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Challenge 1: 30-min lush-lands!

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:52 am
by Adriaan
It's time for the first official Reus challenge!

step 1: Play a game with the following rules!
- 30 minutes era
- At the end of the game, you have at least 4 Forest Ambassadors on your giants.
- Your score will be determined by your prosperity
step 2: Make a savegame in the last minute, and make a screenshot of your score! (use the autosave to get there if you forgot to save in your first run)
step 3: send an e-mail with your savegame, screenshot and your participation-name (like your forum name) to!
step 4: wait until next week to see how well you did, and which ranking you received!

You can enter as many times as you want, but the highest score will be taken into account.

Depending on your score, you'll be awarded a gold, silver or bronze ranking, so you can challenge people of similiar skill level.

Discussions are welcome! The update on the scores will be on the forums, and the top will be mentioned in the news items at :)
Happy challenging!

Re: Challenge 1: 30-min lush-lands!

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:38 am
by syneris
Sounds like fun! Just a few questions.
Last minute meaning when the giants start to sleep or the minute prior?
Screenshot of the score at the save or the win screen?
Where are the save files located?

Discussion :)
About 2k on my first try. Two forest, one swamp, 3 desert. One forest was a fishing village and the deserts didn't setup where I was wanting. Forest and swamp were my highest scorers, followed by the fishing town. The deserts were low, but mainly due to neglect and greed management. I completed 10 projects: 4 Forest, 4 desert, 2 swamp. Awe is probably the key to fast growth success. You are also somewhat at the mercy of random projects and specializations. Going to try again with a new strategy.

Re: Challenge 1: 30-min lush-lands!

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:46 pm
by Adriaan
Preferably minute prior, but doesn't really matter atm. :)

Yeah I also entered, got 2.2K, which is a long shot from the number 1 atm, but at least we're in the same league! ;)

Still going to try to improve though! Made some tiny mistakes.

Re: Challenge 1: 30-min lush-lands!

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:03 am
by syneris
Second attempt, 2.4k this time. Had a few wars, but they seem okay if the strengths are close enough (favoring defender). Each city ended up fairly close in score, just over 400 in all of them. I've been favoring pear trees for forests and marble for swamps. Deserts focus on whichever project bonus it gets.

My favorite symbiosis chain right now is: date palm, tortoise, snake, snake, tortoise, date palm. It might not be the best use for so many plots, but I like the combo.

Re: Challenge 1: 30-min lush-lands!

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:15 am
by Mahasuchi
Syneris, you should send your results. Only your highest score will count, but there might be interesting things going on in your other games that we would like to know about.

Re: Challenge 1: 30-min lush-lands!

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:23 am
by syneris
I've managed what I think is a pretty good score, but I'm still going to send in the other two. Somehow squeezed in 7 cities.

Re: Challenge 1: 30-min lush-lands!

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:19 pm
by AVtime
I'm so antsy to see the scores from the official challenge, I keep reloading the page every hour!

I'll just jump the gun, since I want to hear about other peoples' scores and strategies.

[TL;DR version.]
Score: 3663
Build: O: DD - F: FFS - M: DFF - S: FS
Towns: 5.5 (The last one was penned in, marauded constantly, and basically ignored); 3 Forest, 1 Swamp, 1.5 Desert
I went mainly for Pear orchards early-mid game, then (Coffea-Papaya)-Onyx in swamp and Onyx-Cinnamomum-Tea in the desert.

[SO MUCH DETAIL version]
I had several attempts in the mid 2k range, but I kept hitting a wall of being well below my total potential prosperity at 30 mins, so for this run, I focused much more on border growth in the early game. I used the data Yatima provided to basically keep my plant-wielding giants moving so there was (more or less) always a plant on each town's edge(s) until the border-growth-curve for each town started to get steep. I did some rough math and placement optimization to take a guess that my ideal number of cities to max was 5, with enough space for a stunted 6th to fit in.

Another huge change was keeping the towns always below max prosperity; in my early attempts, I spent way too much time trying to build up one village, then move on to the next. This will definitely stunt your score, but the trade-off is that keeping your giants always moving will also make it really hard to get off the best combos (more on that later).

Terraforming: Another key for me was starting off with desert-heavy ambassadors and then terraforming the second desert into a swamp. I went D----D(m)F---FO----O(m)D----DF----FO----OF----F(m)(m)(m) [I hope that makes sense to some of you, lol]. The second mountain was flattened after I harvested its adjacent desert's first ambassador, and turned into a swamp; the set of three mountains connecting to the beginning space was flattened to make room for the 6th city about 10 mins into the game. It took some real planning to get the biomes all the right sizes from the beginning, given I planned to terraform them (like making the second Desert town very short so when the mountain came down, the swamp it left behind would be the full length) and wanted no wasteland. My plan at the outset was to have 2 forest cities and 2 swamps as my primary focus, but the time was never right to convert the second forest. I spent about 10 minutes trying to work out a plan that involved using resources on mountains to spawn the towns, then using Ocean to flatten the mountains, in an effort to get the towns exactly where I wanted them, but it was too fiddly, wasted too many crucial minutes in the setup, and ultimately, it just wasn't fun, so I stopped, and let the nomads do their own thing.

I used basically no animals except to fill the oceans, and in the very early game. I almost completely ignored greed and awe, except to squish an occassionally very powerful army that would kill its neighbor (as Rabbit suggested here)

I really like the 30-minute challenge length. You have to make so many more complex decisions about what aspects/resources to pursue, and what not to, and where to spend your time. The distance giants have to travel is a huge factor, much moreso than in the 60 or 120 min challenges, and I think by spamming the Aurora ability on cooldown I could have gotten another 500 prospecity over the course of the game. I chose this overall build because it allowed my 'support' giants to be really effective while my 'money' giant (Forrest) did the heavy lifting, which appeared to be impossible (from an opportunity-cost perspective) when dealing with minerals or animals. For instance, using the swamp to set up l2 herbs which could eventually be converted into fruit trees (in the swamp and mountain biomes) when the Forest had time, and leaving large patches un-buffed so I could move the forest to spawn more plants on his W cooldown, then come in with the ocean giant later to Monsoon when they meet. The border and prosperity growth become such important limiting factors this way, also.

I love how complex this game is, and I really appreciate the finely-tuned balance the devs have built. It feels like an ecosystem, with every part interlocking in very interesting ways. This challenge just brought that home even more for me, since you can't use spammy (but ultimately, boring) combos to 'win.'

I'd love to hear in detail how other people approached the challenge, and how you did/what you did/found successful/would do differently!

Re: Challenge 1: 30-min lush-lands!

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:57 pm
by ZenithRising
I loved your post AVTime. Very interesting. I hope more people take the time to talk about their strategy and play-style in future challenges.

And for Abbey Games: Just bought this game during the Steam Sale, played about 10 hours, completing most developments. I LOVE this game. It's approachable while extremely deep. Strategic while satisfying that creative urge. The style is fantastic. I'm looking forward to the next challenge.