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The Republic of Greece

When we got into Republic, I was surprised and pleased to see that there was NO war weariness in effect. It didn't take long to eliminate India after that.

I'm all alone in the world! There's nobody here besides me...

Now I'm going to bore you with some text for a little while, simply because nothing interesting enough to take a picture of happened. :)

In Republic, the military turns out to be a pretty big drain on the treasury; I'm spending 91 per turn in unit costs. I disband all but the elite swords, and disband any hoplites beyond the first in every city. That gets me down to about 70 per turn unit costs, of which half or more is workers; that I can live with.

Remember where I said that a Republic at 30% lux produces more money than a Monarchy? Well, I can even get away with 20% lux right now, needing only about three entertainers in the empire.

As I mentioned, Washington has been designated to be the worker factory. It can't quite get up to a worker every turn, but it can have 10 food OR 10 shields. This means it can get into a pattern that I worked out a while back and will now get to put into practice: it can build 3 workers every 4 turns.

On turn 1, it's at size 5 with 0 food/0 shields in the box. Set to +10 food and +5 shields.
On turn 2, it's at size 6 with 0 food/5 shields. Set to +10 food and +5 shields; city grows to 7, produces worker, drops back to 6.
On turn 3, it's at size 6 with 0 food/0 shields. Set to +5 food and +10 shields; city produces worker and drops to size 5.
On turn 4, it's at size 5 with 5 food/0 shields. Set to +5 food and +10 shields; city grows, produces worker, drops back to size 5 and begins the cycle anew.

Yup, it's all in the micromanagement...

I research Polytheism in one turn after the anarchy ends to finish the Ancient Age in 270 AD. I get Monotheism for free. It doesn't really matter what order I research the techs now, so I go for Engineering next just because moving units across all those rivers is driving me nuts. :)

I also decide to try out the "Cheat the Economy" tactic for a little bit. What this is is letting your treasury drop almost to 0 by doing deficit research, then slamming your research to 100% (minus lux tax) for a turn, LETTING your treasury go into bankruptcy. This effectively creates gold out of nowhere, since you still get the full income credited towards science, but your treasury ends up significantly ahead of where it should be (at 0 gold instead of -120 gold.)

I was not intentionally doing this to exploit the game; rather, what I wanted to do was see how it worked and evaluate it as a potential exploit. I did it only three times total, all in the early medieval age. Every time, the game disbanded one worker for me, and also tore down one building. I was trying to figure out the exact rules for what building gets destroyed. Twice it was a barracks, and once it was a temple; the best guess I can make is that it's the cheapest building in the city ignoring civ-ability discounts - I didn't lose a library. Also, I couldn't pin down exactly how it chooses the city: it was always one of the earliest cities on the upkeep cycle (a former AI capital or my own), but I couldn't figure out the pattern.

Exploit? I dunno. Probably not in the way I used it. Except for the useless barracks (I'll have Sun Tzu's), a worker plus a building is probably worth about the 100-150 beakers that I gained each time. It's fairly realistic in that real-world governments definitely can spend themselves into debt that way. It could, however, be an absolutely critical move if you're tightly researching that last tech or two for space (who cares if you lose a few buildings if you're going to win the game?)

Well, it's time to start building wonders and cleaning up on those scenario points. I research Theology, Feudalism (to get Sun Tzu's available), Education, and Banking. They generally come in five or six turns, aided occasionally by Cheat the Economy.

Corinth swaps to the Sistine Chapel when it became available, and completed it in 480 AD for 5 points. That was actually the city's first cultural building! Sounds like something an AI would do. :) Thermopylae builds its cathedral, then prebuilds with the palace before swapping to Sun Tzu's War Academy.

Banking came in 490 AD. You can see the five bank-building cities in this picture; I do believe those were my only five cities that even had marketplaces. Delphi over there is prebuilding for Wall Street itself, and doesn't even have a marketplace yet. :)

And you can see that Washington is still cranking workers. I'm up to 52 workers, and even that many aren't keeping up with tile improvements for outlying cities like Rhodes.

Also, now, enough of the big cities have Sistine-enhanced Cathedrals that I can drop the lux tax to 10% and recover an extra 50 gold per turn income. That gets research up to 4 turns each without needing to play Cheat the Economy.

Still no contact with any AI...

Astronomy and Invention then mark all the Middle Ages techs that I need immediately, to get the wonders available. Copernicus and Leonardo's are building. Now I have a tough call - should I make a sidetrack research on Monarchy (delaying space by 4 turns) to go for the Hanging Gardens? It would cost about 900 beakers to research, of which having the Gardens would recoup a little bit via fewer entertainers before they go obsolete. So, 700 income for a shot at another 6 scenario points?

Athens can build the Gardens in 12 turns from scratch, and can prebuild with Leonardo's while the real Leo's city (Sparta) builds with a Palace. But I do have Sun Tzu's completing in 6, from which the AIs could cascade to the HG.

I decide YES, since I need to take a break from max research anyway to accumulate the 1000 gold for Wall Street. Monarchy can come in 4 turns at only 30% science.

By 670 AD, all of the second-ring cities have completed cathedrals, and I can drop lux tax to 0. This creates a real division between the "have" cities and the have-not cities, which now must run at least one and often two entertainers. But it keeps pushing my economy farther and farther ahead. I'm researching in 4 turns at a healthy surplus now.

Completing Sun Tzu did indeed not cause any AI to immediately build the Hanging Gardens. And Athens does indeed get it. Score another 6 points!

Still no contact with any AI...

I research Gunpowder and Chemistry, then have to decide whether to go for either Bach's or Smith's. Music would cost about 1500 beakers to research, and having the wonder will not pay back much of anything until after hospitals. Economics would cost about 2100 beakers, and Smith's would pay back in gold starting immediately, to the tune of at least 25/turn and rising, so it WILL save money in the long run. So I start researching Economics, Athens prebuilding with a colosseum. Bach's will wait until after factories and hospitals, but I may still go back and get it.

In 910 AD, Metallurgy comes in, completing the Middle Ages. Steam Power due in 4. Nationalism is the free tech, so now I'm invulnerable to any attacks (which will be with what, swords? :) )

Newton's and Smith's complete in 960 AD, as the rail net gets started. I stacked Copernicus and Newton's both in Pharsalos (the Forbidden Palace city.) Still no contact with any AI. On to the Industrial Age.

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