Home > challenge, multiplayer, strategy > Challenge #2: “Montezuma´s Revenge

Challenge #2: “Montezuma´s Revenge

This is the second fastmoves challenge, continuing the theme laid out in fastmoves challenge #1. This time it´s about all-out war. The scenario simulates a potential situation in a 5v5 ancient game on Team_Battleground. You got an aggressive leader and decided on not rushing or going for a common 4cities-granaries-monuments-barracks buildup, but attacking with a bigger stack before Construction is researched or even player´s build up completely. Your plan is to get as many units (axes/spears only, being representative for 23 hammers of production each) as possible till turn 50 with the total disregard for the long-term consequences on your empire.

This time it´s a single player save, so no eight seconds delay. I´m assuming this one to be “easier” than the first challenge, meaning probably more people will hit the maximum or come close to it. The main difficulty lies in worker and production micromanagement and the not-so-clear decisions on where to plant (lots of food available in all directions!). Of course there will be an article and video explaining “how to do it right” again afterwards – this time we should be able to increase the video quality further and additionally add a spoken commentary to it.

Fastmoves Challenge #2: “Montezuma´s Revenge”

Save: Fastmoves Challenge #2: Montezuma´s Revenge

large, low sea, cylindrical Team_Battleground

Montezuma of Japan

Get as many Axes/Spears with three experience points (barracks!) as possible till turn 50.


  • Upgrading Warriors to Axes/Spears is not allowed!
  • Your research path has to look like that: 1. Bronze Working 2. Animal Husbandry 3. Archery 4. Iron Working 5. Pottery, then (around turn 38) save money going to 0% research.

25th January 2010, 24:00 CEST

The part about research is there to prevent a cultural border expansion via religion from Meditation/Polytheism for one – if you want that culture, build a monument! Archery, IW and Pottery are just placeholders. The money saving part is so you don´t go on strike in case you get “too many” units. Usually with this strategy you´d have to build a couple of cottages AND save some money before moving out of your land with the stack. I left that part out on purpose since it´s tough (not impossible though) to set a “goal” there. It´s easier to compare results and explain approaches if we focus on a specific goal. If you play this strategy in a “real” game, don´t forget the cottages like many other players do ;). More on that in the explanation article and video…

I hope you enjoy this. Try it out, takes only about twenty minutes. If you have questions or remarks, send them together with your save to challenge@fastmoves.de. We´ll probably involve those in the video.

  1. Moineau
    January 12, 2010 at 20:28

    wtf no barracks no granary!! stop getting them in the dark side of civ :pp (smileys missing)

    • January 12, 2010 at 20:36

      Of course barracks! Says so in the rules. And granaries are optional :p.

  2. Astax
    January 12, 2010 at 21:33

    If you play this strategy in “real game” than I better not be on your team. No Monarchy? What am supposed to do build mines like a chump?

    • January 12, 2010 at 21:36

      I´ve killed Metallian and [RUS] Joao dude with marble plant close to this way last CCC 😉

      BEsides it´s not even that bad if you do it right and you make it completely viable with tweaking your slaving slighty in a “real” game.

  3. Astax
    January 12, 2010 at 22:26

    20 axes first try. I made some mistakes. Going animal before archery kinda sucks because i cant use overflow from archer into settler.

    • January 12, 2010 at 22:44

      For you exclusively it´s optional whether you go archery or animal first. I promise it doesn´t affect the outcome of the best possible result 😉

  4. Penny
    January 12, 2010 at 22:52

    I must be doing something wrong, I’m not even able to tech pottery :p

    This is huge disadvantage, I need to get my granary in order to efficiently slave my monuments, damn.

    I did 2 tries so far, second one wasnt that convincing, only 1 unit extra, but that additional is suppose to pay for itself on paper… 😀 Ill wait more info before putting more time !

    • January 12, 2010 at 23:06

      More info :p? What :D? How many did you get – I already have a clue of about where we are heading :p

  5. Astax
    January 12, 2010 at 23:18

    23 axes 2 spears this go. I think 30 may be possible. Getting archery before animal helped quite a bit getting settler out without chop. Gave me the ability to hook up second corn and still get my second city down at same time basically.

    • January 12, 2010 at 23:43

      You´re getting closer ;p

      Though I haven´t gotten the “ultimate” result, yet I think.

  6. MLL
    January 13, 2010 at 01:17

    I agree this isn’t a good representation of a real game. Maximum output of troops will mean cities that are completely unhappy at the end with no hereditary rule, and probably capital city producing with hammers of 12 or more for 2 turn productions. In a real game this would be far inferior as it would provide absolutely no gnp and have no way to pay for the troops, for only a modestly higher amount of troops which would then have to be used for an attack right away, no matter what, and with little time in enemy land to go on strike. This is a one dimensional strategy and doomed for failure many games, as only a modest amount of additional troops is not enough to kill someone who has any sort of positioning or reconnaissance.

    • January 13, 2010 at 01:32

      I wrote in the challenge description that in an actual game you´d be playing slightly different (also mentioned cottages and that this topic will be covered in the article and video later on). Still I’m speaking from experience when I say this or 90% of this is a viable strategy in some situations in a game like ancient ss.

      The reason for the “extremeness” is that I want to isolate one part – here the big main part – of a strategy in order to produce results that are comparable. Sure I could add an additional requirement of having to have this and that much commerce (via cottages), but than I´d be introducing another factor which would make the end result harder to compare and which would divert focus from the main task. This is more about micromanagement than about teaching a specific strategy.

      In any case I have played this and seen it played many times this way – with a few tweaks to the slaving and planting this is actually a common way of playing a given situation in a war heavy ancient teamer.

      P.S. The first challenge wasn´t in its extremeness a real situation either, but a specific task was maxed out. Since that task was the by far most important one of such a game, we could get a full picture of what are the key elements. The next step is putting only 90% instead of 100% focus on the main task and tweaking the other aspects instead like planting a better city or not working a sea tile for one turn for the sake of increasing research from 99 to over 100 to meet the goals of the challenge.

  7. Gitbliss
    January 13, 2010 at 11:03

    First try was 27 units with 3 xp. I am sure i can get it to about 35.

    @ Penny…you cannot even tech pottery? Dude!

  8. Gitbliss
    January 13, 2010 at 11:05

    BTW…the strategy is completely viable in anc ss. I have done it myself (short of) and I have seen leme do it with 20 axes way before monarchy. Yes your cities are 1-2 pop and unhappy…so what?

  9. Anonymous
    January 13, 2010 at 16:09

    This challenge is perfect to show how you have to play in 1 city elim ancient SS :p

  10. MLL
    January 13, 2010 at 16:19

    it only works against newbs. you should be able to beat them anyway.

    • January 13, 2010 at 16:26

      I’ll pass that information on to Metallian :p

  11. MLL
    January 13, 2010 at 16:25

    oh and another problem is that you don’t make archers or warriors in this, because there is no incentive to do so…..

  12. milo
    January 14, 2010 at 14:33

    stuck with 27 at the moment, still got some forrests to cut tho… I’m looking forward to git’s 35 😀

    • January 14, 2010 at 17:57

      Quite some room left for improvement – keep trying ^^

  13. Anonymous
    January 14, 2010 at 21:23

    agreed, I don’t think 35 is possible. I think getting into the 30s will be extremely challenging. There are a few critical ways to get in the 30s I won’t delve into at the moment, not the least of which because I still haven’t broken into the 30s in 3 tries, but I am sure it’s possible. 😛

    • January 14, 2010 at 21:38

      It is ^^

      Who are you 😛 ?

  14. Anonymous
    January 15, 2010 at 14:19

    more than 33 axes i dont get.any1 more?

  15. Anonymous
    January 15, 2010 at 14:20

    after third try i FINAlly get 33 axes. any1 can beat it?

    • January 15, 2010 at 14:21

      Who are you?

      Send in a save or I doubt it happened 😛

  16. MLL
    January 16, 2010 at 06:29

    managed 31…..pretty maxed out but I should be able to hit 32 with micro. The guy above is just a flamer im sure. 😛

  17. MLL
    January 16, 2010 at 07:47

    hmmm ok 32 wasn’t bad…1 wasted forest chop, maybe i can hit 33 if i refine it. 😛

  18. Atlas
    January 17, 2010 at 21:38

    25 on the first try should be able to micro that up, 33 sounds like a lot though

  19. Atlas
    January 17, 2010 at 21:42

    Oh btw I think this would be a viable strat on anc SS with proper roads etc.

  20. eg
    January 18, 2010 at 01:41

    waiting for bronze cap z_z

  21. daryy
    January 18, 2010 at 03:39

    29 .. 3 times in a row if i had one more turn it would be 31 😛

  22. magates
    January 22, 2010 at 12:47

    well i got 26 with no unhappy at the end. I think that’s more important than the pure number of units. 😛

  23. Gitbliss
    January 25, 2010 at 11:52

    I did try this 3-4 more times, got 29…MLL’s 32 seems like top for me…

  24. MLL
    January 30, 2010 at 21:00

    any final end post on it? I can do the video later if you want….I might work through it and get the 33 when I do it as well, so that might be interesting.

    • January 30, 2010 at 23:12

      Haven´t done a post so far, because I´m super busy right now at final exams in uni and since I don´t just want to post a vid, but rather have it have a more elaborate commentary and a post next to it, I didn´t manage, yet. I´d be grateful for you helping out, my best was 31 so far, I did it five or six times now and keep on getting stuck on 31. So if you can do the video, I´ll write the article with some general principles and what´s usually different in an ancient game, while you could present your solution which fulfills the goals of the challenge maximally I think.

      What do you think?

  25. fleur-de-lis
    February 1, 2010 at 05:48

    only 20 first try 😦

  26. milo
    February 1, 2010 at 23:11

    gogogo mll

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