher beaker value.
First RA has a split between Theology/Civil Service/Metal Casting. (all same beaker costs) The next one splits between Civil Service and Metal Casting. Finally, once you have Compass, Education, Metal Casting and the Wheel open, all RAs would give 1/2 of (Compass + Metal Casting) /2 = ~350 beakers (more than 50% of Metal Casting) as Education is a higher beaker value than Compass and you ended up with four open technologies.
Clear Education and you're back to Compass, the Wheel and Metal Casting. So the next RA would drop in value again (50% of Metal Casting) until Compass or Metal Casting is completed. (for this example Compass should be completed next since it'll open Astronomy vs. opening Steel) At this point you can assume the Porcelain Tower (Engineer Rushed as soon as you hit Education) and now get 75% of the beaker value of the median tech.
Finish Compass, Bulb Astronomy with the free GS from the PT and now Navigation is the 'high beaker value' tech. Take the Rationalism opener (if you didn't go Piety) and you get 100% of the median beaker value technology. That is, if you select the 'median' technology when the RA comes due, you'll get a free tech. This is an easy way to RA spam up through Gun Powder. If you need to 'shift' the median again, to get 100% of Metallurgy or Chemistry, then a GS bulb of Navigation opens Archaeology as the new high beaker tech. Finishing Acoustics and Economics also open Scientific Theory.
If you also had Chemistry finished, you'd have three 'late Renaissance' techs open (Archaeology, Scientific Theory and Military Science) to go with Metallurgy. Meaning you'll get 100% of one of those with each RA. This effectively gives you 2 free 'top beaker' techs with the RAs. If you chose Military Science and Scientific Theory, that opens Steam Power as the new high tech. To get to Artillery, a few RAs getting 100% out of Archaeology or Biology, will speed you through to Artillery.
GSs should be used to open technologies where there's multiple branches leading out from it to ensure that the median keeps moving in an 'upwards' direction. (Gun Powder, Steam Power, etc) There are points in the tech tree where you'll get 'more' beakers by using a GS early, than by saving it until later. There are definitely points where you can get 100% of a 'top' beaker value tech, which can be used to clear an entire line of low beaker techs to ensure you 'catch up'.
That we were able to inform as well as entertain is most ; thank you for your kind feedback.
Originally Posted by SlickSlicer
Originally Posted by bronzeager
Thanks to MD for detailing and explaining the new RA mechanism in follow-up, as it is helping to lessen the confusion for me as well.
RAs still really confuse me and I only sign them if I have tons of gold to burn
By the way, does median shifting also apply when multiple RAs come due on the same turn? Or does the game use the median of the techs available at the start of the turn for all RAs?
This is a detail that'd have to be tested further. Given that the prior system could select newly opened techs for RAs (if all else as blocked) then it's possible. But given that it now just gives a set amount of beakers, maybe not.
Originally Posted by wainy
I do know than finishing the PT on the same "actual turn" as an RA doesn't increase the RA value to 75%. (similar to finishing a tech on the 'actual' turn) In theory, this is likely due to the RA being 'complete' on the AIs part of the real finish date (their part of the turn is after the players), rather than the 'actual' time you get it.