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Civilization – Nuclear Terror Wins the Day! April 29, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Other PC Games, Strategy Group.
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Our fourth week of Civilization V started with a move towards peace.  Mattman and I were still at war at the start, but we didn’t have much direct contact, so he accepted my peace proposal.  I think the major change that came about with that was that the one cavalry unit I had pillaging his hinterland was evicted from his territory.  So we looked to be entering a period of economic and scientific competition.

And then problems started on my domestic front.  My real life domestic front.

Earlier in the evening I had asked if somebody had spilled something during the day, because the carpet in the family room was wet in front of the TV.  My wife, in investigating this, discovered that the water line to our refrigerator had sprung a small leak.  The fridge backs up to the same wall as the TV, and water had been leaking through for some time to the point that the carpet was wet all the way out past the TV.

Time for emergency action.

So we got to test the ability of Civ V to handle people dropping out and then returning to a multiplayer game again.  I left a world at peace that looked like this on the map.

The World - Circa 1950

The World – Circa 1950

My lands are grey, with the dark dots being cities, Potshot is cream with green city dots, Loghound is white with red city dots, Mattman is red with pink city dots, the Mayans are that bisque color with two green city dots, and the black areas are the independent city states.

After moving our TV and related devices, pulling up the carpet and the padding, my wife pulling up a couple gallons of water with a Bissell carpet shampooer, and generally attempting to get things drying while mitigating our damages, I was able to get back to the game.  A little over two hours had passed, and I returned to a world at war.

At some point, after a long period of peace, the AI running Germany declared war on everybody and drove straight into Potshot.

The AI on the move

The AI on the move

By the time I got back, Potshot was down to a single city and Mattman and I were grappling over the island off of his northern coast.

Potshot's last city

Potshot’s last city

Nuclear weapons had come onto the scene, allowing Mattman to essentially bomb me off of the island.  I got one off in return, enough to get the achievement, but not enough to change the outcome of the war.

Wk4NukesAchi

Meanwhile, I was facing a whole series of internal issues caused by the AI.  My net happiness was at -51, so I had revolts springing up all over my empire, while production, research, and military efficiency were all way down due to discontent.  All of the little automations and queues were reset, so now I was the one running out of time with two minute turns as I tried to get my empire under control.  I was bleeding cash.  And the AI had done things like built a gigantic navy in the lake in the middle of Pangea while on the high seas I was out numbered.

I sued for peace after losing the northern island and set about trying to fix things.  I got my happiness under control and my economy running again.  The AI had sold a bunch of improvements in cities in order to keep itself funded, including seemingly anything that made people happy.

And so we ran for a little bit.  The Mayans were gone, Potshot had his one city, Loghound had a small empire, but was still far behind when it came to the score, and Mattman and I were pretty much neck and neck.  I built the United Nations, which allowed us to try to elect a world leader, one of the victory conditions.  But you cannot vote for yourself.  So even though Mattman and I both voted for Loghound, our allied city states voted for us, meaning nobody obtained enough votes to win through that route.

With the space race uncertain… I couldn’t seem to get my ship to assemble… and other paths to victory were looking unlikely… nobody was close on culture or religion, and there was no way anybody was going to conquer the world this late in the game… we were clearly competing on score, and that would only matter on the last turn.

War opened up again with about 30 turns left to go.  I cannot recall who started it, but I am going to blame Mattman, since I was ahead in the score.  The periphery of my own empire was pretty close to his core, so I had to stay on the defensive after trying to bring some units to bear on him piecemeal.  Potshot signed a defensive pack with Mattman, along with an open boarders agreement, allowing him free access into my territory.  That could not stand, so I… and Loghound by mistake… declared war on Potshot.  After some messing about, I eventually drove on his city with a giant death robot (the final upgrade to the armor line) and Chuck Hestonia was mine.

This knocked Potshot out of the game, both literally and figuratively.  He was kicked and sent to the “You lose” screen while the game had to deal with the host having left.  It piled hosting duties on me for my sins, which caused the game to slow down considerably for a couple of turns while it tried to sort this out.

Mattman had been unleashing his nuclear arsenal on me while that was going on.  I had no comparable stockpile (AI built 20 ships in a lake, but no nukes!) and was not well positioned to deliver it even if I had.  Mattman had begun pounding my front line city, Samsun with nukes.

Samsun being terror bombed

Samsun being terror bombed

He managed to create a glowing wasteland around the city before finally extinguishing it.

Samsun wiped out

Samsun wiped out

At turn 325 I was still holding onto a narrow lead.

Wk4ScoreTurn325

But attacks on Chuck Hestonia and a nuclear submarine attack on my west coast managed to push my score down through simple population loss, so that I fell behind by turn 327.

Wk4ScoreTurn327

Mattman was set to win, ready to claim victory over a nuclear wasteland of a world.

Chuck Hestonia nuked and open

Chuck Hestonia nuked and open

When turn 330 hit, we were all dropped into the standard end game interface, which was “You Win!” for Mattman and “You Lose!” for Loghound and I.  I was a bit bummed that it didn’t come out and give us the final score for a multiplayer game right there on the first screen.  After all, that seems the obvious question.  But in all the graphs you can view, there is one that shows the scores throughout the game.

Who won?

Who won?

I thought one of the more interesting graphs was the happiness differential.

Excess Happiness Charted

Excess Happiness Charted

You can see where I was playing, then where I handed things over to the AI, which went for maximum happiness.  And then it declared war and went to a -51 happiness differential, after which I came back and got things back on a happier plane, if not as happy as things once were.

Final Demographics

Final Demographics

Overall, the game went well and seemed sustainable over multiple weeks.  We are going to give it another run on a bigger map with more AI players (and a couple observer slots so people kicked from the game can get back in and watch) and possibly one of the slower time rates, on the theory that with less to do per turn, the timer won’t be as likely to get in the way.

And, finally, a short gallery of the map situation over the course of the game.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The gallery was made by dissecting an animated .GIF file that Loghound created showing the map over the course of the game.  It is over 12MB is size, so I didn’t want to put it in the main post, but if you want to see if I believe this link will take you there. (It is somewhere in G+, so who knows if that link will work reliably or not.)

It runs a bit quickly, and is too big to edit with any of the animated .GIF editors I could find, which is why I pulled out individual frames. (I wanted to slow down the time between frames.)  Oddly, neither PaintShop Pro X3 nor PhotoShop Elements could pull frames from the .GIF file, but the Mac OS image preview app did it without me even asking.  There might be a better tool out there for that sort of thing, but this was my first experience doing anything besides look at an animated .GIF.

Thanks to Loghound for creating that!  That wraps up 9 hours and 39 minutes of game time (According to the end stats, but that number seems low to me. I would expect it to be closer to 12 hours after four evenings of about 3 hours each.) in about six seconds.

The past entries in the series for this game:

 

Comments»

1. Toldain - April 29, 2014

I have not played many multiplayer games, in part because I’m not eager to see the nukes come out. But its entertaining to read about!

2. Wilhelm Arcturus - April 29, 2014

It used to be, at least back in Civ II, that the use of nukes would lower your standing with all of the AI civs, as would razing cities.

Of course, by the time we (Mattman) were tossing nukes around indiscriminately, there were no AI civs left. I suppose we shall see when we have more AI civs about.

3. Anonymous - April 29, 2014

Love reading about your CIv 5 playthroughs. Love the game, but rarely start new games as they tend to suck my time and end the exact same way.

4. Talarian - April 29, 2014

Haha, “The AI did it!” Could be a convenient excuse ;) Highly entertaining set of reads. Thanks for sharing it with us!

5. Anonymous - April 29, 2014

Will point out that I started the game with the Mongols on one side and the Mayans on the other and spent the first 2000 years more or less in a state of constant warfare with them.

6. Whorhay - April 29, 2014

I guess we don’t have all the same expansions, DLC, and whatnot but last I checked you could definitely vote for yourself in the UN.

7. Wilhelm Arcturus - April 29, 2014

@Whorhay – Yeah, I thought you could too. I recall being able to do that in single player games. But it clearly said you couldn’t vote for yourself in the dialog when we were playing. We commented on it in chat. Maybe multiplayer is different?

We were playing at the Gods & Kings expansion level for this game. Everybody has since updated to Brave New World, so we will have to see what changes. I’ll be working on a tourism victory.


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