Sirian's Great Library - Strategies for Civilization III
CHRONICLES
RBCiv Epic Forty-Seven


Civilization: Greece
Difficulty: Custom
World Size: Standard
Opponents: Nine
Land Mass: 85%
Land Shape: Pangaea
Barbarians: Roaming
Version: Conquests v1.22
These are my results from Epic 47 of the Realms Beyond Civilization tournament. Click Here to visit the Epics home page for the specific rules and goals of this event, or for more information about the Epics.
This is a custom scenario, and I had in mind to try not only a new mix of gameplay conditions but also to conduct a bit of a study in to the AI and the game balance, in a way that would show some definitive results. As a product of this intent, I know other Epics players will play normally (IE, use the full bag of tricks available under our rules) so I'm going to run a bit of a control group.
If possible, I will avoid wars and simply watch what the AI is doing (and why). I'll cave to threats. I'll be doing my own research, and knowing how I stacked the deck here, will probably be low on the territory totem pole, by which the AI may even leave me completely alone. If I do get in to wars, though, I'll have to buy allies just to prevent them all from lining up against me (as apparently happened to Grimjack; see his report linked from the RBCiv forum).
Doing my own research means not whoring it up with the tech trading. If I don't get in on the brokering gravy train, though, I am likely to fall quite a bit behind. So in addition to being a control group in regard to other players, my simple game plan will also act as a control group compared to the natural flow of the AIs. We'll see what happens.
Knowing the land, since I drew the map by hand, I can't help but know the situation and be affected by the spoilers. As usual in this regard, I'm simply playing a shadow game and not going to jump through hoops pretending not to know what I know. I sent out four units (warriors, hoplites) one in each direction, and I found all the AIs before 900BC. I expanded south (toward the only patch of desert nearby -- guess what's hiding in there) and east, toward the nearest sourch of fresh water. I got to two rings of cities in these directions but only one ring to west and north. The AI and their three starting settlers were really good at grabbing land -- of the Civ3 AI's best strengths.
I barely got to this site half a turn before Korea:
Checking other players' reports, Microbe went for Philosophy Freebie and that acted as admission to the brokerage house. He was able to make tech trades from there and not fall behind the bulk of the AIs. Kylearan got to and completed the Great Library, so got a free ride in to the middle of the middle ages, and was in the best position from there. Sulla pulled neither of these tricks and simply scrounged his way up, almost falling behind but not quite.
For me, of course, without tech trading in any great quantity, I fell behind to where I could not have made a tech trade to save my life. All the AIs knew not only all tech that I knew, but all tech that I could even reach or research. I became the true Backward Civ(TM).
Celts attacked Korea and then got dogpiled by a chain reaction of alliances against them. They survived for a while because it took so long for ancient armies to march across the world one tile at a time, but eventually things went south for them.
By AD times, the Celts are losing cities. I poached three city sites in the jungle where two of their cities were razed. Miletos is the first of my three stolen prizes.
You can see my core. Troy would turn out to be a critical early grab as far as my personal objectives of gaining further insight to the "why" of AI behaviors.
Around this time, Egypt had been marching a massive stack of ancient units across my lands, from west to east, on a sneak attack against India. When they arrived, fast units ahead of the foot troops, they finally declared. India bought in Korea to help them and in 200AD, Egypt bought in Carthage on their side. Carthage chose unwisely, as you can see here:
Most of Egypt's army never reached India. They got their puppet strings pulled by Korea, and simply turned around and marched homeward, then ended up attacking Korean forces they met along the way.
Egypt ended up razing one Korean town, in passing, and I poached the site by settling quickly on the Pink Dot.
In my game, Carthage got the Pyramids, but India got Statue of Zeus, SunTzu, and Knights Templar. Nasty combination. They were also the tech leader and so they put the whack on poor Carthage. Egypt and Korea were locked up. India bought Persia in against Carthage and Carthage sent most of its forces against Persia, since India's cities were defended by pikemen now (and Carthage was slave-chained to attacking cities with weaker defenders). Thus India got a free pass.
Meanwhile, Carthage bought in Germany against Persia, but NOT against India, so India continued to attack Carthage. However, Carthage cities were defended by their 3-strength UU while German cities were defended by 2-strength spears, so Persia was slave-chained to attacking Germany now, leaving Carthage out of gas and easy pickings for the stronger Indian units.
Egypt and Korea were locked up in a straight one to one clash, and I got to see most of it as I had a strip of land between them.
Although Egypt's force appears to have some coherency, in fact their units are simply trickling toward the enemy. Before a Civ uses up its standing army, the Trickle Attack strategy can appear to be somewhat realistic and effective. Once they are out of standing forces, though, and down to only newly-produced units, this trickle effect becomes entirely useless. It can't retake cities. It can't reinforce. All it does is pick off a stray unit here or there.
Egypt and Korea fought mostly to a stalemate while India swallowed Carthage and Persia (later with help from Incans and Korea) swallowed Germany.
Egypt must have had pikemen in their cities, despite all these spears you see above in the mobile force, because otherwise India would have been drawn to march across the continent to attack Egypt rather than to fight Carthage.
I completed my Forbidden Palace in the city just east of Athens in 420AD.
The Celts ended up at war with the Incans, who began the work of finishing them off. It was during this crusade that I managed to poach a site near some gems in Celtic lands. The moment I built the city, where the white arrow is pointing, I got the resource-connected message.
Here's my situation in 750AD. I have still not been in any wars.
Although the Persians captured German cities, I planted two settlers in holes between these cities and tried to dominate culturally.
Carthage has collapsed and is dying. Celts were wiped out in 720AD. Germany is out of gas, and they too are finished. India is the runaway AI, now with the Pyramids (captured from Carthage) on top of SunTzu and the two free-unit producing wonders. They also have Leo. Egypt got the Great Library, though.
Note that I am still in the ancient age, researching the last mandatory tech of that era, Polytheism.

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