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Thema: Universal House rules

  1. #1
    Evertonian Avatar von McMonkey
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    Universal House rules

    Something has just occurred to me. I have always played PBEM's by the rule that a human player cannot gain techs or money from the AI via negotiations. I was just wondering if everyone else plays by this rule as I cannot recall seeing it written down for a long time. If everyone else plays this way then great. If not then I'm missing out and should start doing so immediately! I'm guessing the old hands here play by this rule, but I wonder if everyone knows it?

    Also I think it might be worth having a sticky thread (always at the top of the page) just for house rules. Many of the house rules will be the same in most scenarios. If there are any additions then they can be listed in the first post of a new thread. Just an idea.

    Here are some of the universal house rules I would suggest:

    -No re-loading to improve combat outcomes
    -No re-homing trade units
    -No ship chaining
    -Black clicking is banned. Using this trick eliminates the element of surprise and a lot of the fun that that brings!
    -Stack size checking is permitted. Although you may not know the composition of your enemy, you may know roughly how big it is.
    -It's not allowed to to buy any project AND to complete it in the same turn.
    -Do not destroy Stackable.

    Optional rules (depending on the scenario):

    -Do not sell building "City Walls" and you have to rebuild City Walls immediately after you conquered a city.
    -No exchange / donation / purchase etc of technologies / units / cities.
    -City swapping is permitted.
    -No sneak attacks. One turn peace after declaration of war.
    -Trade embargo is allowed (Kontinentalsperre).
    -You cannot build a new palace while you already have one.
    -No founding of new cities, only reconstruction of existing ones that have been razed (though with "City Walls" this will be hard!)
    -No feeding of cities with food caravans.

  2. #2
    Registrierter Benutzer
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    I like the idea.
    I always assume that exchanging or stealing technology is forbidden.
    I wonder if giving technology to AI players shoudl be allowed? It could be useful to give AI allies technology, especially in the case of small factions that fall far behind.

  3. #3
    Evertonian Avatar von McMonkey
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    I would agree with gifting techs to the AI if everyone else is in favour. If you are playing by the same rule as me then ignore my alternative save in Warlords of China!

  4. #4
    Europäer Avatar von Radyserb
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    What, if someone has the great library, what, if someone wants to gain the advantages of the key civ and so on...

  5. #5
    Evertonian Avatar von McMonkey
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    I'm talking about gaining techs by talking to the AI. The Great Library is fine. What is the "key civ"?

  6. #6
    Veteran Avatar von Cobra
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    Rady is talking about this and an other thread I´m still searching

    Every civilization has an other civilization which they are compared with, the individual key civ. If you have p.e. 20 technolodies and your key civ only 5, you need more beekers for the next technologie to research.

    Edit: this is the other thread

    Based on this discussion on Apolyton
    and Solo´s Early Landing Strategy

    2.2.5 The Importance of the Key Civ

    There is another important relationship with the AI that depends on power ratings, that affects the cost of techs being researched. For a long time players knew that if they gifted all their techs to one of the AI (known then as the "6th civ") they could reduce their own research costs. However, it mattered which AI civ received the gifts and things were further complicated by the fact that this special civ was not always the same one throughout a game. So most players ended up gifting techs to all of the AI all of the time, just to make sure that key civ was included. Samson's key civ discovery allowed players to easily identify the AI civ they needed to give their techs to in order to minimize research costs.

    It turns out that every civ in a game, including the AI, have their own key civ. The key civ assigned to any player is based on that player's power rating, and the civ colors are used to determine who the key civs will be. Here is a summary:

    Power Rating - Key civ color

    Pathetic - white
    Weak - green
    Inadequate - dark blue
    Moderate - yellow
    Strong - light blue
    Mighty - orange
    Supreme - purple

    For example, the human player rated as Supreme will use the purple civ as his or her key civ. Other civs in the game will have a different civ to key on, and which one it is depends on their own power rating. Key civ assignments can change whenever there is a change of power rating assignments, a frequent occurrence in Civ II games, especially in the early years. It is also possible for a civ to become its own key civ. In this case no research penalties or bonuses apply.

    Anyways, the point of all this is that human players will want to gift all techs they acquire to their key civ, in order to reduce their own research costs, since the penalties for not doing so can be quite substantial. In early landing games, the human player is likely to become rated as Supreme, so it's important to find the purple civ quickly and gift to them any and all techs that are acquired.

    Since each AI has a key civ of its own, the human player can influence their rates of research somewhat by presenting gifts to key civ's of the AI they want to help and by presenting gifts to any AI civs they wish to slow down. Doing this may help certain AI acquire a tech you may want to trade for. The most can be made of these opportunities if embassies have been established or if Marco Polo's has been built, so that tech research choices can be monitored.

    Finally, you can find out what your own power rating is by invoking the Foreign Minister option, where your power and reputation will be displayed. AI power ratings can be surmised when they are contacted by counting the weapons on the left side of their diplomacy screens. No weapons means pathetic, one weapon means weak, and so on up to the higher ratings.
    Geändert von Cobra (20. April 2012 um 13:19 Uhr)
    Wenn du tot bist, dann weißt du nicht, dass du tot bist, es ist nur schwer für die anderen. Genau so ist es, wenn du blöd bist.

  7. #7
    Evertonian Avatar von McMonkey
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    That would be a good reason to gift techs to the AI.

  8. #8
    Evertonian Avatar von McMonkey
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    I have started a list in the first post of standard and optional house rules. Please feel free to suggest more. I will check through the existing threads for ideas.

  9. #9
    Metropolis
    Gast
    The basic rules are clear, but in the optional ones there are some odd ones. I haven't played this game for a long time, so maybe there are certain reasons I don't know that force us to stick to them. Here is my comment on the optional ones.

    Zitat Zitat von McMonkey Beitrag anzeigen
    Optional rules (depending on the scenario):

    -Do not sell building "City Walls" and you have to rebuild City Walls immediately after you conquered a city.
    I would keep the option of selling any building you like in order to generate additional funds.
    -No exchange / donation / purchase etc of technologies / units / cities.
    Exchange of units would be a great option to support an ally in a war without getting caught red-handed - but unique units shouldn't be allowed to change side. I have no problem with donation.
    -City swapping is permitted.
    Not allowing to exchange any cities would falter strategic options. It would be better to say we're not going to exchange core cities - the ones the scenario started with. So why not exchange colonies - if it suits both?
    -No sneak attacks. One turn peace after declaration of war.
    I agree
    -Trade embargo is allowed (Kontinentalsperre).
    I agree
    -You cannot build a new palace while you already have one.
    I disagree on this one. It happened often in real history, too, cities can loose their significance as a political centre, especially when you have to struggle with corruption.
    -No founding of new cities, only reconstruction of existing ones that have been razed (though with "City Walls" this will be hard!)
    Depends on the scenario I guess
    -No feeding of cities with food caravans.
    Got no own opinion on this one, because I never used this option.
    New standard rule:
    Every treaty has to be limited to let's say... 20 turns? and than it has to be renewed or simply ends. Or if you want an alliance to end you have to announce that 5 turns earlier. That would allow you to change sides during a game and make your way of playing more flexible. Maybe once in a game you should have the opportunity to 'overthrow' your government in order to put a quick end to all treaties and reboot your diplomatic affairs.
    Geändert von Metropolis (20. April 2012 um 23:05 Uhr)

  10. #10
    Evertonian Avatar von McMonkey
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    The rule about not selling walls is designed to prevent the complete obliteration of cities. In scenarios I design I'm very keen on the use of the CivCity tool to immediately rebuild destroyed walls. I normally make walls 0 cost and maintenance to make selling them useless. Its too easy for major cities to disappear. This is an optional rule, depending on the scenario.

    I like games where unit exchanges are possible, but it is very much open to abuse. Not cheating exactly, but it can give one side an unfair advantage (IE units moving twice in a turn / units being handed over to a neutral state to keep them safe etc...). I think these rules need to be decided depending on the scenario being played.

    I have no objection to city swapping. I guess it depends on the scenario. Not swapping core cities sounds like a good compromise.

    I'm not sure where the palace rule originated from or the reason for it.

  11. #11
    Metropolis
    Gast
    I thought about speeding up games and came over this one:
    As every game starts with massive piling of trade units, I wonder if it isn't a good option to edit the trade routes at the beginning of the scenario, to create 3 unique superfast trade units in every town (or a number depending on city size) at first turn or make trade units move faster (or even turn them into air units) to speed up the games, especially at the beginning. Later in the game an event could make the superfast trade unit obselete and leave you with a normal, slower one.
    Establishing trade routes is too time-consuming and some games never get further than that.

  12. #12
    Evertonian Avatar von McMonkey
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    Interesting. Most games fall into a familiar pattern of intense trading, followed by a military build-up and finally war. I would be interested to experiment with new ideas to see if we can shake things up a bit.

  13. #13
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    Interesting. Most games fall into a familiar pattern of intense trading, followed by a military build-up and finally war. I would be interested to experiment with new ideas to see if we can shake things up a bit.
    The pattern you describe is partly a result of the way Civ 2 is set up and partly due to the nature of the victory conditions of the scenario.

    In civ 2, the most effective way to get money and science is usually to deliver caravans, so it is generally a good idea to build and deliver trade units as the scenario begins. Once you have done this, building an economy is usually best done by founding new cities, growing them, and then building more trade units -- but many scenarios start off with all cities already built, so this isn't really an option in many cases. The next options are building extra improvements (like farmland) around existing cities and building marketplaces/banks/stock exchanges. These options are usually a bad choice for growth, at least compared to caravans (which other players may still be using).

    What this means is that cities will eventually run out of "economic" things to do, and in such circumstances there is little or no cost to military buildup. And once you have the military, you have an incentive to invade because wars are much more devastating to defenders than attackers (squares are blocked, and cities lose lots of improvements when they are captured) and because attackers usually have a direct combat advantage in civ 2 (and not just an "I can choose where to fight and put all my men there" advantage). The only real downside to going to war in these circumstances, especially against a weaker foe, is that someone else might attack you. This incentive is amplified if the victory conditions are explicitly or implicitly to conquer the world.

    I think changing the pattern requires scenario changes more than changes to house rules (although the scenario changes might be in the form of scenario specific house rules).

    The biggest change would be alternative victory conditions, preferably with expensive production requirements. The original civ 2 game has this in the form of the space race. Perhaps a scenario could incorporate the space race mechanic (story altered for the purposes of the game), or have a "economic improvement" unit with the scenario winner having the most of the unit per capita by the end of the game.

    An alternative would be to lower the importance of trade units, or alter how they are acquired. The tech cost could be lowered so much that trade hits the 2/3 cap quickly, making them less cost effective for getting money and less necessary for science. Also, scenario makers could establish trade routes for cities before the scenario begins, so trade units become available only as supply and demand changes -- that would be a relatively quick thing to do for a lot of existing scenarios. Another idea would be to give trade units by events in addition to (or instead of) by direct building.

    A big change could be to alter the combat system to use military units with the settler flag. Invading someone would be much more costly to the invader if destroyed units lowered population. Perhaps even a "prisoner of war" system could be developed so that nations would be encouraged to limit their goals in order to get their prisoners back. This might also discourage having large permanent armies.

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