Epic Eight: Diplomatic Triumph

I completed the UN in 1706, so the first Secretary-General vote was held in 1709. When the results came back in 1712, they exceeded my expectations:

They ALL voted for me! Wow! Even TOKU! OK, calm down, calm down. I've been burned before with the UN, with civs supporting me in the leadership election but not in the final vote. Wait three turns, make sure everyone is still happy with me, submit a diplomatic victory motion in 1721...

Crossing fingers...


I'll have more to say about the vote in a second. Oddly enough, however, I did NOT get a victory message upon receiving this result. Say what? I've never had this happen before; always when I won the UN vote, victory was triggered the same turn. Not sure what was going on, but after I ended the 1724 turn, I got the winning message in 1727:

This was a great disappointment to me. Why? Because I was hoping to submit the earliest diplo win ever for an RB Civ event, and Speaker's UN victory in Epic One took place in 1726! So that bizarre delay of one turn actually knocked me behind his earlier result, which was a bit irritating. Now a lot has changed since version 1.09 of Civ4, which featured brokenly-cheap Slavery civic and a number of other problems, and while I can't claim fastest diplo victory overall, I WILL take credit for the earliest such win in 1.61. The fact that it was a TRUE diplo win, with less than 30% of the overall population, made it even sweeter.

Let's look back at that final voting screen again, to highlight a few more points:

Some of the noteworthy thing that jump out include:

- Of the six AI civs that were eligible to vote for me, I managed to pull five of them to my side.
- Despite having only 29.8% of the votes myself, I ended up with 78.5% of the total.
- I had almost 100 more votes than I needed to win, and by percentage it was even more lopsided than that (needed 61.9%, got 78.5%).
- If you throw out both FDR and myself (since we would both obviously vote for ourselves), I collected 288 out of 335 votes from the other AIs (86%).

All told... I've never seen anything like this before. It's hard enough to pull off any diplo win in the first place, and indeed almost all of my diplomatic wins have resulted from either controlling ALL of the votes myself, or going over the top with help from at most one or two allies. To win by TRUE diplo, under not just 40% of the total, but under 30% as well, and then to SHATTER the mark needed to win by pulling not one, two, three, or even four AIs, but the full complement of FIVE of them (including TOKU!) - well, it was the perfect diplomatic game for me. I could not possibly have gotten either FDR (my opponent) or Saladin to vote for me, as the wars against Sal were critical for pulling the other five votes. This was indeed as close to perfect as I'm ever going to get. That's almost sad in a way, because I know that I can never, ever top this result, but at least I'll always have this to remember.

I hope this doesn't come across as bragging, it's just that I've NEVER seen any diplo result quite like this, and I'm still giddy about it even now, weeks after I played the game to a finish. My perfect diplo game from start to finish, without ever so much as attacking another civ.

After writing the above paragraphs, I saw that Kodii actually produced a similar diplomatic triumph this past week in his Adventure Thirteen game, cleaning up votes from 4 of the 5 eligible AI civs (5 out of 7 civs overall). I think even he would admit that much of that was accidental, however, and so a little bit different than what I attempted here.

Now for some more fun stuff. First the maps, starting with the north:

Look at what I did to poor Mansa in this game. The state of Djenne is just sad. I never attacked Mansa physically, but culturally he was hamstrung from start to finish. The fact that he would then VOTE for the civ that was doing this to him is just too much. It's not too often the sheep votes for the wolf that crippled him! (And yet, Mansa was still the AI tech leader at the end of the game, even in this state. If Toku has the "loser" AI personality, Mansa has the "winning" one, that's for sure.)

In the west, I had crippled Neapolis with my culture and flipped Antium. Poor Caesar! He lost his second city to me (well, after it was captured by Japan) and I'm practically at the gates of Rome itself now with my culture. Notice that Antium had control over almost its entire radius of tiles by the end, and I was closing in on cultural control of the tile west of the dyes above (which would have opened up room for another aggressive settlement). I could have squeezed another city in south of Byblos, but that would only have antagonized Mao for no real reason. I'm quite pleased with how far west I managed to get without firing a shot in anger.

The southeast was where I made the most progress at the end of the game. Note that El-Amarna, Hieraconpolis, and Nottingham have all grown in size very rapidly in the post-Biology world. (Note Nottingham, which flipped in 1628, is already over 750 culture and has reached level 4 borders.) If the stupid AIs would have just captured or razed Medina, I would have gotten even further into Saladin's core, argh! There was also room for another aggressive settlement on the marble or forest three tiles south of Hieraconpolis, but since the game was about to end, I held off on founding there. Another city there would have really dialed up the pressure on Guangzhou, and that might have been fun to see. Alas, the game ended too soon.

Now for the really complex screenie: my relationships at the end of the game!

I had to shrink the text way down to squeeze it all in, so I hope it's legible. I'll start by pointing out that I was "Friendly" with all my voting buddies except Toku, who was "Pleased", and I was at war with both FDR and Saladin when the game ended. From left to right, Caesar and I were at +13 when the game ended, with the primary minuses coming from border tension (duh) and a penalty for declaring on Caesar's "friend" Saladin. (That particular minus made no sense.) The notable thing about Mao, who was +14 at game's end, was his usual lack of interest in religion, and the fact that he was mad at me for declaring war on both Saladin and Toku (from way back when!) Liz (+13) asked for a LOT of help, which was a good thing because she went to Free Religion and still held that ridiculous "stopped trading" penalty against me from 300BC. Mansa had some ridiculous bonuses (+27! although it was only +21 after the minuses) but he actually had Mao as a worst enemy for much of the game. I don't know why that was, but I was glad that I reaped enough pluses to offset it. Finally, Toku still hadn't reached Friendly status (although he was close to it at +9), but the military struggle was the key element there in getting him to overlook the earlier war declaration.

The key factor in the win was racking up those mutual military bonuses with everyone (especially Mao and Toku); without that element, the win simply would not have happened. Let's all take our hats off again and thank Saladin for being such a wonderful patsy in this game!

Economically, I did rather poorly early on, while I was grabbing all that land, but by the end I had clearly distanced myself from the pack. FDR remained competitive on the graph right up until 1565, when he declared war on Caesar. You can clearly see his economy tank after that on the graph, as he warred against Caesar, then Mao, then Toku. As for the other civs, Mansa was crippled by the ice and my culture, Liz had too little territory, and the other civs just did too much warring (encouraged by me, of course).

The culture graph was, well... You can clearly see where I swapped from Bureaucracy to Free Speech in 1562.

The final demographics just confirmed that I kicked some serious AI bootay. Not even last in soldiers despite my total lack of an army!

And tell us, O Hatty of the Golden Tongue, what mighty forces were used to achieve this victory?

Top four units built: 1) Hindu missionary 2) settler 3) Confucian missionary 4) worker. Top building was the theatre. Truly it was a game of diplomatic and cultural finesse!

Starting positions:

The world doesn't look all that great in 1000BC...

I have eight cities at the turn of the millenium:

Further expansion follows in the north and west:

And the final territorial acquisitons come in the southeast (watch how much territory Saladin loses):

For the first time in ages, there are no ongoing RBCiv games, so let me give you a shot of my personal hall of fame:

I don't place much stock in the game's scoring mechanism, but I am rather proud of some of these results. Three different scores over 100,000 (although the last two are only JUST over the mark!) as well as quite a few in the 50,000 range. Since the scoring is heavily weighted towards population, my methodical style of play often results in very high Hall of Fame scores (I had the highest HoF score in both Epic Five and Epic Six, for example). Not that that means anything!

As far as these games go... the top scoring monstrosity was from my Cathy's Romp game, featuring two dubious areas of game balance (Civil Service slingshot + cossack rampage). The very early Emperor win from Epic Five similarly scored well; that finish date is centuries earlier than anything else listed here. Our Mongol Hordes SG also topped 100k - and we could have gotten things done immeasurably easier and faster with promotions on hand! Despite being on Noble, Epic Six's early win also scored extremely well, at over 91k. With GOTM scoremongering, that easily could have been over 100,000 - but I just play the darn game and ignore that nonsense. The bloody result from Epic Three scored lower because I razed rather than capturing so many of the overseas cities. Adventure Nine is my highest scoring "peaceful" game, but that was really a Domination win in all but name. Passive-Aggressive Hatty was an Always Peace domination win (on Prince!) which I just finished and will be writing up a short report on soon. Then we have Adventure Four (my fastest and highest-scoring space win), Epic Eight (my best diplo win ever), Epic One (which was played on version 1.09 and was definitely not on Marathon speed!), and Emperor Metalman - one of my toughest wins featuring a ludicrously fast tech pace. Despite all the fireworks, the late finish dragged down the Adventure Eleven score, as did the sandbagged finish for Epic Two (score was over 35k before I began delaying victory). RB19 Culture Challenge and RB9 Cottage Cheeser both had highly restrictive variant rules, Adventure Two was... a unique start, and RB1 Cuban Isolationists makes its appearance too near the bottom of the list. In truly humorous fashion, Epic Four's barbarian defeat in 3070BC also shows up here, my only loss in the release version of Civ4. (Had several losses back in testing, of course.) All in all, you've got a pretty wide spectrum of victory types, difficulties, map sizes, and scores ranging from 100,000 to 0. I'm rather proud of that.

I had no plan going into this game, but it turned out to produce an amazing run quite unlike anything I'd experienced before. I expect most of the games in this event to be on the bloody side, so we should have some fun comparisons when all of those reports come due. To all of the participants, and my fellow Egypt players in particular, I hope you had as much fun as I did!

Diplomatic Victory
Hall of Fame Score 42892
In-Game Score 3409