"I think most people posting on a Civilization 4 forum in 2020 AD probably count as grognards." - Commodore

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T-hawk Plays Alpha Centauri

I'm doing the thing where, when real life is busy, I stick to replaying games I know well rather than taking on something new. And a lot of the time I used to spend on video gaming now I go to local board game meetups intead. So that's the back story here.

The smacx-in-smac was just editing alpha.txt to point to the Drones faction file instead of the Hive, and drone.txt to have the free-talent power. I guess that's technically a mod although you'd never bother to publish and release something like that.

It was about 90 minutes per turn at the peak, about two-thirds of that time spent on managing terraformers. I did about one turn per night for a month. Speeded up towards the end when disbanding formers for facilities and population-booming was completed.
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(February 24th, 2019, 14:25)T-hawk Wrote: Man, we're gamer-nerd-mathematicians if we're looking for a closed-form solution to a 4X game. lol

The details were lost when Apolyton died, but I once derived a closed form solution to the recursive GPP formula using Z-transforms...only link I could find was posting the result on civfanatics:

Darrell Wrote:GPP(n) = C*5*floor(n/10) + C*5*floor(n/10)^2 + ceil(n/10)*C*(n%10)

Where C is the number of points required to generate the first GP (100 for Normal, 150 for Epic, 300 for Marathon).

Sometimes that's more fun than the game itself  shades.

Darrell
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(June 25th, 2019, 09:10)T-hawk Wrote: And a lot of the time I used to spend on video gaming now I go to local board game meetups intead.

Have you had a chance to play Terraforming Mars, either over the board or the pc version?
Was curious what you think about it if you did.
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Yes, quite a bit, over the board. And it's got a funny feedback loop: every time I'm out playing TM, it makes me want to get home and play SMAC. Then playing SMAC at home makes me want to go back out and play TM.

TM, particularly with the expansions, is an unfocused, diluted, bloated, sloppy mess of a game... that somehow still has a tremendous hook to keep demanding that you want to play more and more of it.
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Would you say that the feedback loop is caused by the rng / almost non-rng element in TM / SMAC?
I mean SMAC is largely a resolved game where you look at the nooks and crannies for something new but on the other hand the huge number of cards in TM doesn't go well with a solo challenge speed run...or does it? smile
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I get the feedback loop from the different scale of the games.  I get the Mohole card in TM, and start thinking, why are we building only one borehole, I want to go make hundreds.  Then playing SMAC, I'm thinking why am I grinding out hundreds of cities and forests when TM abstracts that down to five.  A SMAC game takes a month, why do that when I can try out different engines to completion in TM three times in a day; but why build an engine in TM that will be over and gone in two hours when I could enjoy it for a month in SMAC.  They're entirely different game structures but with just enough commonalities to scratch an itch in each other.

TM has already been solved for solo speed runs, there's forum threads on boardgamegeek that demonstrate finishing the entire game in the first generation, by chaining together all the cards that give discounts and draw more cards.  I don't really see any point in playing for either speed or score with random hands when that's going to be orders of magnitude behind a perfect-luck hand. The interesting goal of solo TM is meant to be your winning percentage, and I did play TM solo as far as winning once with each corporation with a random hand, but that's not really all that interesting once you know what you're doing, there's quite a few (any of at least ten or so) cards that make for an auto-win from the first generation. Competitive TM is definitely highly interesting, but I can't exactly screenshot and write up everything that happens in a game over the board, and again boardgamegeek is already covering that better than I could.
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There's a lot of interesting stuff in your last reply but I remembered you using this engine concept before and wanted to make sure I grasp this correctly so how exactly do you define the scope of such an engine?

I'll give an example to clarify the question more. I have the same dilemma as you when it comes to chess, instead of grinding any pc 4x game I find myself jumping into a game of chess and going over all the strategy phases more in depth and more readily if that even makes sense. Obviously chess is very abstracted so even if there is development you don't build something for long term planning but that also means that the buildup can somewhat be divorced from the rest of the engine (or what I called the environment a while ago).
So, based on your example have you ever considered playing TM and a game focused solely on building up instead of the somewhat interchangeable TM and SMAC? Basically, trying to marry one extreme with the other instead of different flavors of each.

And a side question. Have you ever found yourself holding onto lots of cards in TM to burst the endgame? And I mean doing it taking into account the 2 actions limit inside the same generation every time your turn comes up. Kinda like you played the Civ5 speed runs, 90% of the game time being the build up for the endgame and then bursting the tech tree and the builds to complete the game.
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I'm not quite sure what you're asking. "A game focused solely on building up" - if you really mean something with no end state or goal, then that's basically Cookie Clicker or Progress Quest. There's always some finish line, for something to be worthwhile as a game.

Two actions in the same generation - are you making the mistake everyone makes with TM? You get two actions on a turn, but as many turns as you want until everybody passes to end the generation. But anyway, the answer is I try not to; of course you'll hold onto cards that are only points to play after everything else; but if you're holding more cards than you can afford to play then you wasted money by buying them into hand earlier.
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Yes, that's why I said 2 actions limit inside the same generation every time your turn comes up. I'm aware that a generation advances only when all the players have passed, that's an interesting mechanic similar to the initiative in HOMM games where sometimes you want to pass the initial turn to get a double move.
I wonder if TM would catch on here at RB, have maybe a dedicated thread for multiplayer and such, I'll stop thread-jacking this one.
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Yeah, if you want to talk about Terraforming Mars or other tabletop board games, take it out to its own thread.

I'm unhijacking this now with one more for SMAC, which I intend to be the finale here, one more bite at that old apple. http://dos486.com/alpha/speed2/
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