Well, now it's time to do some tech brokering. In 925 BC, I amazingly get Polytheism first off the one-beaker research!
Polytheism to Egypt for Construction + Literature + 13g.
Polytheism + 102 gold to Persia for Currency.
Polytheism + Construction + Currency to Rome to get Map Making, 90 gold, and - finally - the World Map.
Five techs and the world map for 40 beakers. Middle Ages in 925 BC. Monotheism for free. Minimum research to Engineering.
A turn later (doh!), Republic shows up and is traded all around, but I don't have enough to buy it.
The map that I bought shows me an interesting area, southwest of Egypt. I swap Nineveh to settler and whip it (boy does THAT set back a city's growth curve), and build a galley in one of the coastal cities. That leads to this:
Why in the world did Egypt not build a settler in Byblos to claim this area? Byblos has population to spare and then some. A luxury and three food bonuses? That's worth sending a settler away from my core!
Also judging by that amount of irrigation around Byblos, I didn't cripple Egypt any by buying the two workers. Although it's not impossible that buying the workers made Egypt build a worker instead of a settler in Byblos, letting me claim this site...
Babylon swapped to a marketplace as soon as I got Currency, and finished it in 690 BC. That first marketplace is a very underrated milestone in the game; it's not uncommon at all for it to almost double your net gold income, or even more if you're paying out a lot to other civs. In this case, it's even more important, because it gives me the gold I need to buy Republic! 320 gold plus 21/turn gets it from Egypt, and I revolt.
And the moment I land in Republic, my income zooms from 3/turn (24, minus 21 to Egypt) to 32/turn (53-21)! Republic Is That Powerful. :)
While that's happening, I notice another interesting feature on the map; there's luxuries available in a spot in the Wild Wild West. I send a settler and a boat...
Why in the world didn't that city of Rome's grab the luxuries? It looks like they threw a dart at the area, and missed. Well, I decide to not rely on this city, since it could flip to Rome at any time. It starts building its harbor; if it completes the 80 turns I'll enjoy the luxuries for myself, but I'm not going to throw cash at this city, and I also won't trade away the spices for fear of losing my reputation to a flip.
Meanwhile again, I had Ur start building the Forbidden Palace after it was done cranking settlers. This is the point at which I'm sure some players would decide that there was no good place for the FP and possibly just skip it until a war acquired more territory and a Great Leader. But I disagree; this FP here gives me the equivalent of a courthouse or better in every one of my eastern cities, and is well worth building, especially this early. Ur completes the Forbidden Palace in 530 BC.
It's also past time to set up a worker factory. Never fear, fans, I'm on the case. :) It's going to be Uruk, because of this: the city would have to build an aqueduct to grow (almost every one of my other cities is on a river), and it's got just enough good terrain to make +5 food and +5 shields for a worker every other turn with little waste. At this point, I only have about six native workers (nowhere near enough for a non-industrious civ), and the four slaves.
Now I want to rush a harbor so I can start trading resources. It's kinda weird that on a Pangaea map, our first trade routes are going to be by water; but this happens a lot in Civ and isn't even rare historically. Real-world Scandinavian cities were trading with Germanic and Frankish tribes by boat long before by land, for example; and even as late as the sixteenth century European trade with China and the East Indies was conducted as much by sailing around Africa as by traveling by land over the Himalayas.
So in 450 BC, I rush the harbor in Nippur - my city that needs it the most - to start trading.
Unfortunately, the AIs got Engineering before my minimum-science run came anywhere near finishing.
My only Incense (though I'll connect another soon) + 200 gold + 18/turn to Greece for Feudalism.
Feudalism to Persia... drat, it's not even worth their world map; they must be just about done researching it. Well, I can still trade it plus 7gpt for Ivory, a slight discount. That keeps me at two luxuries, with my own incense coming connected soon for a third.
After Ur builds its marketplace and cathedral, I decide to embark on a wonder quest. No idea which one I have any sort of a chance of getting, but I'll try anyway. The city can use the Palace to carry over between wonders if necessary.
In 130 BC, Rome declares war on Egypt. One of the best possible things that could happen for me! That oughta slow them a bit...
I waited for the minimum science run on Engineering to finish, although that may have been a mistake in that I could have been missing brokering opportunities farther up the tree. Well, a tech for effectively free is just as good a deal as a brokerage.
India, by the way, has been lagging far behind, and are still in the Ancient Age and in despotism. It's almost as if they're a reincarnation of the RBE2 Aztecs...
I've been waiting and waiting for India to build a harbor (they're on a separate continent but there's a coastal squares connection), and now I look over and they have three. But I still can't trade with them? Maybe the harbor cities aren't connected by road.. nope, they are. Maybe India is at war with Greece, over whose water territory our trade route would go? I establish the embassy, and India is at war with Persia, but not with Greece. What gives?
Then the next turn, I can trade with India. But they got to trade away all their spare luxuries before I got a shot. Stupid game; I don't know what happened here. But I can trade them Republic and Polytheism for a supply of Iron. I don't mind at all giving away techs to India and getting them into Republic; maybe they can claw their way far enough ahead to be a tech brokering partner with me like we did with China in RBE2.
Well, for now at least I need to start buying up the tech tree at full price. I buy Theology from someone. Then my only Wines to Egypt, for Furs and a discount on Education for 500 + 18/turn.
Wow, nobody has any techs beyond Education, surprisingly. In that case, I shall hold off on buying Invention, waiting for a brokerage deal, and start a single scientist on Printing Press.
A couple turns later, Greece starts Copernicus. Egypt didn't get Astronomy. This is too easy. Astronomy from Greece for Incense, 200, 46/turn. Back to Egypt for Invention plus 75g (huh? Astronomy shouldn't be worth that much..) Everybody but India does have Gunpowder, though.
And about another two turns later, everybody but Egypt got Banking. I get it from Rome for 114 + 58/turn, and sell to Egypt for Gunpowd... nope, crap, it's worthless, they must have almost researched it.
Well, I swap some cities to banks to get Wall Street going (and the banks' income will also help, of course.)
Babylon, Samarra, Ellipi, Ashur, and Nineveh are going to build banks, while Babylon builds Wall Street shortly. Ur is trying for a wonder; I'm hoping for Smith's, or even better, Bach's (which is the last religious wonder! Miss that and I need a war for a Golden Age.)
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