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    • We're going to play Civilization VI by panel!

      What that means is that you can affect how this playthrough evolves over time by joining this conversation and discussing different strategies and choices within the game. You can do so by

      > voting on multiple choice questions by reacting to a post with one of the suggested emojis

      > asking questions in the Q&A section of this panel

      > eventually becoming a panelist after being active in the Q&A section.

      If you want to discuss the general idea of this type of panel itself, or some of the rules agreed upon, please refer to the following conversation instead: https://cake.co/c/jQXhrSS

      Current rules (this section might change over time, please make sure to keep track of changes):

      > Civilization VI with Rise&Fall ruleset, easy difficulty, Fractal map of standard size, all victory conditions

      > playing a number of turns (mostly on Sunday), before presenting game state and options for next week

      > ties are broken at random, for example by flipping a coin. React on one of the posts below to change this rule.

    • First things first - we need to decide who we want to be, before starting to manage our civilization tomorrow. Here are four options:

      🎯 Amanitore, leading Nubia: as Amanitore, we want to play tall, developing our cities as soon and far as possible, probably at the cost of creating additional ones. We prefer living close to a desert, so that our Nubian pyramids can help us with the growth of our civilization. Our Pítati archers will be helpful early on.

      🍻 Gilgamesh, leading Sumeria: As Gilgamesh, we want to explore as much of the map as possible, and fight Barbarians along the way. Our War-carts will help with that. We can wage war with adjacent civilizations, or just research faster than they do with the help of our Ziggurats.

      🌈 Gitarja, leading Indonesia: As Gitarja, we're a faithful civilization that prefers islands and coastal regions. Building Kampungs will enhance our coastal cities, while Jongs will allow us to explore the oceans more easily.

      🎖️ Pericles, leading Greece: As Pericles, we want to be a culturally advanced civilization. We can do that by becoming the suzerain of city-states or building an Acropolis in most of our cities. We can put all that cultural advances to good use by having additional policies. If we want to wage war early, we can use Hoplites in formation.

      React with one of the following to vote, or leave a comment in the Q&A section: 🎯 🍻 🌈 🎖️

      EDIT: Voting ended with a tie between Gilgamesh and Pericles. I selected one of the two at random. If you want me to break ties randomly (flipping a coin, throwing a die or similar) in the future, change your reaction here to a 🙈 emoji. If you want me to select the outcome I personally prefer, change your reaction to a 🦄 emoji instead. While there's a tie between those two, I will do either/or as I see fit.

    • It is 4000BC, and our group of people has decided to settle down and form the Sumerian civilization. We currently know little about the area beyond the jungle we're living in. There's a river flowing north, some mountains, and a small lake to the west. We know about a good hunting ground to the north (deers), which could provide food and production materials in the future. There's also a spot to the south-east, which has strange materials in the ground (mercury). Last but not least, the location of our group of Warriors has bananas in abundance.

      Information: We're starting the game with two units - a melee unit ("Warrior") and a Settler to the right. All units have a fixed amount of movement points per turn, both the Warrior and the Settler have 2. Moving from one flat tile to another costs 1, but moving to a tile with hills or forests costs 2 - which means that both of our units can only move to an adjacent tile this turn (the cyan outline you see in the image).

      One major decision we will have to make during the first few turns is where to build our first city. We can be quick and just build it wherever the Settler is currently located - or we could move to another tile. We shouldn't move too far, because we need that city to build further units and infrastructure, but if another tile is better suited, it can be a good idea to move once or twice. The tile currently containing the Warrior will give us more production (cogwheel icon), because it is a hills tile. We will not get 3 food (corn icon), because the bananas resource that is provifing additional food will be lost as soon as we build a city there. Depending on how big the mountain ranges turn out to be, building between them might also be a strategically good decision.

      React with 🎯 to build the city where we are, with 🚀 to move left first, or with 🤔 if you want to suggest a completely different spot.

      Once we build a city, we will start to research new technologies which will allow us to build more advanced units or change the landscape itself. The technologies we can research right now are: Animal Husbandry, Astrology, Mining, Pottery and Sailing. Of those, two seem to be of interest. Animal Husbandry will allow us to build a camp, making use of the deer resource - while Mining will give us access to the mercury resource. Both are good for production, mining mercury will also give us a science bonus (flask icon), increasing our research speed.

      Comment (here or in the Q&A section) if you prefer one or the other.

      Once the city is built, I will start production on a Scout as another unit and in the meantime will use the Warrior to explore the neighborhood.

      Ask questions / comment if you need to know anything else.

    • Most cities are built near a river: transportation, fish and water.  If we move to the west (left), we will be further away from the river, from the forest (production materials), and from the hunting grounds (food).  So I’m in favor of staying where we are to build the city.

      Question. Can you tell me where the Settler and Warriors are on the map?  There are several colored circles on the map but I’m not sure what each one represents.

    • Of course - here's a 2D view of the same situation.

      The Warrior unit is represented by the club icon and is currently located between the mountain ranges. This is also the "alternative" city position I mentioned in the previous post.

      The Settler unit is represented by the flag icon, and is currently located one tile east of the Warrior.

      Most cities are built near a river: transportation, fish and water.  If we move to the west (left), we will be further away from the river, from the forest (production materials), and from the hunting grounds (food).  So I’m in favor of staying where we are to build the city.

      In this game, the importance of rivers is represented by how big a city can become. If it is not located adjacent to a river or a lake, we can later build an aqueduct to allow for further growth.

      Note that both suggested city positions are adjacent to the river, and two tiles away from each of the special resources I mentioned.

    • Perfect, I couldn’t see the river in the original photo but I now can see that one tile to the left would provide easy access to the river, forest and hunting grounds, as well as a more strategic location between the two mountains. I’ve changed my vote to 🚀 and am doing a call out to @pixelhalloffame in case the additional information is pertinent to his vote.

    • All beginnings are hard. It is 3720BC, and our group of people has spent the last few generations roaming the vicinity of our city Uruk, while preparing some of our best for their new role as Scouts. We don't know much about the world yet, other than that there is a coast to the south and a Jade deposit to the south-east - but our scouts will hopefully fix that soon. Some moons ago we have been contacted by another group of people led by a man called Gandhi. We don't know where they live, but we will probably have to deal with them in the future.

      Information: We're at the start of turn 8 of our game. The most important decision we have to make this early are the placement of our initial city (decided to be between the mountains), what to build first (a Scout unit, shown as a dog icon) and what technology to research (Mining, which will be read in a few turns, eventually allowing us to place mines on hills and certain resources such as the Mercury and Jade deposits we already know about).

      Right now, we have two decisions to make:

      First, we need to decide where to send our new Scout unit. We want to know as much about or direct neighborhood, because that's where we have to deal with attacks from other civilizations and Barbarians (more about them later), and because that's where we compete with others regarding the best locations of future cities. At the same time, we also want to explore far away territories (and be the first to do so), because contacting civilizations or finding natural wonders before another player does regularly leads to advantages.

      There are, roughly speaking, three areas of interest:

      🙈 The area to the north-west of our city, with unexplored territory closest to home and potentially more river tiles for our second city.

      🙉 The area to the south-west of our city, with potentially a coastline to follow towards the west.

      🙊 The area to the far east, beyond what we already explored.

      Vote by reacting with the matching monkey emoji. :)

      The second decision to make is what to build next. Typically, one would build a Slinger unit for early skirmishes. This unit will take 7 turns (potentially less if the city grows). We can also build the War-Cart unit that is unique to our chosen civilization. This takes longer to produce (11 turns), but has some definite advantages over the Slinger. Last but not least, we can build a Monument in 12 turns, which will increase our city's output of Culture, allowing it to grow faster over time. This is something we should do eventually, but don't need to do this early. There are some other things that could be built, but are even less important at the moment.

      Let's discuss what might be the best idea.

      Finally, if you have any questions about detailed game mechanics, the UI as seen in this screenshot, or any other detail, please comment.

    • About Gandhi:

      Gandhi, leading the Indian civilization, is one of the players competing with us. As you can see, he's mostly about Faith and Religion (a concept we'll probably discuss a bit later).

      At this moment, we can't be sure how our relationship with Gandhi will or should evolve - but I want to make this post an ongoing poll about it. Whenever there's a decision to make between players (for example which one to attack, or which one to favor), I will look up this post.

      React with an emoji from the below range, and update it whenever you think it is necessary.

      (best) 😍 🙂 😐 🤨 😡 (worst)

    • I chose to scout the northwest because there are valuable resources to the north of us (forest, river and hunting grounds) and we need to know if there are Barbarians or other enemies nearby who we will have to fight for those resources.

      What to build next? I feel that the War Cart gives us a long-term advantage over the Slinger. It requires four more turns to build than a Slinger, which puts us at risk if attacked during those turns. But we have the best defensive position possible with our mighty city Uruk between two mountains.

      What are you thinking, @Factotum ?

      Ghandi. I think his civilization is one that we may ultimately want to conquer; however, the fact that they can reduce our fighting strength during combat means that we may need to build up our military power through conquest of weaker opponents before we can wage war upon them. An alliance with them may be prudent for now, especially if we can trade with them for resources we lack.

      Question. Is trading of resources between neighboring civilizations an option? I don’t want to get all Settlers of Cataan about it, but it may be helpful to know when conquering a neighbor is not the best choice.

    • What to build next? I feel that the War Cart gives us a long-term advantage over the Slinger. It requires four more turns to build than a Slinger, which puts us at risk if attacked during those turns. But we have the best defensive position possible with our mighty city Uruk between two mountains.

      What are you thinking, @Factotum ?

      I think you're right about that! :) Generally speaking, Slingers are a good early unit to build because they are cheap, their ranged attack has some advantages, and because they can be upgraded to Archers once we've researched one of the later technologies. Our civilization's special unit has some additional advantages, though, and the four additional turns can be bridged by keeping our Warrior unit nearby.

      Speaking about turns to build something, this is a good time to talk a bit about how city management in general even works. The size of our cities determines the number of surrounding tiles they can work. Basically, we get the yields on the city tile for free, and we can choose one additional tile for each unit of population in the city. On top of that, some of the buildings in our city increase one or another yield produced by the city.

      Currently, at size 1, our city produces the following (you can see this in the lower right corner of the last map screenshot):

      +1.4 Culture - culture is what makes the area our city controls grow, and is also used to research Civics (more about them later)
      +4 Food - every unit of population needs 2 units of food. Having less than that leads to starvation (our city will shrink), while having more than that leads to population growth. Our city currently has a food surplus and will grow next turn, leading to more yields being available
      +5.3 Production - this is the yield that is being turned into units or city buildings. If this will grow next turn, producing the unit might become quicker by a turn or two.
      +2.6 Science - this yield is used for technology research
      0 Faith - this yield is related to the concept of Religion, which we will talk about later
      +5.3 Gold - some of our units and city buildings need upkeep. We can also spend whatever gold we have to buy units and buildings instead of building them, or in trades with other civilizations.

      All of this yield management is automated for us, but we can also dive in at any point to focus the city on one or another of the potential yields, or even specifically choose which tiles to work.

      Question. Is trading of resources between neighboring civilizations an option? I don’t want to get all Settlers of Cataan about it, but it may be helpful to know when conquering a neighbor is not the best choice.

      Yes, trading with other civilization is an option in two ways:

      1. We will later be able to create Trade routes from one of our cities to any other in reach (whether our own or from another civilization that we're not at war with). These trade routes increase the yields of the city while the trade route is active.

      2. Sometimes, one of the other leaders will contact us, or we can do the same, and ask for an exchange of various things (including bonus, luxury and strategic resources which I will explain in detail later).

      This means that we should try to not be at war with all other civilizations at the same time. Depending on how we want to win the game, waging war either is a necessity or a distraction.

    • +1.4 Culture - culture is what makes the area our city controls grow, and is also used to research Civics (more about them later)

      I’m guessing that as a warrior-based civilization, acquiring culture may be our Achilles heel: I’m assuming you can’t just take it from the conquered but actually have to develop it internally. I realize that you said it will be discussed later in more detail, but I wanted to throw out my thoughts in regards to future strategy.

    • This is true, both generally speaking and in our specific case.

      Generally speaking, no aspect of advancing our civilization should be neglected completely. Some will be more important than others, but if we concentrate only on a short-term goal like building the biggest army now, it might cost us in the long-term if our technology or culture becomes outdated compared to other civilizations.

      In our specific case, we can and should do a bit about gaining culture. Our civilization has a unique tile improvement(*) called the Ziggurat, which always yields a bit of Science, and also a bit of Culture if the Ziggurat is placed next to a river. This means that your earlier assessment of rivers being important was totally correct - but it also means that we need to weigh our options here, because good locations for a Ziggurat will often also be useful for farms (Food yield) or later commercial buildings (Gold yield).

      (*)Tile improvements are changes to individual hexes of the map. We can improve tiles by using a Builder unit that we might want to produce in one of our cities eventually - and how exactly we can improve a tile depends on the tile's terrain and resources. For example, we can chop forests if they exist, or we can (later!) build a Lumber Mill. If a tile is without forest, we can typically build Farms on flat land, or Mines on hills and certain resources. Other resources allow us to build Camps (to hunt Deer) or Pastures to get access to Sheep or Horses.

      Next turn coming up later today! :)

    • It is 3560BC, and we continue to learn about the world we live in. Most importantly, we have a peaceful neighbor, the Kumasi City State. While our warriors have returned home for defense, our scouts have explored towards the north-west until they reached another coastline, then further to the north. The river flowing north seems to be a big one that might be a good place for a future city - but there's also another river flowing towards the Kumasi city to the east.

      Last but not least, we discovered both the Mining technology and the Code of Laws civic, and need to define new research targets.

      Wow, that's a lot to unpack for just four turns. I'll try to explain the most important aspects, but feel free to ask questions.

      City States: City states are "minor civilizations" that don't compete with us by expanding. We can either conquer these city states as one of our one cities - but it is often best to befriend them. By doing small side quests, we can earn Envoys with individual city states. Having 3 or more envoys gives us a small bonus, 6 or more gives us a bigger bonus - and having at least 3 envoys and more than any other civilization makes us the Suzerain of this city state, giving us an even bigger bonus while also allowing us to levy the city state's military units for our wars.

      The color of a city state corresponds to the yield or currency they give boni for. In case of the Kumasi city state, we'll get a bonus for culture in certain city buildings or with trade routes.

      Technology: Using our science output, we can research one technology after the other. I left this tab open in the screenshot for us to discuss what technology we want to research next. As you can see, all of them will take a certain number of turns to research, they will allow us to build more stuff - and of course open up future technologies for research.

      Open questions: what about this list of technologies is of interest to you?

      Civics: Civics are a second area of research, fueled not by science but by culture. After having researched the Code of Laws, there are two new civics to explore - Craftmanship and Foreign Trade. I'd like to keep it simple for the moment and just choose to explore the latter civic.

      Finally, we need to decide what to do with our scout. We could either keep exploring towards the north (👍), circle towards the east and south-east to explore just beyond the currently known territory (👌), or move south to explore near the small lake (👎). The latter could also be done by our warriors, if we don't want to keep them in the city for now. React with the emoji of your choice.

    • Whoah, a lot to digest and comment on.

      makes us the Suzerain of this city state, giving us an even bigger bonus while also allowing us to levy the city state's military units for our wars.

      Having a military alliance is something that will allow us to conquer Ghandi sooner. I think we should invest as much resources as possible towards achieving this levy power as soon as possible.

      Question. How do we divide up the spoils of war, such as territory and needed resources, with our allies?

      what about this list of technologies is of interest to you?

      I can’t read them from the picture. Would you mind listing them? I think anything that improves our mining or farming capabilities is high on my list. What do you see as the advantages to your choice for technology?

      👌 I chose circling east and south-east with the idea of increasing are knowledge of an ever expanding circle so that we are aware of immediate threats and opportunities for conquest. What’s your thinking on strategy?

    • FYI, if you decide to resurrect this experiment in the future—or attempt another one—I’d be happy to continue campaigning. 😎

    • Sorry, @apm, I didn't want to leave you hanging for that long. It seems as if it's mostly us two by now, but I'm happy to continue this, because why not. :)

      I will try to reply to all of your recent questions over the weekend.