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Subject: Evaluating The Threats of Calamities rss

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Lazarus Darkeyes
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Playa del Rey
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Goal: I, personally, am interesting in seeing if there is any merit in a 'total calamity mitigation' Advance buying strategy. (I'm not saying IT WILL WORK...but I want to try it in action a couple of times)

In doing so, I was trying to come up w/ some way to assign a value of what calamities to fear to what degree. A few variables I have debated factoring:
-Frequency of Appearance: deck number -- in the games my group plays, we have trouble getting anyone over 6 cities aside from a few occasional rare instances. For Mega Civ, we have not yet once drawn from the 9 deck. So calamities in lower decks are vastly more appropriate to look to mitigate
-'Area of Effect': secondary victims -- famine and epidemic are the biggest offenders. Even if you don't end up w/ it, you can still get hit. This increases the likelihood that mitigating Advances will pay off.
-Frequency of Primary Victimization: Tradeable vs. Non-Tradeable -- this...is iffy. I can make an argument both ways. If Non-tradeable, if you get it, you are stuck with it. But if it's tradeable and you get it you can get rid of it...and you can have it given to you. That seems like its basically a wash to me unless you factor your relative skill in trading to your opponents. If you feel you are above average in trading skill in your group, then these are to *some* degree less likely to get stuck w/ the hot potato.
-Severity: Damage -- this is mostly obvious I think. "How bad is it if I get this?" This is probably the easiest variable to put a value to. Although, to keep this strategy fairly general, I'm not 100% sure how to evaluate reduce vs. destroy. I think I might just blanket assume reduction, on average, hits 2-value cities and calculate accordingly.

Thoughts?
 
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JR Honeycutt
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Interesting - your players aren't paying the 15 tokens to draw from the #9 deck? We do that a lot.
 
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Tony Thomas
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jayahre wrote:
Interesting - your players aren't paying the 15 tokens to draw from the #9 deck? We do that a lot.

Same here. The 9 deck empties out way more often than any other deck... except maybe the 1 deck.
 
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Jeff Warrender
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One simple way to think about this might be to try to put each calamity onto a risk matrix. The x axis (1-5) is likelihood of occurrence (1 = extremely unlikely, 5 = nearly certain), and the y axis (1-5) is severity (1 = no big deal, 5 = super big deal). Multiply the value of the two coordinates to get the risk value. So, a (3,2) is 3 times as bad as a (2,1), for example. If you could fit the calamities into a simple framework like this it might give a useful starting point.
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Markus A
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It sounds like you are having some strange games going, trouble getting more than 6 cities? Are your players super aggressive or what?
Anyhoo, highest turnover for us is usually seen in pile #3 and #9. Slowest turnover rate is without a doubt #8.
So, which calamities tend to really mess your game up? Off the top of my head I'd say Civil War, Epidemic, Tyranny, Civil Disorder, Iconoclasm and Heresy and Piracy. Regression is tough on VP but doesn't mess with your game.
You probably don't need to negate all the negative effects but some protection is needed.
 
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Lazarus Darkeyes
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We do tend to have super aggressive players OFTEN interfering w/ city construction of others and city attacks happen a couple of times a turn.

Can someone make the case for why spend 15 treasury on a 9 card vs. 15 spent toward buying Advances? Maybe I can pass that argument on my group. Concerns group has expressed:
-wary of buying a calamity
-reliable 15 value vs risky 9 value -- if no one else buys a matching commodity, then you 'wasted' 6 dollars

Thanks for all input!
 
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Markus A
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Step 1. Explain to the other players that Civilization is a trading game, NOT a wargame.
Step 2. Build cities
Step 3. Trade
Step 4. ...
Step 5. Profit.

The way you're going everyone seems to take turns shooting themselves in the foot?
We routinely see people opting for starvation rather than attacking neighbors just to preserve good relations and we routinely see people with 9 cities in our games. People are buying commodity cards very frequently and it's pretty common to see full sets traded in.

P.S. It's fairly common to see players saving 8 commodity cards for the next turn. It's a rare occurrence when someone empties his/her entire hand. So, you can actually save your #9 card for later use...
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JR Honeycutt
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LazarusDarkeyes wrote:


Can someone make the case for why spend 15 treasury on a 9 card vs. 15 spent toward buying Advances? Maybe I can pass that argument on my group. Concerns group has expressed:
-wary of buying a calamity
-reliable 15 value vs risky 9 value -- if no one else buys a matching commodity, then you 'wasted' 6 dollars



Often times I need to get tokens out of treasury and into my supply so that I won't have tax revolts the next turn, but I can't do it building ships because I already have 4 ships out there.

I believe the rules are unclear about when players get to buy from the stacks - Flo said previously that you choose as a group whether it happens before or after players receive trade cards. We do it before, so that my players will pay attention when I ask them things rather than look at their new cards

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Lazarus Darkeyes
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2 Methods I'm starting to form:
1=Abstract - it doesn't care about the number of players or your position or anything; it's just a high level evaluation of threats.
2=Specific - it will take allow for variable input for a more fine-tuned answer

Abstract
A few base evaluations I'm considering:
*All else being equal, a calamity has equal chance to end up hitting every player
*Since non-tradeable calamities have to cycle to the bottom of decks, I'm going to assign a general multiplier and say that TRADEABLE calamities will surface x2 in frequency vs. non-tradeable
*I will assume that the damage of a calamity is the ONLY thing hitting you that turn; I'm not going to look to factor chaining calamities.
*I'm going to assume Volcanic Eruption / Earthquake just always has the Earthquake fire off. The volcanoes are not common enough.
*There are enough city sites on the map for everyone to have 6.94 cities. But it's not a perfect world...I'm going to math assuming all players have 6.5 cities w/ a coefficient of variation = 1
*One metric will be to calculate damage. That's mostly easy w/ a few hiccups...
-sure, cities are 5, tokens are 1, that is easy
-hand-waving that MOST of the board's city sites are 2-population spaces. Going to call reducing a city '3 damage' (city minus 2 tokens)
-Unless anyone has a better suggestion, I'm going to call 1 step back on AST = 25 damage (if a city is 5 damage...and an AST step is 5 VP...and a city is 1 VP...look, I don't have a better idea)
-For all non-tradable calamities, I'm going to assume you have cities sufficient to draw it (didn't buy a card that gave it to you)
-when appropriate relevant, I'm going to assume that before a calamity hits you, you have population = citiesx2 + 4 (arbitrary buffer number -- I'm open to better suggestions)

Need to run, but I will work on this later
 
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