Bloat... friend or foe?
Treebeard mentioned in another thread about how he is working on strategies to leverage bloat to his advantage.
Possibly because his Chaos guild is friendly and open and draws in new members the way black holes pull in, well... everything.
His scenario is slightly different to my experience as he is starting the game bloated.In fact, the last game I played, I was one one the planet's gravitational pull. Both ChaosA AND ChaosB bloated with woom for ChaosC to join the game late.
As is proper with the name, Chaos has a core team, but much like Schadenfruede, pulls in team members from other teams for non-guild games so the roster of Chaos members is, well... somewhat chaotic.
Anyway... time to get on topic, which itself is Chaotic.
Just what are effective strategies to leverage Bloat?
Sleeping Sheep Strategy
Galadriel coined the term sleeping sheep, and they can be quite effective as an end game strategy. Playing as an individuall Miracle workker civ, I have successfully leveraged a civ full of sleeping sheep (grey/inactive players). To win.
Sleeping sheep do not spend gold that they earn. As a result, I join the bloat civ and take it over using econ medals. I then pump carvan gold into the sleeping sheep. Depending on the current econ era, that alone may be sufficient to pop an econ era. But after a few hours golden ages can generate vast quantities of gold. Cycling event wonders is not viable, but when every golden Age = a new econ era, all it takes is a few to win a game.
Team ChaosC leveraged this in the game I was in. You have a splinter group cylcing wonders during battles leveraging the cheaper event wonder cost. The Mothership civ then uses the desired event wonders to withering advantage in battle.
Unlike the sleeping sheep strategy, which exploits... errr... leverages players who have already given up hope on the current game. The Shenanigans strategy has a tendency to piss folks off. Shenanigans is a favorite strategy for Sauron, and he is reviled for it because he is leveraging clone accounts to do it. But... It is a viable strategy, that has yet to become fully utilized by the guild game crowd I believe...
Submissive Doormat Strategy
Here you have splinter members leech onto a target civ in an effort to take the civ over at a critical time. If the target runs the game with open borders, then the splinter should miracle work until the time is right. Otherwise the splinter civ should miracle work until the target civ opens borders for a tech bonus or to let another teamate in.
I believe this strategy is viewed as low class because it assumes the splinter civ is sacrificing themselves for the team. I disagree with this philosophy. If you are in fact targeting the top competition in the game. The playing tasked with taking over that civ actually has a very good chance of winning the game... if he/she is good enough to take the civ over... hehehe
The ShuShu Strategy
I miracle work and farm all civs possible for eras. I generally can stay in the top 5 of a game until the dominant civ decides it will intercede to stop me. At that point I join the second place civ bring a huge bankroll of gold and Voyage of discovery beakers with me. My jump always brings an econ era, and possibly two. If there is an active player who is up to the task, it also tends to bring a couple tech eras.
I have never played in a guild game, but I have played in a coouple minimum fame games, and I believe this has been overlooked by the guilds. This strategy has a number of paths to victory.
--- The single player may win the game outright by cycling eras... especially if the mother civ allows itseflf to be farmed.
--- The single player may steal a win via the Submissive Dorrmat Strategy
--- The Single player will be online to benefit from and offer support with the Shenanigans Strategy, as cycling event wonders is part of the miracle working strategy anyway. Having the mother civ taking the battle events off the board benefits both civs.
--- The single player will compete for the event wonders. It is hard for a bloat civ to leverage event wonders. I just played a game, which I will be writing up, with a large civ that was evtremely good at leveraging the event wonders to powerful effect... yet, had I been opposing them as a one man civ, they would not have gotten a single one of those event wonders as even a 5 minute delay for planning/saving is 4 minutes 59 seconds too long, when a single miracle worker is in the game.
--- The single player will always be able to merge back into the mother civ in good standing to win or soldier depending on the team's objectives.
My strategies have come from the Bloat civ/splinter civ perspective. I assume that your strategies have come more from the Boat civ/Bloat civ perspective treebeard (who knew the world had so many Ents). Any other strategies to add here? Any commoents on the ethics behind any of these strategies?
I started to comment here but there are just way too many things to say without organizing the post in some way, so I'll just sum some parts up without as many details as probably necessary, because I doubt I will have a chance to write out the long form version:
- figure out the right civ to join
- if you are doing war, get tons of great builders; if not get tons of great scientist. You'll want at least a stack of 15-20 in the early/mid game. Don't sell Great People unless prices are exorbitant. Once you are in the middle/late middle game, start trading them for other Great People so you have a good mix.
- if you are comfortable advertising in nation chat do so; otherwise make sure you are near the top so lazy people will find you. You can sometimes do this without strictly spamming, ie "If anyone needs production for our upcoming battle I have a 36 production house available"
- in a 20 person civ if you can get even half of the people to give your 36 production house a dowry you are looking at 18,000 production, and it's possible to get a 36 production house (or higher) with iron (or village green) + pyramids + ~15 great people.
- if you are hoarding Great Scientists then don't spam that early... science isn't that great early game but you'll be a powerhouse in the later stages of the game.
- if you are good at caravan try to get the minister position and win it. It's quite powerful in a 20+ person civ.
- convince the sheep to build the wonders. It actually is useful both for them and for you.
- somewhere around Networking or Multimedia (depends on the game) grab king and make lots of wonders to win lots of eras. But don't finish them so fast that you don't get credit for them all. In particular pay attention to the 3 GP wonders which don't increase as they get stolen.
- remember there is no bonus for ending the game with a lot of population, gold, or great people. When you do your calculation it's quite ok to be the lame duck for the last few eras if you have enough of a lead that no one can catch you.