initial taxes formula

Conquer the island

initial taxes formula

Postby rhaining » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:21 pm

OK, another minor mystery. How are initial taxes collected for each player, and when? It seems obvious at first but it isn't, and it would be very helpful to know. For example, I might have the opportunity to make a L2 spearman on turn 1 and sack the town hall of a neighboring large territory. Yay! I've just destroyed a huge cache of enemy taxes -- or have I? The other strange thing is that sometimes your 2-hex territory with town hall + tree will start with 5 taxes and other times it will start with 9 taxes.

Here are some theories:

[BEST THEORY SO FAR] T1: At the start of the game, before any turns are taken, every player gets a 1-time special tax collection, collecting 4 turns worth of taxes, without tree growth. Then turns begin as normal.

T1 could explain why a player's 2-hex territory that *appears* to start with a tree on it can sometimes have 5 taxes and sometimes have 9 taxes at the start of the player's 1st turn. The map may have been built with a tree on that spot, in which case the player would collect $4 during the special tax collection, then the player's turn begins and they collect another $1 for $5 total. OR, the map may have been built with no tree on that spot, in which case the player would collect $8 during the special tax collection event, then just before the player's 1st turn, the tree grows, then the player collects $1 more in taxes for $9 total.

The problem with T1 is that I *think* I've tried killing an AI player's starting town hall on a large territory and the AI was still able to build plenty of stuff on its 1st turn. I think. So maybe it works like this:

T2: Turn 1 for each human and AI player is special. They collect 4x normal taxes, then their turn starts as normal. So, 4x tax collection, then tree growth, then graveyard handling, then normal tax collection, maintenance, starvation for new graveyards, then they can play.

T2 would yield the same $5 or $9 starting taxes that the player sometimes sees, and eliminate the possibility that the player could wipe out a huge amount of saved taxes on player's 1st turn. Even if you upgrade to a L2 spearman on turn 1 and kill an enemy town hall, that town hall had zero saved taxes. Then when the AI player has its turn 1, they get the special 4x tax collection for all their territories, before tree growth on their territories.
Last edited by rhaining on Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:09 am

Re: initial taxes formula

Postby rhaining » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:03 pm

Map Xiefl (set 03, page 03, map 17) provides an opportunity to test some of these theories, though not everything I’d like to test. (I’ll keep on the lookout for a map that has the chance to destroy an enemy town hall on turn 1.)

See these screenshots:

Screenshot #1 (image 142):
On this map, a player territory starts with 4 hexes and 20 taxes, adjacent to a dark brown territory with 8 hexes and ??? taxes.

Screenshot #2 (image 143):
If I do nothing on my turn 1, no other player touches that dark brown 8-hex territory, and dark brown spends 30 taxes to make 3x L1 grunts, expanding the territory to 11 hexes (by joining to a single dark brown hex). No help here; all of my theories about initial taxes would have given that dark brown 8-hex territory at least 30 taxes to spend on its turn 1.

Screenshot #3 (image 144):
If I play naturally on my turn 1 with just that territory, I end up buying 2x L1 grunts and expanding. NOTE that I have reduced the 8-hex dark brown territory to just 5 hexes. (I don’t do anything with any of my other territories.)

Screenshot #4 (image 145):
Dark brown bought a L2 spearman to expand the territory to 6 hexes *and* bought a castle. Dark brown spent 35 taxes on his turn 1, so clearly, my theory T2 of initial taxes is incorrect at least for AI players. T1 is still a possibility.

Screenshot #5 (image 146):
For good measure, I try building a L2 spearman on my 1st turn to split the dark brown 8-hex territory into two pieces. His initial town hall still exists but now has only 4 hexes, but he now has a new territory of 3 hexes.

Screenshot #6 (image 147):
Naturally, my L2 spearman starved. Dark brown still spent 35 taxes buying a L2 spearman and a castle. Dark brown’s newly formed 3-hex territory didn’t spend anything, and it had the opportunity to buy a L1 grunt to take the light brown hex just south of this new town hall. From what I know of AI on hardest setting, it definitely would have done this had it had the money to do so. So, that newly formed 3-hex dark brown territory had less than 10 taxes and probably had 0 taxes. (Newly formed town halls have zero taxes on every other turn in the game, and I see no evidence here of special handling on turn 1.)

BOTTOM LINE: T2 is definitely wrong, at least for AI players and that’s mostly what I’m trying to figure out. T1 is still a possibility, but I need to find another map where I have the chance to kill an enemy town hall on turn 1 to test it out.
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:09 am

Re: initial taxes formula

Postby rhaining » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:31 am

OK! I’m now convinced that T1 is correct, due to experimenting on map Ziot (set 03, page 01, map 07). See screenshots:

Screenshot #1 (image 148):
This is the lower right portion of the map. The player has a 4-hex territory next to yellow’s 5-hex territory. Without interference, yellow could easily merge the 5-hex territory with another 2-hex territory on the south coast of this map.

Screenshot #2 (image 149):
I ended my turn 1 without doing anything. Yellow merged territories and bought 3x L1 grunts total. No help in determining which theory is correct here. He should have 5 saved gold leftover in his town hall. (Side note: yellow appears to have played the 5-hex territory first. Nothing in Slay appears to be randomly chosen, so perhaps the AI chooses the largest territory first, or perhaps it chooses town halls in reading order?)

Screenshot #3 (image 150):
I ended my turn 2 without doing anything. I don’t see anything here that helps determine which tax theory is correct. After yellow’s turn 1, he had 0 saved taxes in his 3-hex territory on the left, and 5 saved taxes in his merged 10-hex territory. At the start of yellow’s turn 2, he should have had 1 tax in his 3-hex territory and 9 taxes in his 10-hex territory. The most interesting thing here is that yellow decided to upgrade to a L2 spearman and kill a town hall, and not my town hall. My town hall definitely had more stored taxes, but killing it wouldn’t have merged yellow’s territories. Moreover, if yellow didn’t upgrade to a spearman, he could have captured 3 hexes with his 3 L1 grunts, though that wouldn’t have merged his territories. Very interesting, but again, no help on taxes.

Screenshot #4 (image 151):
I restarted and in this variation, I upgraded to a L2 spearman on turn 1 and sacked his 5-hex town hall.

Screenshot #5 (image 152):
Naturally, my L2 spearman starved. But the interesting thing here is that yellow merged his territories *from the smaller 2-space territory*. And, he didn’t buy anything else. If he had more saved taxes from his original 5-hex territory, he surely would have bought more troops on his turn 1.

Screenshot #6 (image 153):
I ended my turn again without doing anything, and on yellow’s 2nd turn, he grabbed another empty hex but still didn’t buy anything else. Tax theory T1 can explain this. At the start of yellow’s turn 1, he would have had 10 taxes in the smaller territory on the south, and 4 taxes in his formerly 5-hex territory, now 4-hex territory. After merging, it’s now a 7-hex territory with 4 saved taxes. On yellow’s turn 2, he would have then had 9 taxes — not enough to buy anything else, despite the fact that there were several other hexes available to conquer.

BOTTOM LINE, tax theory T1 appears correct, or at least I haven’t disproven it yet.
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