Friday, February 26, 2010

CivRev - One city challenge


After dominating a deity level match through aggressive expansion, I thought it might be interesting to see if it's possible to do a one city challenge. The AI's managed to keep up with me for the early-mid game with a limited number of cities, so I thought it would be at least achievable up until that point.

Had a couple of false starts earlier through poor city positioning, and being too militarily aggressive. Once you take a city, there seems to be no way of razing / gifting / trading / abandoning the city, thus breaking the one-city challenge self imposed rules. Military is still useful to block AI expansion through Civ2-like choke point squatters and gaining early barbarian huts.

In this game I started with a seemingly average starting position as the Greeks. They have an initial courthouse which lends itself well to an early booming city. Starting position had whales and fish in reach, as well as a good mix of production and food. More water than I'd have liked, but it's essential to settle on the coast to get early scouting boats for claiming special goodyhuts.

Kept up to speed with the AIs to mid game with no real combat. Once again they stayed fairly passive allowing me to stock up on barbarians and goodyhuts. This map had 5 and I managed to grab all of them in the end.

Built an early colossus to keep ahead of the technology curve, but needed to get to navigation to utilise the whales. City was approaching 10 pop and had some interesting choices in mid game as to what building to eek out while I kept the seas churning up research.

Navigation finally arrived and with it a nice Greek bonus: +1 food per sea square. Happened to be the same turn as my harbour finished to give +2 food on sea as well as the trade. +30 food per turn and and additional population every 1-2 turns. I'm laughing. At least the AI noticed the massive change too and immediately started demanding tribute or face war. Everyone was far enough away to ignore their requests and eventually only the Spanish and Indians on the other side of the map launch an attack.

From that point on it was more or less game over. Within 10 turns I had tech down to 2-3 turns each and started pulling away from the pack. Scooped up the military ones early to give me the free units and concentrated on building any science or culture buildings. By the 1800's I had a 31 pop city and noticed it had maxxed out the size. Damn 5 bit values.

While my city stagnated at the top, India was going heavy culture and had overtaken me in the amount of great people. They had virtually no tech, so there didn't seem to be much chance they would grab another 5 wonders before the end of the game. I built out some gold oriented wonders just to keep them at bay. Combat was typically Battleships vs Sail or tanks on swordsmen, so I just kept up the choke points and teched hard to the end.

By the time my spaceship launched, India had a pair of cities over 20 and 7 others scattered around the map. Other Civs weren't particularly adventurous and there was possibly 1/3 of the map remaining unused by the time I landed on Alpha Centauri.

The score would certainly indicate that it's not the best way to play the game: almost 1/4 of the score from last time. Not sure whether I have the the time or desire to play through another full game, but at least this one was over in only 4 hours.