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Old 02-11-2012, 09:07 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Global Resource Peaks

After having owned FotW for a few months now, I've finally started to understand the game mechanics (mostly) and actually really enjoy it.

However, there is one thing I can figure out that has really jarateed me off today, when I was attempting "Earth Day".

By 2060, a mere eight turns in to the game, I had hit every 'Global Peak' event there was - Oil, Gas, Coal, and Uranium, and the fell right out of the world. Nobody could make electricity, nobody could farm, drive to work, whatever.

After another few turns trying to resolve this, it became totally apparent I was screwed - megadeaths, famine, war, etc etc. I had to cancel or pause all cards just to say out of negative income, and watch as one country after another booted me out.

It went on like this till 2170, when FINALLY I got the message "Global Gas Production is rising!" Whoop-dee-doo. Everyone already hated my guts, I'd been passed round the nations of the world like the flu, and it was game over.

So anyway, the question is, is this event built in to Earth Day, or is it just my ty luck? And how the hell could you cope with an event like that unless, by some miracle, you had a full renewables economy six turns into the game?
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:54 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2011
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Could you tell us what kind of strategy you'd been using up to the point that this started to happen? In particular, have you played any of the expand fossil fuel production cards, or done anything to change energy mixes in electricity generation, or promoted 4th gen nuclear, or switched industry away from coal (and if so, roughly when and where)? These things all make a big difference to resource scarcity (either positively or negatively!) - and it would also be good to hear about anything else you can remember doing. Obviously there's no need to give a turn-by-turn breakdown, but it'd be useful to know about the stuff you've tried to concentrate on doing.
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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I always start my games as I imagine most people would - Tobin Taxes for the richest nations, funding unlocks of all the offices elsewhere over the next few turns, and getting Japan and North America focused on research from turn 2. Other early priorities are stopping the deforestation of Latin America and South East Asia, and spreading Drilling and Biofuel tech everywhere.

In this particular game, after my opening gambits, I wanted to try to control emissions from the get go, so just went down the list of the worst offenders, turn by turn, working to give them coal free industry and electricity, CCS, Biochar, etc etc, while trying to expand gas and oil to make up the deficit from denying them coal. I use the 'Oil and Gas Recoverable' map to determine who is best for this (it's always obviously NA, ME, Russia and Europe), and get them to bump up production.

This is where I get confused though. I had 'Increase Oil / Gas' running in all the regions with the best potential, yet from the turn the 'Peaks' were announced, production dropped rapidly and unstoppably , until at one point, after being forced to cancel just about every card in play, the world was producing under 10,000 TwH of the three fossils, and under 1,000 TwH of Uranium.

So, basically, I felt a bit like the Global Peaks, when two or more come at once, are just a big "You Lose" button the game likes to press
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
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1000 TwH of uranium doesn't sound too surprising to me - it becomes scarce pretty quickly, and once all the regions who use it are converted to 4th gen, there are no other ways left to make it last, and you soon start to get shortages unless some of them stop using it.

I think the problem might be that you're switching industry and electricity generation away from coal very quickly. This means you'll be burning a lot of oil for electricity in some regions, which is likely to cause oil shortages, which are usually disastrous. Also bear in mind that switching industry from coal to electrcity causes coal use to *rise* in most regions, because so much extra electricity is needed - you might want to delay the switch for as long as possible, and maybe be selective about where you do it.

Gas ought to take up some of the slack, but it takes a little while to transition onto using it - production rises until it hits the halfway point of recoverable reserves, and then starts to decline. This means you can't get the maximum rate at first.

I guess oil and gas shortages will cause enough direct economic devestation that fuel demand will be very low and little fuel will be extracted (although <10000 TwH does sound very low indeed) , but you'd think the shortages would stop at that point. Still, if you've had a severe oil shortage at any point, all bets are off after that, in my opinion - those generally cause complete chaos.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:19 AM   #5
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Everything you've said has proven absolutely right ^_^

Played Earth Day again, now at 2110, and things are fine. I let the world continue burning coal, and instead chose mitigation over outright reduction until I was confident I had the techs to give everybodies economies a fighting chance. I risked massive Clathrate exploitation about 2070, and got the world on a gas / oil mix without too much hardship. Temperature hit +3, and stopped with a few quick aerosols.

Thanks for the advice - it would seem I caused my own problems in the last playthrough.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:18 AM   #6
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To add to the already valid advice here, I'd like to offer something about biofuel. I found it pretty useful in delaying impending oil shortages, but only in select regions. Specifically, North and South Africa, and South Asia. These three are capable of supporting substantial Agriculture sectors, and thus provide the capita to be converted into Biofuel. The fact that they're pretty light on fossil fuel sources is part of why I favor them. I'd be tempted to include Latin America, except it does have a substantial deposit of Oil. It takes a few turns to get them to where they need to be to start cranking out Biofuel, of course.

High-development areas like North America and Europe develop Biofuel tech on their own pretty quickly, but generally have more important matters to attend to, like reducing emissions. Japan and Oceania just don't have the agricultural economy to help much, and various other regions have their own issues. Spreading Biofuel tech around to everyone seems like money wasted.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:11 AM   #7
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What about China? In my current game, China's producing 3850 TWh of synthetic oil, 3679 of which are from first- and second-generation biofuels. It's consuming 3454 TWh of oil.

At the same time, China's "biofuel crops" stat is at $382 bn, down by $877 bn, yet production's up. Russia's generating 2695 TWh of synthetic oil through gas to oil. I wish I knew how these stats worked.

...Meanwhile, China's "marketable oil" stat is 6355 TWh, as a total of 3850 TWh of synthetic oil, 53 of conventional oil, and 26 of shale oil. Sigh.

Last edited by Emmeralthius: 02-27-2012 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:10 PM   #8
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Keep in mind synthetic oil is also made by drawing it from coal and gas!

Also, I think there's an efficiency variable for the crops as well, the longer you produce biofuels, the more efficient they get.
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