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Hannibal's Metagame

Without further ado, here's what everybody wants to see.

Cristo Red­entorEiffel TowerGlobe TheatreGreat LibraryGreat Light­houseHagia SophiaHanging GardensHeroic EpicKremlinNotre DameOracleOxford Univ­ersityPent­agonPyra­midsSistine ChapelStatue of LibertyStone­hengeTemple of ArtemisWest Point
Cristo Redentor211111
Eiffel Tower11114
Globe Theatre112
Great Library21121101921
Great Lighthouse21
Hagia Sophia111
Hanging Gardens11
Heroic Epic11
Notre Dame11
Oxford University1011111
Sistine Chapel12
Statue of Liberty142111221
Temple of Artemis1
West Point21


Wonder combinations
Great LibraryOxford University10
PyramidsGreat Library9
Statue of LibertyEiffel Tower4
Globe TheatreKremlin2
Great LibraryCristo Redentor2
Great LibraryStatue of Liberty2
Great LighthouseGreat Library2
PyramidsStatue of Liberty2
Sistine ChapelStatue of Liberty2
West PointPentagon2
Great LibraryEiffel Tower1
Great LibraryGlobe Theatre1
Great LibraryKremlin1
Great LibraryPentagon1
Great LighthouseOxford University1
Hagia SophiaCristo Redentor1
Hagia SophiaEiffel Tower1
Hagia SophiaOxford University1
Hanging GardensGlobe Theatre1
Hanging GardensStatue of Liberty1
Heroic EpicGlobe Theatre1
Heroic EpicOxford University1
KremlinCristo Redentor1
Notre DameKremlin1
OracleNotre Dame1
Oxford UniversityStatue of Liberty1
PyramidsCristo Redentor1
PyramidsEiffel Tower1
PyramidsOxford University1
Sistine ChapelEiffel Tower1
Statue of LibertyCristo Redentor1
Statue of LibertyKremlin1
StonehengeCristo Redentor1
Temple of ArtemisGreat Library1
West PointStatue of Liberty1
Great Library30
Oxford University15
Statue of Liberty15
Eiffel Tower8
Cristo Redentor7
Globe Theatre5
Great Lighthouse3
Hagia Sophia3
Sistine Chapel3
West Point3
Hanging Gardens2
Heroic Epic2
Notre Dame2
Temple of Artemis1

My baby, the Kremlin, wasn't so popular. Only 7 of 63 players picked it, none pairing it with my Oxford.

The #1 choice by a mile was the Great Library. I didn't expect it to be that popular. It is strong, but it's really not that hard to build normally. Perhaps my Great Person rule to nerf an early Academy actually had the opposite effect. If an Academy can't be had by the first GP, then the answer is to generate the second one ASAP, and the GL is the route to that.

Then we had an amazing three-way tie! Oxford University, Pyramids, and Statue of Liberty. The Pyramids is quite understandable. On Immortal it is often out of reach conventionally, so simply using the Muse as a 500-hammer shortcut is fine. The Statue is also big, but requires Representation to really shine. Surprisingly, only 2 of the 15 Statue players paired it with the Pyramids. I guess the rest intend to build the Pyramids conventionally.

Oxford University I think is a better choice than the Great Library, but apparently players disagree. Let me enumerate some reasons why.

- The Great Library comes much earlier than Oxford, and you can simply build it conventionally. The other way around is also possible, but Oxford takes considerably longer, including the 6 universities.

- Oxford is simply stronger from turn 1, producing more beakers. And it continues to increase in power throughout the game as the capital grows. The Great Library's power is static, just the two scientists. The GL may get ahead for a short time with Representation and settled scientists, but Oxford will catch up soon with cottages and trade routes.

- Big Great Scientist points from turn 1 are powerful, but also not much of a loss as compared to conventionally building the GL. Because Great Person costs escalate, you don't really get more GP by having the Great Library from turn 1, you just get them sooner. You can build the GL around turn 100 conventionally, which adds up to only 600 extra GPP before then, which diminishes to less than one extra GP by the medieval age.

- Besides abstract analysis, Oxford is also stronger in the concrete. For this particular Carthage on this particular map, Oxford makes out quite well. We have three Financial commerce tiles in use early (clams/oasis), which give Oxford a bigger baseline to multiply but don't help the Great Library.

Of course, you can simply have both cakes by picking both Oxford and the Library. You get all the benefits of both, and icing where they multiply with each other. Many players did, making it the top combination overall. Great Library/Pyramids was second. These approaches I think might actually overdo research and overfocus on a space race. Early research speed doesn't correlate so well with time to space. Bigger empire size and population is more important in the long run, which includes either more corporate resources or making strong use of State Property.

Research is important, but you also need production and growth expansion to make use of it, which is why I think the Kremlin is so essential. Sullla has commented on several of our multiplayer games that early GNP is overrated while early food and production are the real tells. No wonder provides food and very few provide production, with the Kremlin's indirect production being the biggest producer. Kremwhipping settlers or offensive military I think is the strongest route to a big empire and a fast victory.

Popular combo #3 was one I never thought of: Statue of Liberty/Eiffel Tower. That's a mega Creative trait, turning the Statue specialist into an artist for 6 culture. Neat interaction, though I'm not sure it's fastest to any of the win conditions. If it's good for culture, that'll be the +50% and Artist GPP, not the artist culture itself. Two players used Statue also for faux-Creative with Sistine Chapel, which is an interesting angle, getting Creativesque culture while employing a better specialist than an artist.

After those three combos, the field was very diverse, with no other combo being picked more than twice. I would've bet Statue of Liberty + Pyramids to be popular, but only two players went for it.

Only a few players took a militaristic approach. Only two players picked my militaristic combo of West Point/Pentagon, with a few other hybrid approaches in Heroic Epic/Oxford, Heroic/Globe, Pentagon/Great Library, and West Point/Statue of Liberty. I was hoping that fighting would be more attractive, but perhaps Immortal is too high for that. Or maybe if you want to conquer, it's just better to do it by powering research to an appropriate flashpoint like Steel or Rifling.

Writing now after the fact, Kremlin/Globe Theatre may be worth another thought. This Carthage can make +15 food at size 5, with a lighthouse and the flood plain farmed. It can grow every single turn with a granary. That means you can average a whip every turn. This wonder combo adds +15 hammers/turn! Plus you get to whip (good food:hammer conversion ratio) 5 times as often as usual! I didn't properly think about this combo originally, but it might be the most powerful out there. (Add Heroic Epic, Bureaucracy, and a forge: 123 hammers per whip!?)

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