Monday, January 9, 2012

Through the Ages-Part X-Culture:Where Culture Comes From

Forum for discussion located here:
Brief Review
Previous articles discussed culture generation.  The following was concluded:
  • Winning the game involves having the highest Culture at end of Age IV,
  • The average score for a game is 211 points
Sources of Culture
After analyzing games we derive the following breakdown of where culture originates from:

From the above chart we make several notes on the sources of culture
Pacts and Treaties account for less than 1% of the income for the winning player.  This isn't unexpected as Pacts generate little culture an appear late in the game.
Historical Territory cards overall add less than 2% to the winning score.
Aggression and Wars
Although culture generated by Military Actions measures between 0% and 30% of the winning player's culture, on average it makes up less than 8%.  As we will see in future articles, the majority of this culture comes from Wars.  This is not to say Wars or Aggressions are not important, but the culture gained from them is very little in a typical game.
Playing Event Cards
The adding of event cards to the Future Events deck generates culture for the players.  The playing of these Event cards makes up the third largest contribution of Age IV culture at 9%.
Culture generated from Wonders creates the second largest contribution of culture to the winning player's Age IV total at just over 26%.  Wonders therefore make a major component to eventually victory.
Impact Cards
Impact Cards (Final Scoring) have been discussed in greater detail here: Final Culture Scoring.  Despite constituting over 30% of the final score, it is already known that Final Scoring impacts the eventual game winner in less than 5% of the games.
Other (Buildings, Leaders, etc.)
The largest portion of culture comes from Buildings, Leaders and Other sources not mentioned above.  This accounts for over half of the winning player's Culture income.
Overall, players need to concentrate on culture generation to win games.  The primary source of income for culture currently consists of Civil Buildings/Leaders, Culture Generating Wonders, and the Playing of Event Cards.  This is not to say other aspects are to be ignored, but expect the majority of culture to come from these three sources.


Earthenbulwark said...

"This is not to say Wars or Aggressions are not important, but the culture gained from them is very little in a typical game."

Is that what happened in our most recent game? :P

Earthenbulwark said...

To be more fair, I wonder if your current method accounts for military culture changes effectively. For example, in our most recent game, I gained about 40 culture from wars... but I achieved around 80 points of cultural advantage by taking them from you - the culture leader.

Chance Folmar said...

Correct, Earthenbulwark. wars and Aggression, from a pure culture gain perspective, do not seem very important. However, there are many wars and aggression which impact the players in other ways (stealing resources, stealing science, destroying another player's building/population, etc.). These affect the other player, but are not direct culture gains/swaps.

As for the game we played, in a 2-player game it is very different. Aggressions/Wars have twice the impact as a reduction in one is a gain in the other. In a 4-player the defender suffers a drop and the attacker sees an increase, but the other two players only see a relative increase of one player's score.

The culture gain is accounted for in the calculations for 4 players (which are not shown here). Some players suffer a "negative" culture gain indicating they lost culture from Aggs/Wars. What we see in the diagrams in this blog is the contribution of culture from Wars/Aggs to the player who ended in 1st place.

Lastly, one aspect I found interesting is the player who ended in 2nd place gained more culture from Aggs/wars than the player who ended 1st. These Wars/Aggs were mostly against the player who ended 3rd/4th, but were not enough of a gain to make up for the culture difference with the player in 1st. Both 1st and 2nd are picking on 3rd and 4th, but not each other. The effect is to widen the scores they have between 3/4, but not much of a relative increase between 1&2.

Confused yet? I'll need to focus on military soon. A few more blogs on culture and we will be ready to go.