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In the beginning...

I'm still looking for an opportunity to play for the 20k win in a city other than the capital. This lets the city always have the Palace available to prebuild or cascade, and to let the capital build a granary and crank settlers early to keep pace with expansion. But I've learned from my past tries that it's not that easy to find a better location than the start.

I decide to found on the starting tile. There's only two bonus grass and no land food bonuses; the city won't be that great in Despotism, but will be pretty good in Republic with the improved fish and hills. We start with Pottery, so I begin research on Bronze Working to make sure to get a wonder available.

Oops - I don't know how I didn't realize this, but there will be no shield grasslands available for the city until it expands after 10 turns. Well, I can make up for it with this: as the first worker job, I clear a forest. The shield credit will come in just after the city has built a scout. In the meantime, it can work the lake.

My scout goes east, and finds some cattle. This may be promising, for a 20k off-capital culture city.

At the end of 3500 BC, the shields from the forest come in. I decide not to build a third scout, so I have the city on a temple to hold the shields until I decide what to do next.

In 3200 BC, the continent has been explored, and I need to decide what to do. It's a tough call: 20k in Salamanca, or at the cattle? Cattle are very good, but a cattle city would have no fewer than 8 water tiles (SE of the middle cow would be 7, but really, the city has to be coastal), no hills, no fresh water, and that would waste a lot of space between it and Salamanca.

So, it must be Salamanca for the 20k culture. It now, though, swaps to a granary; I most definitely need the city to grow fast for putting out wonders. I also disband one now-useless scout, for an extra 2 shields that would get the granary a turn sooner.

Bronze Working comes in, and I order up Alphabet.

Sala produces a settler in 2510 BC, which heads towards the cows. The other scout is patrolling, and sights a barb, but Sala will be able to build a warrior before it gets to my city. I gamble a bit and send the settler out unescorted by military, since I don't HAVE any military yet. The scout can keep enough of a lookout that it should be safe from barbs.

Niagara would get ransacked by the barb, but for only 2 shields of progress towards a warrior. A couple turns later, it got ransacked AGAIN, by a warrior from the northeast, but for only 1 gold. Then it finally builds its warrior. I really want this city to get its granary up and start pumping settlers, but it needs a spear first.

Salamanca's build order after the settler was: warrior, temple, spearman, Colossus. The Pyramids aren't going to help much on this map, and the Colossus is cheap enough I should be able to get it (and soon enough to help stop the wonder cascade) before the Great Library.

After Alphabet, Writing is going to have to be next; and it's going to have to be at maximum research, not the minimum. Gonna need Map Making pretty quickly.

There's now a THIRD barbarian camp, north of Salamanca, but I haven't the units to go eliminate it. I had fun with my scout over there; it was able to run in circles and keep one barbarian warrior chasing it instead of going after Salamanca. That went on for about fifteen turns, until the camp spawned a horseman.

Salamanca very carefully fights off several barbarian units. Fortunately, the barbarian units always end up stopping in a place where Salamanca's units can reach them by road; the barbs never get to attack with a horseman before I get to attack it with the warrior or spear.

Salamanca gets the Colossus, and I totally forgot that this would happen:

Oh well. Eh, it won't be completely wasted.

Meanwhile, Niagara FINALLY finishes its granary at the late date of 1150 BC, as Writing finishes researching. The next research takes me a few moments to decide, but it's going to have to be Literature. Salamanca needs to get a regular library up for the culture, and it'll also help towards doing other researches now, especially stacked with the Colossus.

OK, now that I've dug myself a Church-of-England-sized hole, time to dig myself out of it. :) Salamanca doesn't yet have any other wonder to build, so it puts out a settler as Niagara finally does so as well.

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