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Leadership is Everything

I got a second leader pretty soon, too. Without any wonders available, he made an army, and Salamanca started on the Heroic Epic.

In 190 BC, a stack of German swords threatens too many of my Mounted Warriors, so I make peace, them paying 20 gold. Two wars are still enough, though.

Enough to keep producing the Leaders, that is!

I buy Feudalism and rush Sun Tzu's Art of War. Great wonder for a Pangaea domination game, of course.

And now, my two wars here are in an absolute stalemate situation. For ten, twenty, thirty, forty turns now, my Mounteds have been slaughtering all incoming forces. They're all camped on that mountain there, and ripping apart anything that ventures onto the open ground between there and the Aztecs' mountain. But the flow of units is constant. Every single turn, more show up. I haven't been able to push ahead to Malinalco at all.

But I'm definitely gaining on the AIs. They've gotta be producing nothing but units, units, and more units, while I've been building marketplaces and aqueducts in my cities. That's all the infrastructure my cities need; with six luxuries under my own control now, including ivory at Rome and some gems north of it, marketplaces completely cover a city's happiness needs up to size 12. My core cities haven't even built temples - who needs 'em?

Still, the situation makes a Leader factory non pareil. It's almost as if I'm playing Always War!

And the Heroic Epic hasn't even finished yet! But now what? I'm not interested in the Sistine Chapel, seeing as how I'm never going to need to build any cathedrals. I guess I'll save him for Leonardo's. A couple turns later, somebody finishes the Hanging Gardens, and I realized belatedly I could've bought Monarchy and rushed that wonder.

While all that's going on, Rome finally bites the dust, although not by my hand.

Germany and Greece then get Engineering while I have 19 turns left on the minimum research. So I buy Engineering and Theology both at full price, so I can start min research on Printing Press, and look for further brokerage deals involving Invention and Education.

The Heroic Epic also completes this turn, and I decide to go ahead and rush Sistine Chapel with the leader, expecting to get another GL before Leonardo's comes up.

Then the RNG stops showering me with good fortune - plus I ran out of elite MWs and had a heck of a time getting more promotions. I go a while without another leader.

Long, long later - 18 turns after Sistine, around 40 turns total of these wars! - war weariness finally shows up. Still, I fight on, since I still need one more leader for Leonardo's. The RNG balks me time and again, including killing two of my elites while attacking defense-1 enemy units.

Then, in 440 AD - that's TWENTY-NINE TURNS without a Great Leader, and the world has discovered about two techs in the interim - some enemy Knights begin appearing. They rather outclass Mounted Warriors.

Phase-2 war weariness is also in effect. So I make peace with the Zulu, getting Invention, Monarchy, and his treasury.

After that, the Aztec war is still causing level-1 weariness, and it's not likely I'm going to make any further advances against them. So, they give me Gunpowder and Education to make peace.

And for the first time since around 1500 BC, the Iroquois people are at peace.

Oh, and I set up Grand River as my worker factory a while back. It can make the magical +5 food / +5 shields threshold for a worker every two turns, and therefore doesn't need to build an aqueduct. I've had my civ's infrastructure rolling along nicely even during all this war. :)

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