Timothy Pride
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Hey, so now the Civilization PBF Game #1 has ended, we can discuss about it here. Bear in mind, that this WILL be long, turn by turn and case by case, and by my point of view. But, if you're interested in learning more of the intricacies inside this game, I promise you that this will be a good read . You will learn the reasons of why I took some of the decisions, and it does took a lot of play to be "aware" of most of these things.


Turn 1
My starting army was:
Spearman (2)
Spearman (2)
Spearman (1)
Archer (2)
Horseman (2)
Okay, not the worst, but certainly below average. Needs work on that. But for now, exploring takes priority. What chance it could go wrong anyway? You know, if you said something like this, Murphy's Law tends to love you. Since I'm German, naturally I'd go for coins or military. Having Navigation is certainly not my agenda. But it does hindering Russia to steal my tech (I hope). Thankfully, there's a good spot for 2nd city at south, so certainly Code of Laws and changing into Republic would be the best choice.



Turn 2
Wow, Russia changed into Republic? Odd, but since nobody else research Metalworking, maybe I'd have a chance to get that Colossus. Let's see if I can do that. For now, to increase my trade (and diminishing my bad starting draw), Barrack is the best choice. Not exploring right now, to get the best position of 2nd city. The hut contained Silk, that should be quite handy in the future. Cannot do research now, but next turn 2nd city will give me a great jump.



Turn 3
China used We Love the Despot Day! Luckily, it's for Stonehenge, making it possible to me to build Colossus. I think long and hard for this, should it be this turn or next turn? If it's this turn, I can only research lv1 tech and lv2 for next turn. If not, I can research lv2 tech, and next turn, research lv1 tech. Since I think I don't need Irrigation right now (and I did also ponder to get Democracy), I'll built it now. I built it in 2nd city since I didn't want to cover any of Capital's icons.

Exploration, didn't produce quite a good result. The only ideal place for 3rd city would be F4, and it's going to be though to get there fast. Since I have to cover lots of spaces and I did have Silk, I'd have Horseback Riding.



Turn 4
Here we started to name our cities. Wait a minute... what's that lonely army at B10? Hmm.. If Egypt got careless, and took that hut alone this turn, I could move beside him, and since next turn I'd move first, he wouldn't have a chance to escape. The nasty thought in me started tinkering. And, if he's going for coins, this would be good chance to harass him.

Drat! He's being vigilant! And my orders have been resolved too! What the hell am I going to do with 2 armies there? If I put the army at D5, I'd get that good spot for 3rd city. That taught me not to send orders in rush. Fortunately, my effort to raise the average power of my units paid off. I got Archer (3). Since almost certainly that I'd choose Metal Casting later, that's why I chose artillery to build.

Since plan to harass Egypt got foiled, cannot hinder him means I must caught up with him. And that means choosing the spot for 3rd city NOW! I had no other choice than to take not quite a good spot for Munich. Getting to F4 would be too late to keep momentum. Not to mention the scout would be useless next turn. The hut was a spy, not quite that I hoped, but maybe it would be critical during late game. Obviously the research this turn was Irrigation.



Turn 5
This turn has the most turbulence for me. I had planned to put the scout to F2. But Russia had just researched Navigation! And his position was ready to knock on my door! Why he made a lot of efforts to target me, when by the map he'd have easier time to target China? I just didn't get it. Oh well, pseudo threat had been thrown as a vain effort to get him back, but not only he preserved, he even got the guts to build his 3rd city there! Maddening!

As if I'm not suffered enough, China played The Citizens are Revolting! to give me anarchy. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME??!!! There were no clear advantages for China to do that. And if that happened because Russia had made a secret deal with China, I'd said that was a damn brilliant! Annoying as hell, but brilliant nonetheless. But later we found out it was just a random moves. Great...

That sealed it for me. Forget about economic path. Forget about trying to harass Egypt. To have a chance to win, I must do Blitzkrieg Military! And the target is Russia! Get all the Barracks! Get that village in F4! (as if adding salt to the wound, I got Iron, the resource that I wanted least right now). At least with this I'm ready to take revenge when Russia stole the hut.

There's quite a few battles happened this turn (and Russia didn't take the hut after all. Did the threat really works?). Interesting note here, China steal the village from Egypt. So Egypt did get harassed a little, although for no effect, since he could just took the revenge with better armies (but I do wonder why he chose the hut as spoils instead village).

Now, this was agonizing choice for me. Should I try for Himeji (means getting Monarchy) or Democracy? Trying for Himeji is very risky, since next turn I'd be last in turn order, so someone could snatch it (calculating their tech and trade, unlikely, but it's still a possibility). And also it would require a great deal of cost, and I must use the ability of Horseback Riding even if it would be wasted if someone build it before me. Democracy would produce lesser impact, but still quite a consideration since 50% of my units is infantry. And I'd get free unit, and also a resource. Hmm.... but Monarchy ability could be useful later at war. Oh the dilemma... Oh well, no pain no gain. Let's took the risky path! Monarchy it is!



Turn 6
And now we see that Russia also learned Monarchy! What have I done wrong for him??!! My panic ease a little when I saw that there's now way that Russia could build Himeji by himself. But there's still a possibilities by off chance he'd get a random kindness, who knows? Also I saw that Egypt could also be able to build Himeji! Oh my... And here's also the point where a lot of trash talks being thrown. I must choose my words carefully now. China was a wild card here, having his Writing as a powerful tool to prevent me or Egypt getting Himeji. I considered to give my Spy to China, but also afraid of getting backstabbed later on (as had happened during my previous games). Finally I stayed silent seeing the conversation seemed to walk towards China wouldn't help Egypt. As I wait in anxiety...

Finally Himeji was mine! Phew, this is not good for the heart. Ah, I see that Egypt just wanted to replace the Hanging Gardens, and still want to be able to research lv3. Man, I'm not allowed to rest, am I? If he choose Gunpowder, then BOOM! Bye bye Himeji that was not contributing anything yet!

But hey, Russia chose to attack a village, and lost 2 units! That would help my military campaign. China take over the village, but now Egypt also started to knock on my door! Sigh... So some of my army need to be put as "overwatch" position. But one was ready to hit the Russia (and getting Incense! Nice!). And naturally I had to chose Navigation if I want to invade.



Turn 7
Phew, nobody's researching Gunpowder, yet. Understandable, there's Statue of Liberty in pool, so Metal Casting was Egypt choice. But I was quite shocked to realize that he already had 4 coins, and his coin engine has been built. It's too late. I could see no reasonable way to hinder him right now. Especially when my attentions were focused on Russia. It would be normal to get 3-4 coins per turn, so that leaves 3 or 4 turns again. And, since we're using original tie-breaker rules, I HAVE TO win in 3 turns. Getting tied (in 4 turns) is not an option, since economic could easily win during City Management phase. To be able to pull it off, I must NOT make any mistakes, and need quite stretch of luck (here's hoping my bad lucks at early game would turn to be good now).

Alright, so nothing fancy's going on, it's time to gear up for battle. Train another Archer (3) (Sweet!), and couple of armies. Here's the deal. Should I play safe and wait for Metal Casting later, and which also having a risk of Himeji being Gunpowdered later (since Russia can research lv3 tech)? Or be bold and doing it now? At worst I will lose, I've prepared for having 19 trade and 3 resources, so even if I lost it wouldn't affect me much, but he had 5 units and I would only had 3 units Even though I had Himeji, chance to succeed still below 50%. At least he will suffer greater casualties than me, so next turn would be easier to conquer. But the deciding factor was, to be able to win within 3 turns, I must do it NOW! (just calculate the space from my closest flags with Moscow).

Aaand I drew my Spearman (1). Of all the battles, you just HAD to show up now eh? (Murphy's Law, I hate you). Luckily Himeji negates it a little. And also luckily, Russia made a little mistake (as shown by Ian) but cost him the victory. It gave me TREMENDOUS boost of chance to win. I took 2 huts in hope can get the spy from him (if he have any), but unfortunately it's just Wheat and Iron. And obviously, I researched Metal Casting, getting back the lost artillery (Cannon 4) and Silk. Also note, that I get enough to research lv4 next turn. How, I still don't know. Also, lucky for me, Egypt cannot research lv2 tech (by the situation of his pyramid and his trade was spent for making Statue of Liberty), so that's a bye2 for Printing Press.



Turn 8
Nope! China researched Printing Press, so naturally Egypt also took it with Statue of Liberty. Can't blame China though. But suddenly, the unexpected happened! China played Shared Knowledge to me! This would prove critical later on, but it seemed he didn't realize it yet.

Having Metal Casting, it's time to be civilized, burning incense, I got We Love the Despot Day! and Defection. Sweet! Finally the winds turned on me. Now remember, Monarchy IS powerful. With silk, I killed one unit of Russia, ensuring my victory when fighting him. But let's not think about that. Egypt gained Great Industrialist, giving him 9th coin, and by the situation, he could win on next turn (as I elaborate later), which, fortunately he didn't seem to realize it. He tried to gather all other players to fight me, in which I tried to counter his calling, but I didn't want to say too much, risking a hint for him to win on next turn if he realized it.

Finally, the movements. After grueling preparations, finally I can bulldoze my way to Russia. Since I have Printing Press, now I can steal Communism from Russia. And later I could research Flight (giving me an airplane and incense), enabling most of my armies reach the Moscow.

Now, at this point, I would almost certainly won. But in my analysis, there's still a few possible chance for me to lose. But it needed a great deal of cooperation to pull it of. In next turn, I had 3 armies that could reach Moscow. If Russia had spy, he could stopped one with Communism. If Egypt had it, then he can learn Communism with Statue of Liberty and stopped the 2nd one. And finally, if China positioned his army correctly, and holding/could get Mass Defection card, or maybe Disorientation and its variant, then I would be unable to win next turn, and certainly Egypt would win on 10th turn.



Turn 9

And sure enough, being public enemy, bounds to make other players conspire against you. Well, more like blatant cooperate than consipire. Ah well, this has been intersting game. Let's see if they can pull it off, and it will be a good challenge to me. And sure enough, with love/hate relationship I have with Murphy's Law, they seem to be able to get neccessary things to prevent me from winning this turn.

These were pushing me to the limits of thinking. But, after more consideration on the boards, I need to make bolder move. My other armies were also in range... to attack Egypt and China! They also had low number of units, so attacking them was still viable chance. I was in rush to make overkill (making more Aircraft) instead trying to prepare more (by making United Nations). Oh well, it would be cancelled anyway. At least next turn should have less chance to be cancelled. And lucky for me, Monarchy from Russia got rid my pesky weak Spearman. Now my units deck at its fullest potential.

So yes, 3 of my army in range to attack Moscow, 2 of them got Communism to stay, and 1 of them got Lost. Attacking Nanjing, I was prepared to lose 2 units. But for some reason China didn't do it, so I won with only 1 casualty. Time for Egypt, and I admit, I cheated a little (or more likely being resourceful), by looking the history of this PBF, I figured out Egypt units composition can never beat me, even if they have all the best number (but hey, they were cooperating, so I guess it balances out). So I attack with full confidence (not that I have other options anyway, If I didn't do it, Egypt would surely win next turn). China was on the verge of winning too, but needed at least another turn after next turn, so it's Egypt that I must crippled most.

So by ransacking few cities, it also enabled me to research lv3 tech, for surely I'd take Military Science, boosting all my Barracks to Academies. A (real) Global Total Domination was at hand!!!! And by the looks of it, I would've won anyway next turn, so it's a wrap.



Phew, that's all to it. It was a long game, but surely very worth it!!! It's the most epic Civ game I've ever played.



Additional note: As you can see, I took a risk of spreading my armies instead stacking them. Why did I do that? 3 reasons:
- One of my opponents is dlhammond : We've debated quite a number in some of past threads, and I know he feels that economic is sometimes too powerful (yeah, it's a little bit metagaming). So high chance that he will go economic (and he did!), means that speed is the essence here. Combining army means delaying one turn, turn that I cannot afford to waste any.
- My target is Russia : Military campaign against Russia, means that your stack of armies could get stopped by Communism at the worst possible time. Spreading makes it less likely for them to be stopped.
- My other opponents is China : even if Russia doesn't have spy resources, China could easily reach Age III culture cards, and getting Wholesale Defection is the least that I wanted to happen when I was ready to attack capital

This just shows how strategy plays a lot of part in this game. I decide to go for military during turn 5, and if I didn't prepare for those for turn 9 and 10, the tides could have been easily turned (happened quite a lot during my previous games). There's a lot of tactics too, if I didn't choose my actions carefully according to the game state, my preparations would crumble. So for everyone that said this game is impossible to plan ahead/chaotic/too much randomness, here's your answer (if you care to read it anyway). I've had quite few bad lucks during early part of the game, but those have not destroyed my chance to win.

This is also a good example how to prevent economic victory (for anyone who complains that this path is unbeatable). If you harass coin player enough (in this case is me), he won't have a chance to keep going for coins. He (or in this case, me) could insist going for coin, but certainly cannot finish it in turn 9. At best turn 11. You must harass coin player as early as possible. And as you can see in turn 7, although dlhammond had just gathered 4 coins, it's already too hard (and borderline impossible) to prevent/hinder from finishing his coins. But in the end I was also able to completely stopped him, so that's another myth busted that coin players are unstoppable.

Of course, the credit is not all for me, since my "perfect" moves can only be happened because of Playing By Forum. I'm still learning, and I still make mistakes during face to face game. You might not know it, but some of my decisions above took time nearly an hour each, if not more. In face to face, sometimes I succumb to adrenaline rush, brain fart, blinding excitement, and such, and I couldn't calculate every possible moves of my opponents, unless it will be severe case of AP. But there you go, this is the potential of Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game!


Now, I've said my piece, time for others to chime in
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Daniel Hammond
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Much like Hillary Clinton I thought "It takes a village" but typed up hut... once Ian told me what it was I couldn't have said oops I meant village.
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Darkmot wrote:
This is also a good example how to prevent economic victory (for anyone who complains that this path is unbeatable). If you harass coin player enough (in this case is me), he won't have a chance to keep going for coins. He (or in this case, me) could insist going for coin, but certainly cannot finish it in turn 9. At best turn 11. You must harass coin player as early as possible. And as you can see in turn 7, although dlhammond had just gathered 4 coins, it's already too hard (and borderline impossible) to prevent/hinder from finishing his coins. But in the end I was also able to completely stopped him, so that's another myth busted that coin players are unstoppable.
Quoted For Truth. It was really interesting to watch this dynamic develop - not only being forced to convert to military yourself, but watching your military squelch coin collection of others. Certainly this example is bearing out in the data collection thread - Military seems the best and only way to crush coin.

I watched this game, off and on, from it's start and it seemed incredibly tight. I wonder if, because this was PBF, the time between actions allowed players to analyze and choose their best possible option and so things were a bit more intense. Nice work everyone, it was entertaining to follow, and Ian was really awesome for moderating the whole thing.
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Great analysis, Timothy!! And I didn't know how much a threat I was to you...

First of all I have to say I really enjoyed this game until the end, although it was clear half way through that I'm going to lose, and I handed Timothy the victory in Turn 5. But let me explain from the beginning:

From the beginning I was sure to try for a Tech victory. Russia is up to the job, just keep them Germans at bay long enough. It looked like China was going for culture from the beginning and I didn't feel threatened from the people in the south. Egypt was too far to deal with anyway so I concentrated my efforts against Germany.

The first 3 turns turned out pretty well, although my switching to Republic was a mistake. I haven't played the game in a while and I thought Communism gives you only 1 instead of the 2 extra hammers. My bad, but that wasn't really game changing.

Then suddenly the Colossus was gone, and I waited eagerly for the Porcelain Tower to come up. Turn 4, here we go. I had everything lined up, I would've been starting player in Turn 5, I had enough hammers, and in Turn 4 I would just research Construction to use my wheat AND get the discount for the Tower. Suddenly Egypt build the Tower in Turn 4.... NOOOOOOO.... and here's my game changing panic reaction: If I research Monarchy instead of Construction I can build Himeji in Turn 5, forgetting that I cannot spend my wheat for 5 hammers because I don;t have COnstruction... *facepalm*. Well, I realized in Turn 5 city management. And of course Germany bought the Castle. My downfall began.

My last hope lay in getting Steam Power in Turn 6 to steal Democracy and Metal Working to boost my military. And since I was so unlucky to pick up 2 wheat and 2 iron during my hut encounters I went for a village, destroying half my units and one of my armies. Germany had too many armies lined up at their cities and I couldn't reach them even with my 5 movements. China was too far away to make it in time, not to mention the Egyptian cities.

But Germany didn't sleep, and one by one annihalated my armies and then went for my cities. Well, the rest is history.....


It's funny though. I knew this game could be optimized but it seemed that every little move of my opponents was well thought out. Being a scientist I analyze data every day, but when it comes to games I play really intuitively without much analyzing. And at that point I realized that I'm playing for leisure, but you people are professionals. My hat is off!!
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Daniel Hammond
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For my portion. I was surprised how bold China was in the beginning. Had I taken that village from winning the battle it would have been even less of an effect. The thing about playing with people you don't know is you have no idea who they are or their strengths and weaknesses as a player. Just knowing who I was playing against would have changed everything for me. If you watch the first 5 turns of the game Timothy really did nothing aggressive which lulled me although I knew he was going for the castle at the time my units were better than his. When he attacked a Russian city with 1 army and devastated the Russian military the dominoes had already begun to fall. I saw (because of my mistake of building the trading post in Giza) that I was a resource short from ending the game in turn 9 (during turn 8) so I had to try to kill off some German units myself to distract him from Russia. Well he hit me first and his one flag killing machines didn't even blink my direction. I helped orchestrate the defense of Moscow to buy myself a turn, but besides getting an additional coin myself I still found myself a turn short of winning (due to Alexandria being sacked). My only chance to win in the last turn was to take Beijing and Timothy blocked me with his armies (to be in the space I needed to be when I stole Flight with Liberty) and with 3 units I couldn't best China's walls nor her generals. It was a great game and I enjoyed it more than any other that I have played so far (even with my mistakes).
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dlhammond wrote:
Much like Hillary Clinton I thought "It takes a village" but typed up hut... once Ian told me what it was I couldn't have said oops I meant village.
I wondered about that, but I figured that you were hoping to get a resource that might be useful now rather than a resource that might be useful later, since I think you had no use for any of the village resources at the time.
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Darkmot wrote:
My starting army was:
Spearman (2)
Spearman (2)
Spearman (1)
Archer (2)
Horseman (2)
Okay, not the worst, but certainly below average. Needs work on that.
As it happens, the best starting draw was the Chinese with a 1-2-3. Everybody else had below-average units.
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Timothy Pride
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The MatrixCube wrote:
Great analysis, Timothy!! And I didn't know how much a threat I was to you...
Well, yes, even if your 1st purpose was to steal my tech, who's gonna guarantee you didn't switch to military any time arrrh. And if you did get Himeji....robot

The MatrixCube wrote:
From the beginning I was sure to try for a Tech victory. Russia is up to the job, just keep them Germans at bay long enough. It looked like China was going for culture from the beginning and I didn't feel threatened from the people in the south. Egypt was too far to deal with anyway so I concentrated my efforts against Germany.
Actually, since China didn't threaten you, you'd probably get better success by targeting them, and just build enough defense to hold me in case I was going crazy. I was already hindered by map, so I was less likely to target you (with my city placement it would also clear if you didn't knock my door, I'd go harass Egypt, not you).

The MatrixCube wrote:
Then suddenly the Colossus was gone, and I waited eagerly for the Porcelain Tower to come up. Turn 4, here we go. I had everything lined up, I would've been starting player in Turn 5, I had enough hammers, and in Turn 4 I would just research Construction to use my wheat AND get the discount for the Tower. Suddenly Egypt build the Tower in Turn 4.... NOOOOOOO.... and here's my game changing panic reaction: If I research Monarchy instead of Construction I can build Himeji in Turn 5, forgetting that I cannot spend my wheat for 5 hammers because I don;t have COnstruction... *facepalm*. Well, I realized in Turn 5 city management. And of course Germany bought the Castle. My downfall began.
You mean turn 5 and 6? Turn 6 was when I built the Himeji.

Turn 6 was really the interesting one. I was gritting my teeth all the time hoping nothing goes wrong (I was the last player!). If you extend your diplomacy a little bit to make Egypt gave his Horseback Riding residue, you could build it. Egypt getting Statue of Liberty also kinda overkill. If he opted to get Himeji instead (or gave his Horseback Riding residue to you), I am doomed.

The MatrixCube wrote:
My last hope lay in getting Steam Power in Turn 6 to steal Democracy and Metal Working to boost my military. And since I was so unlucky to pick up 2 wheat and 2 iron during my hut encounters I went for a village, destroying half my units and one of my armies. Germany had too many armies lined up at their cities and I couldn't reach them even with my 5 movements. China was too far away to make it in time, not to mention the Egyptian cities.

But Germany didn't sleep, and one by one annihalated my armies and then went for my cities. Well, the rest is history.....
Funny thing is, getting Himeji is like getting full of treasure. You feel relieved, but at the same time feel so insecure. If you went for Gunpowder instead Steam Power, BOOM! Bye bye Himeji. That's why I dared to attack your Wladiwostock at turn 7, since that's the only time I could utilize Himeji(if you did get Gunpowder), even if I had less than 50% chance to win. At least, next turn I'll have Metal Casting so the loss if Himeji won't be that great.




dlhammond wrote:
If you watch the first 5 turns of the game Timothy really did nothing aggressive which lulled me although I knew he was going for the castle at the time my units were better than his.
I was trying to at least harass you by killing your lonely army above Giza. But your vigilance (giving it another flag) preventing me to do that. angry

dlhammond wrote:
When he attacked a Russian city with 1 army and devastated the Russian military the dominoes had already begun to fall. I saw (because of my mistake of building the trading post in Giza) that I was a resource short from ending the game in turn 9 (during turn 8) so I had to try to kill off some German units myself to distract him from Russia. Well he hit me first and his one flag killing machines didn't even blink my direction. I helped orchestrate the defense of Moscow to buy myself a turn, but besides getting an additional coin myself I still found myself a turn short of winning (due to Alexandria being sacked).
Yeah, not sacking Alexandria was really not an option for me. You'll definitely win next turn, so I HAD to attack you arrrh. Luckily for me, while removing one of my army to be out of range to Moscow, you put it in range to your armies instead. If not, Alexandria might not be sacked, since I might tried to attacking your army again by using one of my flags at west part. Then when moving to Alexandria, DEFECTION!

dlhammond wrote:
My only chance to win in the last turn was to take Beijing and Timothy blocked me with his armies (to be in the space I needed to be when I stole Flight with Liberty) and with 3 units I couldn't best China's walls nor her generals. It was a great game and I enjoyed it more than any other that I have played so far (even with my mistakes).
Yeah, even if I didn't block it, you need to beat Nanjing first . Maybe you could if you have full units, but that would've made another good reason why I should attack you that turn




Peristarkawan wrote:
As it happens, the best starting draw was the Chinese with a 1-2-3. Everybody else had below-average units.
See, this is why people should stop complain about bad draw in starting units. You WON'T KNOW that your opponents got better or worse units. And would you really want to take that chance?
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Good read, thanks for sharing your input on the game. There is a lot going on in this game and I am still struggling to really grasp the strategies. I'm learning but certainly can't offer the same tightness of play in our pbf game #2. It does not appear that this game will end in turn 9 or 10 like yours unless something is going on that I can't see. Like the matrixcube I usually play intuitively and the time a pbf game gives you just seems to increase my indecision as I see the plethora of options before me.

Very enjoyable game though!
 
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