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In the beginning...

The starting square looked good enough, so I founded Babylon there. I was a little disappointed to see that our Babylon got the dark blue color in this game; I've seen that red giant menace on the culture graph so many times, and I wanted to turn the world red. :)

Research to Pottery, as required by law. Babylon built two warriors for exploration, a spear for police (at 4 shields per turn, a spear only takes two more turns than a warrior and comes out exactly without wasting shields), then the granary. After Pottery at max rate, I begin Alphabet at minimum science. Meanwhile, the worker is mining and roading the bonus grassland squares, as usual.

In 3000 BC, one of my scouting warriors contacts Egypt. They don't have Pottery, but we can't trade it for any more than their 10 gold, so we don't.

Babylon completes its granary in 2800 BC, and starts a settler. With no barbarians, I'm going to push pretty far on farmer's gambit; here on a pangaea we're going to need to grab land as fast as we possibly can.

That settler completes in 2590 BC, dropping Babylon all the way to size 1, which is very unusual for me. But my scouts have found a nice, fertile area to the southeast with two cows, which will now be my settler factory. Meanwhile, I send a scout pushing far to the west, as you can see in the minimap.

The starting worker left Babylon city, because it had three improved tiles and was never going to exceed size three while building settlers, to go get Ur improved sooner.

Babylon built a third warrior, then started on a second settler. In 2110 BC, a Greek hoplite shows up from the east; we have nothing to trade them.

With my third city, I had to decide between claiming the incense now (Egypt's capital is not very far away), or getting another growth city started at the cow to the northeast of Babylon. I decided on the latter; hopefully that city can produce settlers for that end of my kingdom.

In 2030 BC, my warrior that went way to the west meets a Roman warrior (I would later learn that he had made a left turn about three or so tiles before finding Persia, heh), and here's my first round of trading...

I notice that I can't trade contacts to Rome; therefore Rome lacks Writing. So if I can get that, I can trade it to them for more tech.

FIRST, Ceremonial Burial to Rome, because I can sell at monopoly price, for Alphabet (to make Writing available) and their 10 gold.

THEN, buy Writing from Greece for 134 gold + 4/turn.

Then I can sell Writing to Rome AT MONOPOLY PRICE, plus 4g and 1/turn, for The Wheel, Iron Working, and Warrior Code.

ONLY NOW do I trade Contact with Rome (plus 1/turn) to Greece for contact with Persia and Mysticism.

Then Persia has Horseback Riding! I can trade them Contact with Rome plus Writing and Mysticism for it plus 20 gold.

Then Horseback Riding back over to Greece for 97 gold, and back over to Egypt for Masonry.

How's that. Complete tech parity on Deity in 2030 BC, and all I paid was a total of 11 gold plus 6/turn.

Minimum research started on my usual target of Polytheism.

Hoooly schiesse, that was fast...

Babylon was actually too small to build a third settler just yet (city at size 2, growth in 2, settler in 1), so it built a temple instead. Also, I whip the granary in Ur (it's got acres of food), and start cranking settlers. Despite the city being able to grow every other turn, it can't crank out settlers every 4 turns due to lack of shields; the settlers can only come every 5.

With the next settler from Babylon, my fourth city claims the incense in 1575 BC. Also this turn I buy a Persian worker, and a couple turns later an Egyptian worker, and a couple turns later another Egyptian worker. I think Egypt would have had time to build a worker by now; if not, it's their own stupid fault :) and they are indeed Industrious.

My fifth city, Ur's first settler, was founded shortly later, and here they are:

Yes, there are wasted tiles within my first ring of cities. I rarely do that, but grabbing a large quantity of land here is going to be the more important concern.

The three workers on the left side of that picture are the recently imported slaves; I have yet to build another native worker.

I've decided that Nineveh needs to put out a settler or two even before building its granary, since we're in all-out mad land grab mode now. Egyptian cities are starting to get founded quite nearby, and Greece will come our way soon too...

I hang around unable to buy any more techs, until the gpt I paid in the first round runs out. It takes until 1350 BC for me to buy Philosophy and resell it for Code of Laws.

Tough call - do I keep going on 17 more turns of minimum research on Polytheism, or start a minimum on Republic? (No one else has it yet.) Hmm.. I decide that I can't throw away the economic advantage on Polytheism, and the AIs will probably research Republic fairly soon anyway.

Soon later, Contact with India shows up among everybody besides Rome. I buy it for WM + 3/turn + 27. Then I trade India Philosophy for his 74 gold, then get Mathematics off Rome for the contact and some gold.

It didn't take long (this is only NINE turns after the last picture!), and I'm about at the limits of what land I can grab. I had a settler northwest of Nineveh, but Egypt beat me by two turns; that settler turned around and became Eridu. Greece also beat me by a couple turns to the area southeast of Akkad; that settler went to become Lagash.

Look how all the cities are size 1; the cities were squeezing off a settler the instant they could, every time. You can see that I've swapped most of my cities off settlers now, except for the food powerhouse of Ur; that city would build two more settlers to fill in the tundra to my south. You can also see the extreme farmer's gambit I've been running (what's that, about four military units total? And two of those are doing police duty in Ur.)

Also look at the world map. There's still a big no-man's-land south of Rome and west of Egypt; unfortunately I'm not going to be able to claim any of it, and that land is going to make those two civs bigger and meaner. Persia appears to be lagging, but isn't; it's just been a while since I was able to trade for their territory map.

Well, this is enough land to compete, although hardly to comfortably win. I'm not going to be able to take any anytime soon, either, unless Egypt and Greece go to war with each other and I have an Honorable reason to join the war.

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