Now I'm in much better shape. Getting out of Despotism was important because of the large number of 3-food tiles we've got - tundra game, forest game, plains wheat. Now my population will ramp up at a reasonable rate.
Also, with Arbela not in good shape, I've selected Gordium as the Forbidden Palace site. I'm also hoping for an Immortal war with Egypt to grab some of the fertile land around Gordium. That's still 40-50 turns away, though.
I spend most of that 41 gold/turn buying into the middle ages, and after receiving Monotheism for free, spend every last penny on Theology which I can broker for Feudalism and a little bit of map info.
In 130 AD, I finally get my first harbor completed. The only civ with whom it opens up a trading route is Greece, though. But that works for me to bankrupt myself again by exporting Spices, Incense, and 20 gold/turn to get Education at 5th-civ, which I then broker for Chivalry, Monarchy (whee), and Engineering (planting forests will be quite important on our terrain here.)
A trading route opens up with England shortly thereafter, and I trade Furs for Wines. England also lacks iron; I could trade my only iron to them, and would if necessary to start a brokerage exchange.
In 320 AD, I grab another tech three-fer (my third of the game).
My only Incense + 46 gold/turn to Egypt for Astronomy. (Egypt is the world leader by now. I didn't really want to buy from them, but they were the only ones with Astronomy and a trading route.)
Astronomy to America for Invention + Ivory (replacing the lux I traded.)
Astronomy to England for Gunpowder + 20 gold.
Around this time I also started Persepolis on a wonder.
In 430 AD, I hook up my second iron at Arbela, and trade THAT away too, for Banking.
In 450 AD, my Forbidden Palace finishes at long last. The city was founded in 610 BC, started the Forbidden the moment it was founded, and didn't complete it until 450 AD. I didn't do a courthouse first because the city didn't have the extra food to whip it, I didn't have the cash in Republic to rush it, and Gordium did manage 50% uncorrupted shields once in Republic.
Two turns after that, I buy Chemistry for 830 and resell it for Navigation, Music Theory, and pocket change.
I've decided what wonder I want in Persepolis, and it's Bach's. My usual analysis is that Smith's and Bach's are about equal in the long run (2-3 gpt/city), so go for whichever presents itself. In this situation, Bach's is clearly better. I don't have a whole lot of marketplaces and harbors, but I do have a whole lot of cities that are chronically either on the edge of unhappiness, or on the edge of WLTKD. That latter has really been helping the production in the far-south tundra towns, and Bach's lets them stay in WLKTD when two sizes larger.
Bach's is due in 11 now in Persepolis. The cascade has been flowing like mad, although all the cities currently on Bach's are small.
But, Sparta completes Bach's 8 turns before I can. Then Copernicus completes, leaving me with 371 shields in the box and no wonder. I have to pay 450 for Economics with no brokering. Is that worth it for Smith's benefit of 15/turn and rising? Plus going for the wonder would also mean Persepolis takes an extra 18 turns to build its bank, instead of switching to it now - opportunity cost of another 200+ gold. (Yes, I mathematically analyze everything.) Still, Smith's will pay back for itself within 40 turns, then earn 20+ per turn, so it's worthwhile.
I eventually got a brokerage between Metallurgy and Magnetism; didn't record the details.
I left a few cities stuck under size 6 - Hamadan, Tarsus, Pasargadae, and Gordium - which didn't build aqueducts, of course.
Gaah. One of these days I'm going to learn to rush culture in these cities. (And its now-arriving garrison is ONE SQUARE away.)
England got carved up by a bunch of allied civs, and eliminated in 580 AD:
In 640 AD, I buy Theory of Gravity (at full price), and enter the Industrial Age. I get Nationalism for free, as did Greece - and Egypt didn't get to trade for it yet. Excellent, this worked out the way I wanted. And now for the payoff!
I'm going to have a bit of fun with this game. I'm about to embark on one heck of a Nationalism Slingshot.
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