Here’s looking at you, Sid
Adapt or die.
Sure, anybody can write a story when they win (http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread...’s-eyes-so-red), but can you do it when you are getting your butt kicked? This question applies to my current endeavor on many levels.
• How can there be anything fun or insightful to write about?
• How can I make it interesting given the eventual outcome?
• How can I keep myself interested since I play the role of victim in this story?
I will admit, that the thought of writing a tragedy, or possibly even a gothic horror, was giving me pause, but the peer pressure has become overwhelming as the requests for future installments has been growing on the forum. I am not sure Churd’s, write another story so you’ll stop posting on the forum, counts as a request, but the others do. Besides, if Shakespeare can do it, why can’t I?
I have identified a curious pattern in my game play when acquiring a new game. I am very quick to identify the key elements for success. I am open and able to learn from my opponents. I achieve a lot of early success. But as time goes on, I lose skill sets I once had, and find it harder to adapt as the game changes.
The game had reverted back to the traditional combat mechanism, but my understanding of the game had completely retooled to instant combat. My goal for this game was to play a nice leisurely game in a nice comfy civ where I could reacclimatize to the 20 hour delay.
Finding a game
The flip flop between combat systems coupled with the new lobby has appeared to wreak havoc with the available games. I had to ‘delete’ a hundred games before I could find games in the Ancient era. Based on the numbers on the games, and an assumption that the game numbers are sequential, I estimated that I had travelled more two to three weeks back in time to find an Ancient era game.
Joining a zombie game changes the nature of the game. The market would be illiquid, meaning I would need to rely on population to drive my productivity. I wanted to avoid a civilization because there would be so few people playing there were no teams or teammates. It would be easier to beat people as an outsider, as opposed to being an insider.
I was looking forward to playing a zombie game, and figured the worst case scenario would be that I could get all my ‘10 in a game achievements’. Getting 10 culture medals is easy to do as a responsible team member because combat and eras, can eat through an entire stable of great people for a great king who wants to win a game on a specific evening. Ten Econ medals is also easy as cash is a means to every end so all strong players have the capability to generate relatively large piles of it at any time. Driving team econ era victories can generate 4 or 5 medals for a responsible teammate in its own right. Combine that with the free 4-5 medals for starting a civ, and you are almost home already.
Food, Science, Construction and military medals are a different matter. Science seems like it would be easy for a responsible member given its importance. The problem is that researching any of the cheap research is irresponsible as it can all be won by shrimp farming. The second half of the first page can all be won militarily via era farming. That only leaves the second page for responsible research. Most games end before 10 techs are researched off the second page. Playing on a tech guild or otherwise tech based strategy alters the calculations. But in generalist civs even the most important research engine in a civilization should have a hard time winning 10 science medals if a balanced plan for victory is followed.
I imagine many of you are surprised to learn that given my predilection for pointy stick research, and shrimp farming, that I have yet to win my Destroyer of Worlds badge. I hit 9 in the addiction game, and could have won it then, but I ‘encouraged’ other teammates to win them when doing shrimp farming. I believe it is far more important to get a new teammate their first military badge than to hoard them all to myself. The ‘first kill’ ritual can be found in cultures around the world. CivWorld is no exception. Now that combat has reverted back to 20 hour delay, getting 10 combats in will be a challenge, much less being the top dog in all 10.
Food can be a very contentious topic. See http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread...15602-Pop-quiz , for example. Some will argue that any population over 9 or 10 is irresponsible. Many will argue that a population over 16 is irresponsible. Considering that a nation can start with 4, 5 or 6 depending on when they join the ancient era. You would have to grow to 16 while winning all medals. Just to cross the 10 threshold. This was easier when you had to cycle through the tutorial; it may be impossible, or close to it, now.
Construction clearly requires irresponsible play to win. The only two ginormous buildings that everyone will agree are needed by the end of the game are the Village Green and University (Ironsmack might even disagree with the University.) A large proportion of the board would likely advocating optimizing resource collection rather than optimizing the capital investment. This makes ginormous Granary, Lumber Mill, Stone Mason and Iron Forge legitimate medals as well. I keep trying to do the math in my head to determine the ROI on an optimized resource collector, but I need pen and paper for it. Between the game and these stories, I haven’t found time for those analog tools yet. Finally, you can make a case for a Ginormous Library before the advent of the University. That is a total of 7 responsible buildings. The only way I can win this badge is to build other buildings solely for the purpose of winning a badge. Before folks jump on me, the culture and gold buildings have merit if you are going to use them to win contests and then reinvest the civBuck won into the game, but since I don’t reinvest civbucks into games, that justification does not apply to me.
Be fruitful and multiply
So, my first obligation in the zombie game was to grow so that I could establish a self sustaining economy. Having seen the power of the event wonders in the hands of a small civ I checked to see what was available. Fertility rites popped up four times that night. I used all of them pushing me to a population of 9.
The fifth one one presented a quandary for me because it didn’t guarantee growth, but the math turned out to be easy to do in my head. I spent two great people having a total purchase price of 3000 gold. I got 6000 gold worth of food, 4000 of which I sold to replace the two great people I spent plus acquire a third. I was net up 1 great person and 700 food. I consider this kind of transaction a no brainer.
My detractor in the food thread that I referenced earlier would say this is a losing strategy because I pushed the price up on the great people making them harder to accumulate. He is making an implicit assumption that since the prices of Great people inexorably rise over time, I had lost the opportunity to purchase great people cheap by raising the price for them early. It is seductive reasoning, but has one flaw. The price came back down, and will do so in other games as well. It is true that the price trend is up. It is also true that Great people won’t be selling for 800 after the first 36 hours. But it is not true that a great person will not trade at 800 because it is currently trading at 3000. Not only had I not hurt my chance to buy an extra great person, I had enhanced it because I had more cash.
I had used fertility rites earlier, because I believed there would be no market, so market based rationale did not apply. But what if it did? The earlier scenarios couldn’t be summed up into simple cash for cash transactions. There are many subtle considerations that go into the determination of whether it is better to grow or to hoard, but I didn’t even know the basic answer to the question of whether an extra population or two specialists with 5% bonuses would generate more, much less whether that question changed with the population. The answer very starkly indicates that you should spend gold to grow rather than acquire GP’s for the 5% bonus when both cost the same. This is true up to 16, although other factors come into play after the first couple days.
This time my detractor has a valid point that the calculation becomes more complex after fertility rights push you past population 9. He is correct that the cost to grow to population 10 by purchasing food is considerably more than the cost to buy the two great people. He is incorrect in claiming that makes the formula wrong, it just means it is only easy to apply when fertility rites translate directly to a population without any food cost.
I overreacted in the game after reading my detractor’s comments because I compared the cost of food against the cost of the 2 Fertility rites great people. In truth, the formula indicates that it is better to grow if the cost to grow in food is equal to the cost to buy 1 of all 5 great people. This is a simple rule to apply as well. When great people are averaging 3K a piece, spend 175 for food to grow to 10. Spend 200 when the average price is 4K.
Unfortunately, my detractor has another valid point to consider. At fair market value, 3 great Engineers generate more value than 1 of each type of great person. All great people are created equal, but some great people are more equal than others. When doing the calculations, you also need to consider the productivity resulting from specializing the specialists.
Convoluted Conjectures about Cohabitation
Get your minds out of the gutter!!!!
Ever wonder why you visit a guild and see them all at 10 population surrounding a University and Village green? Think back in your memory and try and remember who built the early fertility rites. It’s difficult, I know. I am pretty sure it was that guild. The calculation I provided makes it a no brainer to build fertility rites for a one person civ. How easy a decision is it when the same great person cost grows 4 Nations? How about 8?
Quite frankly, I would think an 8 person civ who can buy fertility rites with two great people should always do so for the sale price of the food alone. The math gets complex, but it seems that fertility rites will benefit a civilization more if either the number of Great people is small, or the number of people in the civilization is large. (> 20).
The calculation is a little different for the individuals. Once the price for the great people starts to go up, the civ may be benefitting, but the people who supplied the great people were losers on the proposition. So, next time a wonder spammer pops fertility rites for you. Think twice before calling them a stupid noob that didn’t deserve the promotion. They may not have meant to be altruistic, but they did you a favor, and they deserve your gratitude not your attitude.
But, when starting a new game, what’s the best strategy? The optimal strategy would load in as many nations as possible without bumping the GP cost beyond two people. But that is easier said than done. It may make sense to let a couple folks in and then close borders, fairly ensuring 2 GP cost for event wonders after the first 24 hours. But closed borders has its own concerns. A Closed border requires honest research as opposed to pointy stick research to enact. I can feel Ironsmack shuddering at the mere suggestion.
I have no idea what the correct answer is. Since it was a zombie game, it was a moot question. I was practicing fertility rites solely for my own personal reward.
What is it with you and that gutter?
The inflationary pressures of the Resurrection
Some of you may be wondering how a zombie game got all those fertility rites. The answer is, that it ceased to be a zombie game. The first hour was very quiet, but a trickle of new players started showing up over the next hour. The trickle became a flood as close to 100 players joined during the next hour. Clearly, the algorithm that recommends a game is weighted to the number of players having joined it recently. It took me 100 games to find the first available early ancient era game. I Doubt it took the next couple folks more than fifty. After that, it was showing up as a first choice for all players.
The first article I ever posted on this forum asked what the inflationary pressures in the game are. After some discussion, I posited that the introduction of new players with free resources has an early inflationary effect. I was now able to watch the process unfold.
I have already decided that I am not doing any research so its value is 0 to me. I have a net deflationary impact on science as a result. I have plenty of people to sell to as many of the newcomers are giddy with excitement as they quickly realize they can buy an early era tech victory. Even the non-era techs along the first row offer cheap science badges. Science is possibly hotter than hammers until all the civs that form up take out the first row techs.
Culture is similar. Unlike science I am interested in the product culture purchases, but like science, culture is a value of 0 for me, because I want to have the flexibility to buy overpriced great people with underpriced culture if needed. At current prices, it is much easier, and wiser to pay cash for great people. I will sell culture below fair value to avoid buying a great person with it in the early stages. The need to do so does not happen often as newcomers are bubbling over at the opportunity to pay 100 gold to buy that 2000 gold scientist with 4000 gold worth of culture.
I have already fixed the price of food and I will maintain that price so I have a stabilizing impact on that. If people are all buyers, I will convert my great people into food and sell it. If people sell it to me, I will buy it and grow. I chose a price point where my food generated/purchased matched my food sold. Just like a market maker, or a bookie, by picking the right price point, I make money on every transaction, I don’t care which side. I never ran out of food nor bought so much at an overvalued price that I grew population… That means, right or wrong, the market agreed with my price point. There isn’t that much action on food as some are buying it to grow, and some are selling it to buy great people, but most are just sitting on it, waiting for their population to grow.
I am hoarding hammers. I am not buying them with reckless abandon because the market begins with a glut of hammers. This is because war is a risky proposition during times of rapid growth. The 1 person civ you declared on will likely have 10-20 people in it all wanting to beat you by the time the 20 hours expires. There are also very few buildings a person can build without much technology. As a result, many people sell hammers early to buy great people. I will be a net inflationary pressure on hammers, but right now I am a stabilizing force at best because of the massive deflationary pressure the game places on them early. Similarly, I am buying cheap units, but I am not going crazy. There is neither an inflationary nor deflationary pressure on units as there is no market for them what so ever. That won’t happen until I am ready… hehehe.
Many folks have talked about how commodities represent free money. They are, but not in the ancient era. To be sure, I won’t hesitate to pay 70 for a commodity, but even then, that makes them one of the most expensive purchases available in the early stages of the game. You will have the opportunity to pay 100 for that same commodity three days from now, no need to jump in and get it when other items are at prices that will never come again. I am neither an inflationary, nor deflationary pressure on commodities.
So, I am selling a bunch of stuff, and not really buying anything, where does all that cash go.
A Great person is a terrible thing to waste
My cash is rolling into great people.
It is important not to roll it in too fast, because there will be tremendous buying opportunities and Great People are the ultimate illiquid asset. The markets are so wide, it is almost impossible to use them for day trading. Sure, 800 is a great price for that great general, and you are going to wish they were 800 when it is time to build Himeji Castle for the second straight time in that late era battle… but that 800 you sunk into them is going to stay there… for days generating little return on your investment.
Great generals and Artists are devalued early because nobody wants their bonuses, and few wonders require them. As a result, nobody is buying them. Scientists are everybody’s best friend. The tech hoarders are busy tying up all of their capital in them and the event wonder builders are spending them like water. The only thing keeping their price from going through the roof is the culture merry-go-round. Scientist are easily the most expensive great person because of the people buying them. Anybody who collects enough culture to pop a great person gets a scientist. It is not uncommon to see the event log to the right with xxx acquired a Great scientist messages taking over half the entries.
Some people, I being one of them, actually sell those over educated, over priced geeks with the grey beard… um, I‘ve heard that phrase before; I just can’t put my finger on where… oh. I don’t get many scientists early because I am selling culture, but when I do, I like to sell them as part of a twofer. One great general and one great artist is fine, but I try to hold out for a prophet or builder to go with my general.
I was happily watching the production and rapid destruction of the Great People in the wonder grist mill when the barbarians attacked me bearing the gift of knowledge as they did so.
Dumber than a post
The barbarians were flanking me!
It is surprising to read threads where people are having difficulties with barbarians. They are easily flanked with a boat and the initial hammer allocation is sufficient to blow the barbarians away without breaking a sweat. But I had a really clever idea.
I was going to test out the eldar’s flanking concept and go heavy on the cavalry. I believed the elder was correct, and I had witnessed how the tech guild had failed to exploit a tremendous advantage their snow ponies offered them in the prior game. I figured I would double down and devalue a navy at the same time. I picked Mongolia when I founded my nation. That made it hard to flank the barbarians with a boat now.
The barbarians got a shot off and killed my starting natives. I was unable to replace them because I was apparently more warlike than a barbarian and clearly less educated than one.
This was a revolting development. I was going to have to do enough honest research to enable me to build natives before I could begin shrimp farming.
No sooner had I stopped selling science and switched to pottery, than someone interpreted that move as a sign of weakness and declared on me. I will admit, my people had currently traded in their pointy sticks for pointy pencils and some of them were actually walking around in robes carrying beakers full of blue water, but I am not a wimp, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not…
The truth is, there is nothing that a shrimp farmer appreciates more than being mistaken for a shrimp. There is the smile that results from picturing the expression on the leaders of a large civ as they watch the battle slip away. I like to picture Scooby Doo saying, “ Rhhm? Ruh-Roh.” Since the French were attacking, I pictured Scooby Doo saying, “C'est quoi, ça? Ruh-Roh.”
But there is a strategic satisfaction. I start the game with one of the most powerful defensive units the game has to offer: militia. They are usually undervalued because of their strictly defensive role, and hammers can crank them out by the century. Never attack a warmonger civ when they can field militia. Militia will swarm the field like army ants and devour your corpse in no time.
When they attack, the attackers will likely bring shiny new metallic instruments of war that my folks will happily relieve the invaders of. My people will lay down their pointy sticks, shed a brief tear and then pick up their new shiny sticks with a gleam in their eye.
As I wipe the drool from my chin, the screen goes haywire. Log messages go streaming by, and the British Commonwealth wins an economic era victory with what seems to be 90 members in it. Rule Britannia. I switch to the empire screen, and sure enough the dreaded missing king bugs has struck leaving two civilizations: My Mongolia and the entire British Commonwealth. This was a game changer. It is hard to shrimp farm when there is only one shrimp and it is most definitely a Jumbo Shrimp.
I posted this thread on the forum: http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread...ategy-question.
I also told the world that maybe they should think twice before declaring war on the mighty Mongol Horde in the future.
Some shrimpses are dangerous and some shrimpses are not dangerous
My daughter loved the Walking with Dinosaurs series. At 1.5 years old she could be heard running around the house with her arms spread wide and a silk scarf flowing behind her as she called out ‘Ornithocheirus! Ornithocheirus!. My son’s preference was more reptilian. He was into snakes.
When I was growing up, my mom repeatedly told me how much she enjoyed growing up in a house with three generations, I never had that opportunity, but have witnessed the power of that arrangement through my kids. My mom had them playing backgammon at 2 and hearts by three. But, she is a voracious reader, and that meant anytime my kids expressed an interest in anything, she would read every children’s book the library had on the subject to them. It is very cool to come home and have your preschoolers tell you something they learned from a library book…
‘Daddy, did you know that some snakeses are dangerous?.... And some snakeses are NOT dangerous.’
The same is true for shrimpses. I have already mentioned how the biggest mistake a civilization can make is to assume I am not a dangerous shrimpses. But guilds can also assume ‘form of… shrimpses’.
As I play in the early stages, I watch the log for new civilizations as their formation can be very telling. For instance… The Greek shrimpses formed, acquired 3 additional players and closed borders all within the span of half an hour. This is the tell-tale sign of a guild shrimpses. I paid them a visit and the makeup appeared to be one military member and three tech members. This was a tach guild, and as long as I could overwhelm the lone defender, I should have a steady research stream available to me. But, in addition to having to beat a bloat civ, I now have to grapple with a tech guild.
All guild shrimpses are dangerous, there are NO guild shrimpses that are not dangerous.
Shrimpses… err Shrimp farming
Shrimp farming is a very different proposition under the new old paradigm as opposed to the old new paradigm. Instant combat required multiple simultaneous combats, but you could initiate them in a moment’s notice. Schedule combats can be run sequentially, but require planning to schedule them correctly. This meant a late night to schedule the next night’s festivities. There were 10 civilizations which meant I wanted to schedule 9 combats starting at 8pm the following evening.
Starting the declaration party at midnight was easy, but the question was what order to schedule them. The simplest answer was to schedule the leastest with the mostest fist. One shrimp already had 11 techs. The odds were that those were ghost techs, but it was worth the chance.
I scheduled the second battle 15 minutes later. I chose a shrimp that appeared to be trying for tech eras. This made it likely that this shrimp would have the most techs of all the shrimps by the following evening.
My third target was not a shrimp. It was the second largest target. It was worth an era and it had permanent Stonehenge. If I won that battle, I could spend the rest of the game defending myself rather than attacking. On paper, the civ was stronger than I was, but I could always retreat. And if the civ did not have hammers in reserve or expect me to be much tougher than I was going to be in 20 hours, I could take it.
I repeated the shrimp, shrimp, big pattern with the Greek Guild being the second big. I capped off the evening with two more shrimp. I left the Bloat civ alone because I did not want to warn it that I would be on its doorstep some day.
Farming is a much better analogy with the 20 hour delay. Instant combat is all harvest. You know what you have to gain and what you need to do when you start. The twenty our delay requires you to plant the seeds and wait for them to grow before you harvest. Some crops will be valuable to harvest, some crops will be difficult to harvest and some crops will yield meager results.
The baby shrimp were in the water, nothing to do but wait for them to plump up a little and return for the harvest.
Fall is a scary time of year. Everything is dying, and you are rushing to collect everything before Mother Nature kills it. The days are shorter and you are now awake and possibly even outdoors when the creepy noises from the darkness make you wonder what might be lurking out their waiting to eat you.
Well, if ‘out there’ is civWorld, the thing out there waiting to eat you is me. I scanned all the shrimp and none of them showed any inclination to put up a fight. The Era civ and the guild were not equipped to fend me off. Even the bloat civ looked like I had a shot at it. These were all preliminary observations, because I would have looked like the weakest shrimp out there had anyone checked my standing army.
At 5 minutes prior to the first fight, I had to decide what my army should look like. I had decided to try out the flanking tactic recommended by the eldar. That is why I chose Mongolia. After a little practice with the technique, the answer is now obvious, but it wasn’t as clear then. Snow Ponies, warriors and natives are all equivalent, it didn’t matter which unit I built from a pure mathematics perspective, but there are other considerations.
This conversation highlights a lot of the considerations. http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread...23#post1475823
Flanking consideration. The flanking principle means I need an imbalanced army. The ultimate goal is to be able to leave my flanking troops on heroic at all times. The best choice for a flanking troop is a troop that opponents are likely to have few of. Infantry are the most efficient, so everyone builds them. They are a terrible choice as a flanking troop. The same can be said for archery units as they are the most efficient troop types for offense (catapult/cannon/gunpowder) and defense (longbow) at different stages of the game. Naval units are great flanking units, but they are not available in every combat situation (e.g. Mongolia), so flanking clearly advocates for snow ponies.
Upgrade consideration. All the units are neutral now, but they will not remain neutral as they upgrade. You need to decide whether you wish to play a defensive civ or an offensive civ. There are no offensive upgrades for the current set of units, but the snow ponies do not upgrade into the defensive channel unlike the melee and archery units. An offensive civ should build ponies early. Notice any trend here?
Event wonder considerations. Call to Arms and Secret Weapon are deadly. They kill half of all infantry and ranged units on the field. Those events can easily make over 100K hammers disappear in the blink of an eye. Many good players are aware of this power, and almost as many are not used to facing any other players aware of its power so tend to devalue this consideration, justifiably. If you face an opponent who does use them however, those immune units become more and more attractive with each battle. Have I mentioned that ponies are immune yet?
Weather considerations. Weather can make the difference between success and failure… but not in the early era. All units are snow units except for the warriors and the boats. Since all boats share the same weather condition, there is no competitive advantage there beyond quantity. There is a benefit to having warriors on the field if the weather is foggy, but the units are so weak at this stage, the weather benefits are muted.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have built 5 replacement natives 50 snow ponies and held the remaining 2500 hammers in reserve. I pretty much did that anyway but I was lucky, not informed.
You want me to do what? Sir?
That was my response to the elder, when he said that better players know how to counter a flank attack. It is my response to SJC who said you don’t want to have few horses when the other side has many. It is something I feel compelled to explain now.
When in combat, you have three logical options.
1) Win through sheer numbers,
2) Win through efficiency or
Many civilizations, especially shrimp, are unaware that option 3 exists.
Many more believe option 1) is the only option and can often be found on the board offering improvements or complaining about how they unjustly lost a battle because the other army was bigger than theirs (by civbucks, by number of nations, by not understanding game dynamics).
Unbalanced attacks, and their counter, leverage that middle option. If you field an inferior stack of horses, my horses will take bites out of your horses every round I attack, while you will kill a single warrior or native (because that is all I have fielded) more often than not. I am winning the war of attrition by doing so. Eventually, your horses will all be gone, and I will press the attack with my flanking bonus and heroic ponies. You will go from trading shots in a close match, to never taking another shot, Usually this will happen at the exact moment you change your stance to heroic to keep the odds ‘even’
The counter to this tactic is to trade snow pony for warrior. Don’t field the entire stack of ponies, just field one. You are no longer losing hammers to me every round. The battle has now reverted to the first scenario where ultimately, the larger army will win (given tactical advantages).
‘You want me to take my horse and go over there so those 100 horsemen will kill me, Sir?’
“That about sums it up soldier’
Originally Posted by Adam Barrett
i only said that cause its a novel that your writing. haha
Of course the best option is usually 3) if I am attacking you and you have no prepared plans to counter it…
The era civ from this game came up with option 4. He fought a delaying action. He was able to field enough troops to force me to let him win an occasional round on the battle bar. He was losing and losing badly, but he was losing slowly.
Three people joined his civ during the battle. One of them was a shrimp who had objected to being farmed, so I assume he joined the era civ to get even. His troops added more delay, but they were dying at a nice steady pace as well as the troops from all of the other new friends. All of these new friends had managed to drag the battle across my next two harvests.
Running three concurrent battles was not an issue since the second two civs put up little or no defense, so I merely needed to borrow troops to slaughter the meager defense, and then return them to the main fight. But the battle was now creeping up on the greek guild battle. If push came to shove, I would concede the Greek Guild fight, but I was hoping to end the era battle and then fight the Greek Guild battle back from the edge.
The Greek Guild had other plans. They decided they had a better chance of winning if they joined the current battle rather than waiting for me to give them my full attention. A guild that pays attention to world events is a very scary thing. The first Greek friend was enough to make the battle a fair fight. We were now trading shots in a battle of attrition. Furthermore, the greek neutralized my flank attack so I needed to have more units, not just better placed units. The second Greek friend altered the balance of power completely.
It was now my turn to exercise option 3.
That was fine. They still weren’t strong enough to fight me on their own. I would be paying them a visit in another 10 minutes, and I doubted the Era civ was going to commit troops on foreign soil. But it turned out, the Greeks weren’t done.
Having pushed me from the Era civ, they followed me to a shrimp. I confirmed that I could beat them there through tactical advantage as they were killing one spearman on their attacks, while I was killing 3 ponies on mine. They fought that battle for 15 minutes and retreated. A guild that is able to accurately read the tea leaves is a scary thing.
I followed them to their homeland expecting to fight the same war of attrition there. When the battle started, their force had doubled. Once a nation retreats, it is possible for them to field incrementally more troops as they start scrapping everything they have to spring a trap. But once a nation has made a point of beating you, fails, and then magically doubles their troops, there is only one possible explanation…
CivBucks. I visited the defense minister’s nation to verify, and I got two answers. First, I now knew why this had been a zombie game. It was an ‘avoid like the plague 50 civbuck a day’ game. Secondly, the game was only two days old and I had already made Firaxis 20 real dollars. I was not in a game with just any Greek guild; I was in a game with Aristotle Onassis’s Greek guild.
To heck with the bloat civ, they were going to be child’s play compared to a player who had a wallet and wasn’t afraid to use it. Although guild’s who are aware of world events, can read the tea leaves and have a bank roll was a new animal, I was up for the challenge. My new primary goal was to defeat this animal. My secondary goal was to make this animal spend as many civBucks as I could.
Here’s looking at you, Sid.
My troops left Greece but it was time to take Onassis to school. I could no longer beat him head to head, but I was fighting three battles. If he wanted to defend all three he was going to get spread pretty thin.
I spent some time successfully picking off units and retreating. This kept the battles going as a stale mate, and were taking little civbuck nibbles out of Onassis. One hit one civbuck, another hit, another civbuck. But once he brought a counter attack to one of my nibbles there was a problem. My forces were too big to fully retreat in 80 seconds. I was getting a nibble, but he took a bite. A guild possessing a fat wallet and knowledge of world affairs while able to read the tea leaves and adapt is very VERY scary.
Having ceded the fields, Aristotle made a point of ending the fights. He left one militia in each fight to keep the battle bar moving. Well fine, I can adapt too. I built a small raiding party that could retreat in 80 seconds. Eating militia is like nibbling on a nibble, but I am now just taking nibble nibbles while playing the market. I don’t expect to win the fights, but I want to maximize the pain for the geek tycoon. That was fun… until a counter raiding party showed up and took a bite out of my raiding party.
Let’s be clear. My raiding parties took the field with 2 seconds to go, so the only way for the counter raiding party to show up was for the tycoon to anticipate my move. If he guessed wrong, he could just try again. I would be too busy managing my troops to see what he was doing with his.
A guild possessing a fat wallet and knowledge of world affairs while able to read the tea leaves and adapt as well as spring traps isn’t just scary… it sucks.
The next day was Saturday which allowed me to spread the battles over the course of the day. It had the added advantage that the Greek tycoon would have to be online for all of them if he wanted to block me. He was online for the first batch, but did not participate. I toyed with the idea of making this game an achievement game, where I tried for my tech, builder and military 10 badge medals but decided to stick with the plan and try to beat the Greek.
I figured I would avoid declaring on the Greeks as long as they stayed out of my affairs. I might be able to convince them to ignore me; If I could appear harmless for long enough. The tycoon had suggested as much the night before by stating two things on global chat. His first statement was that he enjoyed a player who enjoys the game and that he would keep his eye on me. He then added, that on second thought, maybe not.
Sure enough, as soon as I attacked the Era Civ, the tycoon joined the attack and I beat a hasty retreat. I also declared on the Greeks, just to send the message, that they better keep an eye on me. I was pretty sure beating them was not going to happen as they were going to keep their boat on my neck the entire game. I wanted them to keep their cviBucks handy for my secondary goal. I figure forcing the Tycoon down to the zero civbuck limit at the end of the game would count as a moral victory.
The Greeks had decided to start farming the bloat civ at this time, so I was wondering if they were going to help defend it, or let me soften it up for them. I never even attacked as the Greeks laid claim to their property before the battle even started, but a curious thing happened when the battle completed. The bloat civ immediately declared on me with a battle starting in 7 hours.
This was an unexpected opportunity. The Greeks could not participate in this battle. I was going to get to farm the bloat civ for all the techs in the game and acquire wonders. Winning that battle would likely gain me recruits and possibly lure the era civ into attacking me. I at least was going to have the opportunity to prove that I could have beaten a bloat civ if it had been the only civilization to beat in the game.
All I had to do was win the 1 against 45 battle.
Thanks to the excellent advice contained within these stories I just got my first 2 vs. 22 win. Then we got hit with a merge and it will be 2 vs. 65 next time. This game does like to put challenges in one's path, hope the 45 went well
Preparing for the defense
I had about 12000 hammers stored up and I needed to allocate them. The bloat civ had considerably more units than I did. Casting call to arms helped whittle the numbers down but not enough. The bloat civ had a significant number of cavalry, so I was not going to be able to leave my ponies on heroic. I would be able to take out the other side’s cavalry if I could trade shots, but I might not be strong enough to trade shots with cavalry alone. And if they switched to cavalry fodder once I flanked them, I would never win a battle of attrition.
I split my hammers evenly between cavalry and spearmen. The spearmen efficiency gave me the ability to trade shots, while the cavalry would punish their horses, hopefully winning the war of attrition before the full power of the bloat civ logged on 1 by 1 adding their troops. I would lose that war of attrition.
The bloat civ leaders showed up shortly before the battle started. I received a personal chat message asking why I cast Call-to-Arms and Secret weapon if I wasn’t going to bother to show up. That is a surprising phenomenon that has happened to me as well. If the other side fails to show, you will win the battle but if the other side does show, they are up to something and you will likely lose it. I have found myself disappointed when I start to think the other side won’t show up. I felt that the other side was experiencing that feeling now.
I didn’t want to disappoint them.
Battle of the Bloat
I said hello by enacting the Gladiator. This may surprise some of you who have heard me discussing how gladiator is the best tool I know for losing your entire army. But I was a one man civ. I could enact/repeal it in 15 seconds. I was also king and political minister so the bloat civ gould not flood me with spies before I could veto it and propose something else (like closed borders). This was a close fight, and the bloat civ was large enough to make the heroic on heroic match-up a tossup.
Robin and I have a running debate about whether each attack has a memory of which side took the prior shot or not. You can follow that debate here: http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread...ttle-Mechanics. It does not matter which of us is right however. Taking a hit on full heroic in a close battle is risky. And whether the odds are 50% (Robin) or less than 25% (Me)… both are too risky. By goosing my heroic turns with gladiator, I received superiority over 1.5 to one. That is 99% reliable (I don’t believe in 100% remember) that I will take the next shot if I lost the prior shot.
I took the first shot, something I would have said was 100% reliable (I don’t believe in 100% remember) until two days ago. I pounded his ponies because my force was predominantly cavalry/horsemen. Robin and I disagree on this as well, but I am anxiously awaiting his thorough investigations to prove the Eldar right on this one. I then fortified all my troops and repealed gladiator. This gave the bloat civ a shot. I then returned to super heroic took a shot and fortified.
We repeated this for a while when the bloat civ got the bad news. After the first few rounds, they were no longer hitting my soft ponies. Every shot was now falling on my fortified spearmen. They also noticed that although I was still flipping gladiator off and on, my ponies now stayed heroic rather than fortifying. My first hit on their heroic ponies resulting from a second consecutive shot signaled the beginning of the end. They desperately tried fielding defending stacks of horses which were eliminated as quickly as they could field and fortify them.
Although a tactical error on their part, because they should have fielded a single snow pony every round, they still had no chance. With all their horses gone, My heroic ponies and unfortified spearmen were now strong enough to take 2 or three consecutive shots making it extremely risky for them to flip to heroic. Even flipping to heroic was now insufficient to move the battle bar their way, which meant even if they won the war of attrition by sacrificing one snow pony, they would lose the war in under half an hour.
They availed themselves of option 3).
Originally Posted by Monqi
Thanks, glad to hear it.
It never occurred to me before, but the moment the 'Thanks to you I lost my first easy battle' posts start showing up, I'll need to hang up my keyboard.
Originally Posted by Adam Barrett
They didn’t just retreat; they retreated and joined my civ before the battle ended. I could have prevented this by closing borders, but this was always part of the plan. Much like the US/Mexican border, I left my borders open so that the truly motivated and the hard working can come and join my team. Besides, at 50 civbucks a day, I need something to offset the extra 175 harvests (25K- 50K hammers) a day that 50 daily civBucks represent (100 for the civBuck spender 75 interior minister harvests.).
The defense minister defected first. I welcomed him. He then said the king might come over. The king arrived just in time to win the battle badge and dethrone me. Have I mentioned that every type of bug I have ever seen in the game, showed up in this game? Once the King joined someone mentioned a wife might be joining… oh and a friend they made from New Zealand. They failed to mention an additional friend who would transfer over in the next 24 hours.
I had apparently just defeated the mafia.
This core group of players was hard working and technically skilled. Over half of them practiced 6 swap doubles. They all posted mini game bonuses in the 60-70’s and half of them generated team maze bonuses with regular frequency. This core group is a guild waiting to be born. All they need is some guidance on how to knit their skill sets into a coordinated plan and they are there.
It is a tempting opportunity I may have to avail myself of at some point… hehehe
Change of plans
I had been a griefer just a couple hours ago. I was now in possession of state of the art technology and most of the world’s wonders. Retreat was no longer an option. Technically, retreat was still an option, but it wound mean the loss of all of our production bonuses. I no longer wanted to risk those bonuses.
Unfortunately, I had declared war against every civ in the game, so the Greeks would have 9 separate attacks to jump in on. To make matters worse, the state of the art technology I won didn’t even include Iron Working much less the ability to generate men-at war. We thus had two priorities.
Our first goal was to reach Men-At-War by the first battle the next day, and to collect as many hammers as possible. We quickly took care of Iron Working before going to bed, so that any people who joined could join the preferred research path. This also meant I did not have to decide how to spend my harvests yet. If we came up short on the research, I would spend the harvests on research. If we had men at arms, I would spend them on hammers.
You may be surprised that I was focusing on men at arms rather than ponies. There was some thought about trying for cavalry instead of Men-at-arms. But the Tycoon had a larger cavalry, and was more likely to augment it to ensure we never had mobile superiority. The counter to his large mobile strength was to focus on efficiency, and there is no more efficient unit in the game than men-at-arms for attack. (I cannot speak to later technology troops)
This shift in the balance of power had occurred in the dead of night, it would be interesting to see what changes the light of day brought to the situation.
Tails between their legs
I awoke in the morning to find a new member on the team. She was not a member of the familia and was very happily spamming great people wherever possible. When the capos logged on, in close succession... They started doing 6 swap doubles. Our latest addition, flush with all the resulting new swaps, rushed to the puzzle board to keep shuffling the board on us. I tend to wait while the teammate burns off their swaps and then I return. But every time we started up again, she would rush back to the board.
I am sure the mafia wanted her whacked, but instead, they asked for a sit down. We introduced ourselves and asked her not to interfere with the board while her teammates were working it. She asked why, and we explained the 6-swap doubles. She didn't perform them, but she didn't interfere with the board.
Since she was communicating on the board we let her farm the first two shrimp. I have talked before about involving new players into all facets of the game. Promoting someone up to Queen is a good way to keep them logged on. We reclaimed the crown and defense minister on the third shrimp because the fourth battle of the day involved the bloat civ.
Minus its top players, the bloat civ was no longer a threat, But it was still worth an era, so I was sure the Greeks would show up to defend it. The little green lights started winking on. We had not committed many new hammers but the standing armies from the new members of the civilization were now large enough to beat the Greek standing army.
I pictured the Tycoon surprised to find the Mongolian empire in possession of all the wonders. I pictured him surprised to see the Mongolian empire possessing a larger army than his. I pictured him realizing that he might lose the game. I pictured him running from a pitched battle with the Mongolian hoard, his tail between his legs...
He pictured me trying to gain a cultural win after defeating the bloat civ.
Tragedy of Shakespearean proportions
Anyone familiar with the works of the bard is also aware that early triumph couples with resultant hubris to effect the ultimate downfall of the lead character. In fact, it is the very makeup of the character that both makes him successful and fates him to the future he will be unable to escape. Were I to posess the skills of William Shakespeare, I would have let to story tell the tale. But since I don't, I figured I ought to make it clear.
I had beaten the bloat civ. I had absorbed a core of talented players, and the primary competition did not even attempt to oppose us for our second straight era win. I lost focus. I began focusing on racking up eras rather than vanquishing foes. Racking up eras is how you vanquish foes on the second page. It is how you waste great people on the first page.
I was showing off. Showing how to follow up era wins after military conquest. I spent 10 great people and got no eras because the greeks stole a wonder before we could win an era. Furthermore, the greeks didn't steal just any wonder, they stole a battle wonder.
A focused ShuShu would have been counting GPs to buy the battle wonders, not lose them. A focused ShuShu would have estimated the Greek defensive capabilities. A focused ShuShu would have factored in the power of 100 unspent civbucks into his calculations. But ShuShu's strength is not leading, it is experimenting, risk taking and counseling. Unlike the game where Yoda led, or the game where the triumvirate lead through consensus, or the game where the fan was always there to stop me from doing something stupid, I was spending this game setting policy and teaching strategy.
While strong students coupled with a strong teacher is a powerful combination for any civ, there was nobody at the wheel as the bus raced towards the cliff.
Houston... we have a problem
This was the perfect setting. The Greeks only had 3 hours to plan. The Greeks had only 100 civbucks to spend. We had our three top commanders online. Two additional soldiers would arrive and bring reinforcements. Not only did we have Men-at-Arms, but we had galleons facing Galleys. We could have had enough great people to build both battle wonders twice. We were still the 3rd largest civ so there was only 1 GP difference in event casting costs. There was a Secret Weapon event wonder on the board. And one of their researchers had switched to production and tipped his hand with the units he built.
We were not caught by surprise when the Greeks took secret weapon of the board. We were not caught by the trap when they fielded their troops at the last second. We were even ready with reserve hammers when the troops hit the board. But we were not prepared for what the correct counter response would be when an additional 50 civbucks took the field.
The Greeks fielded 200 additional cavalry. The correct response was to immediately fortify our horses and throw everything into men at arms and hope they took few enough hits that they could go heroic. The chat board had two people asking where to spend their hammers. I told one to invest in Men at Arms, but I told the other to build galleons because the weather was windy. This was a disastrous decision. The mongol nation had no business building a navy. It would be completely useless to us on defense. The Greek navy had us out gunned despite our superior tech anyway. We should have pounded the Greeks in the body.
Even so, we were still winning the war of attrition. A general with a plan, would have asked the 5 active players to build the combat wonders. A general on the ball would have been checking the Greeks every round to check on the remaining 50 civbucks. But the general had been caught with his pants down, and just like the generals I had forced into mistakes with the element of surprise I was completely unprepared when 25 additional civbucks took the field giving the Greeks a second shot. 4000 heroic horse hammers evaporated. I asked for permission to retreat and received permission but I forgot to fortify my troops first. Always fortify troops before retreating. Always fortify troops when deciding what to do next. 3500 more hammers disappeared.
We had gone from a civilization that was bullying the world to one that would now be unable to defend itself in a little under 4 minutes.
If at first you don't succeed...
We had missed a golden opportunity. What's worse, we failed to suck all the civbucks out of the tycoon's wallet. That meant they were free to take whatever form served the Greek's best the next time. The simple act of building the combat wonders would have forced committed those civBucks. Nobody (i.e. me) even mentioned the battle wonders in the post mortem.
We agreed to do the 6 swap doubles and hoard great people for the next battle. We also agreed to collect hammers rather than focus on research. I wanted to take some time to think, but the 20 hour delay means that we would not attack anyone for 48 hours. We agreed to attack the era civ, which was a continuation of our earlier mistake. Why fight 2 civs when one is already more than you can handle? The theory at the time was that we would retreat if the Greeks defended the era civ. Wrong on both counts. We weren't going to retreat, and the Greeks were certainly going to show up. We should have spent our time planning a trap. But once you get caught up in the chaos, it is hard to take your lumps and get out.
We agreed to schedule an attack for 8 the next night but it got scheduled for 7 by accident. This is perfect example of why coordination is talked about too much. We all agreed on the time. We were all online when we agreed. And yet, it did not happen. Any plan that requires more than one person to ensure it gets followed is a plan that is too complex. To top it off, 8pm the next night was Halloween. I was going out trick or treating at 8. 8 was better for the Greeks than it was for us.
When the battle rolled around the next day, I was present for the start. We had a new queen who had no troops, and a picture of a gingerbread man. This would have thrilled the dons no end but they were AWOL. The gingerbread lady had no troops, but she provided 2 great people to set up secret weapon. She apologized for not being able to help, but she was present for the fight, reading chat, and bringing great people with her. Give me a queen like that in a time of war, any day.
The battle came. We fielded our troops. The Greeks took secret weapon off the board. We traded some shots. I left to trick or treat. I returned to read... 'I think we should retreat', 'Me too'. The gingerbread lady saved our troops to fight another day.
But our days as a global superpower were over.
sorry for the lack of entries today, some kids were misbehaving on the global chat playground and needed to be taken to the woodshed... twice.
What we should have done
No sooner had the Greeks defeated us, than they began farming everybody, us included. I assume they would have done so anyway, but our pathetic showing couldn't have hurt. This gave us the opportunity we should have planned for originally.
The biggest favor a civ can do is attack you on the eve of gunpowder. Gunpowder eliminates your offensive capabilities and greatly enhances the defensive capabilities of your opponent. Furthermore, it offers a one time 'get out of jail-free' pass to offensive civs that needed to become defensive... like us.
We had a new plan. Research gunpowder. Enact National Militia. Hoard great people. And steal the battle wonders. We were two steps away from gunpowder while the greeks were going for steam power. With luck, they would discover steam power before we got gunpowder and score an era for us. Mongolia is land locked, so those shiny new steamships would not be coming on this trip.
We all agreed on the plan and I stayed awake long enough to complete the first tech and start Gunpowder. Not only did this ensure that the familia would all be able to join the effort, but even the folks who don't keep up on current events are drawn to the muffled *booms* of gunpowder.
The plan was perfect and had only one shortcoming... I would not be available for the fight.
Those of you with some history on the forum know that my 7 year old son has a penchant for gaggling rock throwers and beating me in auctions as well as early era fame. I was defense minister so we were going to rely on him to log in and manage the troops. Charlotte tests all second graders for talent development candidacy and found out that he is 'gifted'. This was not much of a surprise considering he taught himself how to read to win a competition for a happy meal in preschool, and that he recently taught his pet rock how to play roblox so that his session would not time out while he was at the doctor.
What was important is that he reads at fifth grade level so he should be able to follow the instructions of the adults who were online for the battle. It was risky, but letting your 7 year old command your troops for you is a father/son bonding thing I highly recommend.
2:00 PM: Call Mrs. ShuShu and ask for permission to involve son in my addiction.
2:01 PM: Permission granted (I married up)
2:02 PM: Asked to have son call for instructions at 3:15
3:00 PM: Called into emergency meeting
4:45 PM: Called son
4:46 PM Want me to login daddy? (so proud)
4:47 PM Did we research Gunpowder?
4:48 PM Nope
4:49 PM Anybody giving you instructions on Nation chat?
4:50 PM Nope
4:51 PM How's the battle going?
4:52 PM 16000 to 800
4:53 PM Who's the 800?
4:54 PM I don't know (not so proud)
4:55 PM Thankyou little ShuShu
Mrs ShuShu called later asking if little ShuShu called me because he had logged into my account and started doing things. I indicated that I had talked to him towards the end of the battle, and was curious to see what the conversation meant.
I got home to find the following conversation on Nation Chat...
Little ShuShu, do not field any troops
LITTLE SHUSHU, retreat your troops, now please
LITTLE SHUSHU, RETREAT NOW
Gingerbread lady, please retreat ShuShu's troops
Gives 'gifted' a whole new meaning. Every mistake is a learning opportunity so I showed him nation chat, and asked him to read it alloud to the family. We also told him about a certain Roman leader who put a general in charge of some troops who met a similar fate as mine. We repeated the phrase 'Little ShuShu, give me back my legions!' often, to help him remember.
20000 hammers went up in smoke when I gave him the keys to my kingdom... lets hope things go better when I give him the keys to the car.
The post-mortem on the failed defense uncovered a number of questionable behaviors.
A guy with a Greek name completed a tech other than gunpowder pulling the Minister of science discount off of Gunpowder. The same person apparently proposed Universal Healthcare, when we clearly needed that slot open for National Militia. I don't know whether this was the act of a spy or not. If it was, It backfired on the Greeks, but what is more important is that those actions were preventable even if he was a spy.
We could have vetoed the proposal if we had the political minister online. We could have prevented the loss of our science minister if other folks weren't in the wrong tech to begin with. We could have reclaimed the bonus if the new science minister had logged on. But ultimately, we failed to reach gunpowder because the key actors were at work, and unable to make the last minute moves required to pull traps off.
One of the dons started to complain about spies, wayward civ members, and the lack of coordination much like many posts here on the forum. I have been justly accused of implying the problems might lie elsewhere when folks run across these setbacks, so I am not about to make excuses now. If it hadn't been for Halloween...
That is half true. From the moment the Cosa Nostra joined my civ, we were subject to inconvenient timing. I have been clear on my shortcomings of the first battle, but the constant battles and frequent conversations with new team members certainly contributed. After the first battle, all of our losses were a result of inconvenient circumstance. I am not claiming that it was unfair that they happened, just the opposite. A combination of time and our opponent had us at a disadvantage and we were unable to overcome it, but not for lack of trying.
The Gingerbread lady is a perfect example.She took over the crown and none of us were able to take it from her. She contributed no troops, and had only a rudimentary understanding of tactics. But she was the only member of the team present for both battles. She executed the requests of the team without a hitch, unlike certain gifted children I know. She was a completely unanticipated, incredibly important part of the empire that would have been lacking from our empire, 'in a perfect world'.
We must have pissed the Greeks off, because they stopped farming era civs after one harvest. They stopped farming all the other civs but us, that is. Seems 3 consecutive spankings complete with a Tuetoburg Wald outcome was not enough for them. They wanted to hit us again.
But this time, time was on our side...
The Greeks had made a critical mistake. They attacked us during primetime. If they did that on purpose, to get our best, I commend them. If they did it because they didn’t think it mattered, they were about to spend real dollars for that misperception.
They had gone two days without having to spend civbucks, but we had gone two days 6 swap doubling. They would show up late for the battle while we had been talking for an hour leading up to the battle. We spent the time researching gunpowder and artillery; they spent their time researching submarines, which don’t work very well in the Asian steppe. We had been hoarding hammers, they had been winning eras. We had changed our strategy, they assumed we had none.
Both Call to Arms and secret weapon were on the board going into the battle. We had both battle wonders. The spy had placed small troops in as many slots as possible. The offline players had fielded their infantry. The Greeks had fielded their full cavalry on heroic and small stacks in the infantry and ranged sections. Both sides had massive reserves. Both sides were stalking the other side.
One side was fighting to prove a point; the other side was fighting for redemption.
Round 1 ---
The Tycoon showed up two minutes late for the battle. He lost 6000 hammers in those two minutes. Those 6000 hammers represented 10 civbucks or $2. The loss did not impact the outcome of a battle that would last for 5 hours. This was going to be a very profitable evening for Firaxis.
I am sure many of my readers have read a lot about civil war battles. They had an ebb and flow. They lasted for exhausting durations of non-stop fighting. They were incredibly bloody. Initiative and anticipating the opposing general’s next move were critical to success. Commands were not always carried out optimally, if at all. Much of the time was spent waiting while the cannon and mini balls took their effect. Most battles in civ world involve either superior forces or a superior tactician, but I find evenly matched conflicts between two capable foes gives me an appreciation of what being a civil war general must have felt like.
The Tycoon reacted as we had anticipated. He fortified his troops to limit his losses. He then took out call-to-arms before fielding his massive stacks of infantry. We responded in kind by taking out Secret Weapon, and then fielding all of our troops on hand holding 40K hammers in reserve. He was out manned, but he was on fortified and had yet to spend 120 civ bucks. His next step was to take Leonardo’s workshop. We reclaimed it immediately.
We watched him spend 100 civbucks and tracked them as Rifles began appearing on the field. We were able to trade shots with him at this point, but I made a tactical error. I committed our hammer reserves so that we would have a 2:1 advantage and be able to push the bar every round on normal.
I had been watching event wonders, but I rely on the event log to indicate when someone is cycling event wonders. Everyone agrees that we didn’t see the Greeks doing it, but we got hit by a secret weapon none-the less. Over 500 rifles vanished from the field. (37K hammers for those keeping score at home)
The odds were now even. The tycoon had spent his civbuck reserves, and we had lost our hammer reserves. The fight would now come down to tactics. It was a good thing we had some secret weapons on our side.
Round 2 ---
Pop quiz. All other things being equal, If an attacker and defender have equal combat strength in rifles which side will win? The correct answer is, ‘the defender’ and the defender will do it easily. That was our secret weapon. Robin and I have our disagreements on battle mechanics. I am finding his observations to be more right than wrong, but they do not impact the tactical implications of my assumptions which I am also finding to be more right than wrong as well.
The evenly matched battle devolved into trading shots heroic verses fortified. The Tycoon only needed to take a couple hits on heroic before deciding that he didn’t care whether Robin was right, and that he better fortify every other round if he didn’t want to lose within the hour.
The first attrition phase went on for over an hour. We would hit the Greeks for 7 fortified riflemen; they would hit us for 3 fortified riflemen. Repeat, repeat, repeat… every 160 seconds. I knew what I was doing, the dons trusted that I knew what I was doing, and the Tycoon was figuring out what I was doing.
Defending riflemen calculate losses with strength of 5 (7 in our case because of Himeji and National Militia). Attacking riflemen calculate losses with strength of 3. It is not a coincidence that the 3 and 7 look familiar. We were eating a net gain of 300 hammers every 160 seconds. That’s roughly 7000 hammers an hour.
Shortly after that, one of the suspected spies logged on. We were keeping an eye on him when 100 knights took the field on heroic. Guess he wasn’t a spy after all. However, if you are going to join an ongoing battle, always, always, always ask how you can help first.
We needed more horses like we needed a hole in the head, but all of our infantry slots were full so if you were going to build horses build the snow ponies which would die much slower (defending at 3) on a per hammer basis. Even if you were going to build knights, do not take the field on heroic, especially do not take it on heroic when it is the other side’s turn to take a shot. Do not take the field on heroic when it’s the other side’s turn to take a shot and their horses are starting to take more shots. 20 cavalry, 2500 hammers evaporated before I could change their stance.
To be fair, it was raining so the snow ponies were only marginally better, and I may have made the wrong choice (artillery probably best choice at the time) replacing a stack of 50 riles with a stack of 125. The Exspy’s Knights caused us to eat an additional rifleman every 160 seconds and helped us weather the periodic harvest reinforcement. The ExSpy was also not through contributing to civ.
The injection of knights also added the potential to spring traps and start taking some heroic bites out of the enemy. But the risk did not appear to be justified. As long as the Greeks were willing to feed me 7000 hammers an hour, I was willing to eat them. I might have been inclined to take more aggressive actions if the Greeks were going to get another 50 civbuck injection any time soon, but that was over 12 hours in the future.
I explained it to the dons, and apologized, but I would have to retreat the troops when I left for work in 10 hours.
Shu, if you aren't an author of some sort, you probably should be. You tell your stories so well.
Good luck on that battle.