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[Freeciv-Dev] Re: comments on ics solutions

[Freeciv-Dev] Re: comments on ics solutions

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To: freeciv-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: comments on ics solutions
From: "Mike Jing" <miky40@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2001 21:32:43 -0500
Reply-to: mike_jing@xxxxxxxxx

Marco Colombo <marco@xxxxxx> wrote:
I see. But I won't call it a "strategy". Had he failed its attack, he (or she) was doomed to lose the game, since the effort I imagine was too big to recover from.

I don't know what you would call it. There is always a risk when you decide to attack.

I guess it was not generator=2. And what about of a third player? If you're playing 1 vs 1, I agree there's plenty of room for an interesting game. But how can you afford such early military campaigns knowing that there's another player silently building up a empire a few islands away? Was it so easy to completely destroy another player? I mean a good one. With *horsemen*? Horsemen vs. phalanx is possible, I guess, but I'd expect it to take a while and some effort. And while you are building horsemen, your enemy building phalanxes, the other players are building their own empire. Early war is a bad choice with your settings.

That's the whole point. You see, if there is no restrisction on expansion and war, there will be little incentive to build city improvements, because military units almost always gives you a better immediate return on investment. That's why ICS + war is _the_ winning stretagy in freeciv right now.

Suppose a 4 players game, generator=2, your rules. Excluding surprise attacks (deadly for either the attacker or the defandant, or *both*), I believe vertical expansion is the only way, till you reach Mass Production or the like. That said, every game has a story to tell. There are many ways to achieve vertical expansion. Don't get me wrong, I'm 100% with you, a game with your rules is better than a normal game. I'm just looking for another way to reach the same goal. You based your solution heavily (mostly) on happines. In a normal game, with smallpox,
happiness plays no role. It's good to make players consider it.
I'd say the same about corruption (default settings are too loose
for small maps).

I believe what you want is vertical expansion without the limit on horizontal expansion.

It's true that playability it's more important than realism, but
sometimes we can learn from real life. I believe in RL small cities have very little commercial activity (this is even more true at lower technology levels). In the game, trade improvements should take this into account, but they fail to do that in an effective way. A 7 sized city may have 10-15 trade, but it's still more effecitve to produce 2 settlers and build 2 other cities than to produce a Marketplace and a Library. Even ignoring the initial production cost (160 vs 80), they have an upkeep. With the 70% science - 30% taxes usual rates, 11 trades end up in (8 science + 3 gold). With Marketplace and Library it's 12 science and 3 gold (upkeep counted). Just a +4 of science. I can be more if the base trade production is higher. But I don't percieve it as a big winning move to build them, as it should be. (Their effect will be increased later, of course). Since I believe that increasing trade production in some ways may lead to weird effects later (with bigger cities), the easiest thing to do to is to reduce
trade production on smaller cities. The way I chose it's just the easiest.

That is very true.

You can also set trade <= 1 in absence of a marketplace.
Once you force smallpoxers to build a marketplace to have an
acceptable trade production, you also induce them to grow thier
cities further, since having 20 4-sized cities with 20 marketplaces
will be a bad idea compared to having 7 cities of size 12 with 7

Another idea is to count how many squares a city shares with another one, an set one citizen unhappy every 7 square (draw a little map with 5 cities placed the smallpox way to see how high the impact would be). In RL, two villages placed too close will spend a lot of time discussing on where borders are placed. Implementing this is beyond me. Yet another idea is to put a -1/-1/-1 penalty on a shared square, mainly for the same reason. All this will force people in better placing their cities. But it's not the same as min_dist_bw_cities, which can be annoying sometimes if set to 3 or 4. With correctly spaced cities, smallpox is possible, but for sure not as effective as with current rules. Combine a few of the above (trade) ideas, and you'll make smallpox just another strategy, not the Winning One.

Very interesting ideas, and promising too.

Most of all, non smallpox players won't even notice the difference. I already place cities in order minimize shared squares. You already grow cities over 4. And I believe building a marketplace is high on your priority list for city improvements. If you play the usual way, none of the proposed modifications is visible to you. And you don't have to play math games in order to compute the maximum number of cities you can build. Given the same initial conditions, building 24 15-sized cities or 12 30-sized ones it's just a matter of choice, no one is a clear winner. With your nopox settings, you almost rule out the first option, but "24 15-sized cities" has nothing to do with smallpox.

True.  I am just pointing out there is really no need for 24 cities.

Well, I only say: try it. I've discovered that early advances are just a bit slower. Smallpoxers are actually forced to grow some cities, but they have a easy way to do that. There are plenty of settlers available, so they only have to move 3 of them, combined with 3 mil units to a city, to grow it up to 6 without need for happiness management. Carefully chosing some cities on sea, maybe just building an harbour, you have very good trade cities. So in the end my patch alone it's hardly noticable. But it brings a bit more balance in the game.

It's certainly worth trying.  Good luck.


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