Through the Ages tournament

Being 4th is basically a death sentence, it makes the whole 4MP process very uneven. I am guessing starting second in a 2MP game is not as bad. What can I say, as usual, @tomchick was right!

Yeah, I played some games with the AI to learn the ropes, and pretty consistently the AI player that goes first ends at first place (among the AI’s), the AI player that goes second ends in second place, and the AI player that goes third ends in third place. Sometimes one of them will manage to bump another off and move up a slot, maybe in 50% of the games. I mean great job on writing an efficient and consistent AI, but it does point to a fairly objective design problem where the downsides of going later in the turn order are not at all made up for by the single extra action point.

The general view I’ve seen is that second player has a slight advantage. Starting fourth is weakest, but not massively. Still something like a 20% win rate.
Far more important are player skill and the luck of what cards show up.

My problem was the involuntary kingmaking in multiplayer games. You could be doing just fine, building up a great infrastructure with juuuuuust enough military so that the jerk who took Napoleon can’t bulldoze you. Life is great.

Oh, but another player who neglected their military is now being farmed every turn by Napoleon, who has snowballed into an unstoppable lead. Completely outside of your control.

There’s a real flaw in the game on how to deal with that issue. The forfeit rule is optional and awful. I’m also not sure how you would even structure a mandatory forfeit in a fair way.

2 player games are pretty bland.

(dear god I can’t even imagine playing a physical 3 1/2 hour game and knowing you’re hopelessly behind only 1 hour in)

(wait, yes I can. The feeling knowing that you completely messed up your first turn in Twilight Imperium and knowing there’s 7 hours left to go)

I think this is a little overstated (assuming you’re talking about my cavalry that stole your tech). You have a clear lead in points (twice mine!) and a fantastic industry build up. Setting up and winning that war was the result of destabilizing the rest of my economy and I think I’ll spend all of age 2 in recovery mode. I think we’re both in a pretty decent place on the other end of that war and if you wanted to go huge on military in the next age, you’re in a good position to start it up. (Especially with all that ore and fantastic government you just started!) I am quite worried about retaliation before I’m set up to respond.

I’ve been enjoying intentionally skipping age 1 tech upgrades for mines and farms. It usually means I have a very strong age 1 because I have extra science and ore to spend dominating other fields. But it also means I usually have a weak age 2 setup, scramble for coal, and barely get prepped for the inevitable age 3 brawl. I’m not sure it’s better then going for age 1 techs and prepping for a strong age 2, but I’m pretty sure it’s not worse. And it’s quite fun to come out swinging!

You’re conflating me and the AI player. :D The AI player is the one is the one with the good government and production. It is true though that if you take the best strengths of both our civilizations and combine them we would be in a decent position.

Yeah, I didn’t go military, instead tech and government and was just being destroyed. Maybe there was a minute possibilty that I could pull it back towards the end but I didn’t believe in my abilities to do so.

I just don’t think you can fall behind militarily and win, unless it’s just a loss or two to an aggression. If you’re being systematically dorked, you’re toast. I think the game wants it to be this way.

In my current game (outside of this tournament, expansion only, and first time playing it) I got a strong military lead early on thanks to Sun Tzu and the right military units and tactics at the right time. Coupled with a steady flow of war and aggression cards I’ve been able to push that advantage for the last two ages. The result is two players have resigned, which is a first for me. I feel like I’ve been making all the right decisions with regards to the timeline and where to focus my resources. I went second.

An early military lead is very risky, and requires getting exactly the right cards at the right time.

I’ve seen the late Age I Genghis / Age II Napoleon domination come into play a lot more often, sometimes transitioning into Age III Churchill.

Oh I’ve never managed to pull it off until now! I’ve had the military lead before, but no war or aggression cards… or plenty of war and aggression cards but no military lead.

Game 1 is done. Scores:

Player Score
@rho21 471
@porousnapkin 331
@RothdaTheTruculent 291
@Chappers res

How many points did the AI that took over from me get?

Like 60 or something, but it resigned fully at the end of age 3 so didn’t do final scoring.

The AI did however have excellent research and production capabilities.

So, the final tally is:
Player 1 got 1st place
Player 2 got 2nd place
Player 3 got 3rd place
Player 4 got 4th place

How did the other bracket fare?

Oh and congratulations to Rho and Mr. Napkin. You guys played genuinely well and certainly deserved your victories. I’m still just really salty at the game though for what I perceive to be its vast imbalances. :D Like these were my options on the last turn, a turn the game somehow decided was needed:

Anyway, I feel like a fair game design would have had me at 294, or possibly even 296 points.

470!!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a score that high.

I think maaaaaaybe I’ve seen one game out of over a hundred that just barely cracked 400.

Yes, both me and Chappers just completely fell apart in the mid-game. Napkin helped with that, but at a large cost to his own economy. Meanwhile, Rho just spiraled ever further onward and upward.

Yeah, an outlier to say the least. I got the achievement for scoring 300+ points for that game, there isn’t one for anything higher.

I was pretty frustrated by the Chappers AI towards the end. I offered them the pact that protects them from wars twice and got refused both times, and I think after the second one was when Rho got the huge war on culture with them.

Though, on the upside, if they had accepted, Rho would have probably hit me with that war and I wouldn’t have gotten second place. So I take it back. Good move AI!