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Domination Away!

Iroquois, pangaea, domination? There's only one game plan for that. Saddle up them Mounted Warriors!

(By the way, you're probably reading these reports in immediate sequence, but I actually played Epic 17 and half of 19 between the two 18 games.)

I considered founding on the furs, but that would lose out on one bonus grassland long-term and a second until the city expanded (the worker's standing on one), plus waste the shield provided by the furs themselves. So Salamanca is founded on the starting square.

Research set to The Wheel at minimum. We've already got Pottery; there isn't anything else we need immediately; we know nobody starts with it; and on a Pangaea as an expansionist civ I'll be grabbing plenty of other techs from trading and huts.

Salamanca's build order was two scouts (making three total), a warrior, and a granary. The worker mined and roaded the two bonus grasslands, and then began clearing the forest on the furs tile. The shield provided by the furs on a forest is lost in despotism, while as irrigated plains the tile provides two food and two shields just like a mined bonus grassland. The 10 shields from clearing the forest helped towards the granary, too.

I grabbed around five huts total, which supplied Bronze Working and Warrior Code.

In 3400 BC, one of my scouts meets Rome. They're three techs up on us, and have both of ours. So they must have another contact nearby... and in 2900 BC, we meet Greece. The only trade we can make is Ceremonial Burial for Alex's 26 gold.

What a lousy arrangement of civs: we start right next to the two 3-defense ancient UUs! That'll put a dent in the speed of our Mounted Warrior conquest game...

My second city gets founded in 2310 BC. There was a cattle resource about four squares south of Salamanca, and I had a bit of a hard time deciding between the locations. But cattle on plains is only a 3-food square (and the irrigation would take quite a while to get there), which doesn't speed a city's growth curve much at all. So I founded here, with the two bonus grasslands and a luxury in immediate range. This city should be able to build its own granary fairly quickly and help put out settlers.

My scouts explored all around the Greek-Roman area, and found no more civs. So we're on one of those split-up "Pangaea" maps. Fine with me; I should be able to roll over these two civs with Mounteds before anything significant comes in from the other civs. But...

Somehow I had missed this little neck with my scouts, since it looked like the edge of a continent from a few squares away. But over it they go presently, and meet the Zulu in 2230 BC. They are also three techs up on us, including - doh - The Wheel. I also meet Germany another turn or two later.

Time for some trading. I can trade the German and Zulu contacts to Greece, but I can't to Rome. I don't know if Rome already has the contacts, or if they lack Writing (remember I haven't gotten Alphabet.) Germany and Zulu also lack the Alphabet.

Well, I can buy Alphabet from Greece cheap and resell it at monopoly, which is always a good idea. I buy it for 75 gold, and note that Rome doesn't have Writing. I then sell Alphabet to Germany @monopoly for Masonry @4th, Mysticism @3rd, and his 9 gold. Sold to the Zulu @3rd for The Wheel (yes, even though I have only one turn left on minimum research :) ) and his 10 gold.

Masonry, Wheel, Mysticism to Greece to get Writing at monopoly price. Then Writing to the Zulu @monopoly to get contact with the Aztecs. Alphabet to Aztecs for their 36 gold.

I now have all known tech except Iron Working, but Rome is the only one with that, and to pay the monopoly price would take all three contacts or Masonry + Writing + 90g. So I wait on that - besides, whyever would the Iroquois need swordsmen? :)

I park a scout at the chokepoint to keep watch and see when the other civs come close to making contact with Rome.

I make a somewhat strange move here: I begin max research on Philosophy, of all things. As always, I want to get into Republic quickly. I'll have Philosophy available to trade for Code of Laws the minute someone researches and trades it, since Philosophy is the cheaper tech but the AIs don't go for it, and Philosophy @monopoly can easily buy Code @3rd. Then I can start minimum science on Republic (it'll take at least 25 turns for anyone to research it, since it's so expensive), while accumulating cash to spend on Mounted Warriors as soon as I switch.

A few turns later, the three western civs get Iron Working on their own, so I can buy it from Rome @5th with Writing and Masonry, and resell it to Greece for 86 gold.

The western civs also got Horseback Riding, for which I trade Writing, and resell to Greece for more gold.

Also, Salamanca got out a second settler during this time, which did go to the cattle area to the south. It got there just ahead of a barbarian, too. I use up my cash by founding all five embassies - with the warring I'm going to do, I'll need the alliances and diplomatic information.

You can see I'm keeping Salamanca small. It won't gain anything by being larger until it gets some more improved tiles, and so it's putting out a worker to help in that regard. The first worker had gone to improve some tiles for Niagara, since it needed them badly.

But only three cities and the civs are within about six techs of leaving the Ancient Age? Man, tech does go fast on a pangaea with early contact. It doesn't look like I'm going to manage to conquer everyone with Mounted Warriors before pikemen and knights arrive. But my embassy tells me Greece and Rome are at war with each other! That should make both of them quite a bit softer.

Code of Laws gets around as expected and I trade Philosophy and my world map for Code, Map Making, and all the maps and gold, and start Republic at minimum.

Well, Otto decides to try and stir things up nice and early, and I comply:

He's way too far away to hurt me, and I can crank out plenty of Mounteds before he gets anything my way.

I put out a few more settlers, and also build barracks and Mounted Warriors. I keep researching Republic at minimum science, too. Here's my empire as of 925 BC. I don't think I've seen any German units yet. Those cities mostly reached out to luxuries; that's four under my control now. Allegheny is my only real high-food city (two forest-games that I plan to clear), and it will do most of the settler producing from now on.

The three western civs eventually made contact with Rome on their own. None ever had anything of enough value for me to sell the contact. Rome being at war with Greece meant that Alexander couldn't trade for the contacts, so he stayed isolated a little while longer too.

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