Feudalism and Theology each came around in about five turns, and both got to all three AIs right away, so I had to buy them without brokerage deals. Then I started max research on Printing Press for trade-bait, which took 5 turns, and that's without any libraries.
In trade, Printing Press got me Literature (which doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you think about it), Engineering, about 150 gold, and finally some maps (not that I didn't already know the layout.)
I also started Carthage on a wonder around this time, planning for Smith's or Magellans to trigger the Golden Age. Remember those Pyramids I built? They're also industrious. There are no medieval industrious wonders - if you miss the Pyramids, Hanging Gardens, and Great Wall, you have to wait until the Hoover Dam.
I had to buy Education at full price too, and then I started full research on Music Theory to use for more trade-bait. I held on to that tech until there were two other techs available to trade it for: Astronomy and Invention. Gunpowder turned out to also be available, and Music Theory got me a discount on buying that. Once again, I'm starting to wonder if the game pace isn't a little too challenging for those less experienced at trading. But this is the Realms Beyond, and we like challenge. :)
Those Music Theory trades happened in 670 BC, the same year my Forbidden Palace completed, which reduced corruption losses from 44 to 31 out of 227. I'll take it.
Banking came around the next turn; I bought it. Then I went to 100% research on Economics, both for trade bait and because I plan to build Smith's. This seemed to be the best economic policy here - research the optional techs that the AIs usually don't go for immediately, and trade each for several other techs. I'll have to try this strategy in a full-size game sometime.
Since this game is about building, maybe I should say a little bit about how I was doing so. There wasn't any one build order that I always followed; every city was different. Usually, the aqueduct came first, especially with the Pyramids effect. Then it was the marketplace for happiness, the library for research, and the harbor if the city didn't have at least 10-11 land tiles to work.
Accelerated Production made quite a difference there - many times I was startled by one of the tundra fishing villages completing something only 10-15 turns after I'd ordered it. That was quite a welcome change from the 50 or 100 turns they often take to build aqueducts in a full-size game.
Utica also started another wonder; it wasn't inconceivable that it would turn into Theory of Evolution, but I was more aiming for either Newton's or Bach's, just as much for cascade killing as for either's effects.
The time came for Smith's to complete. But, I then reconsidered, and decided NOT to build Smith's for the Golden Age. Take the Golden Age now, and I run away with the game handily. But, consider this. It's quite likely that few other players will get any of the Industrious ancient wonders, and won't get a Golden Age until the Hoover Dam. So I'll pass on the Golden Age now for playtesting purposes, to see how the game balance holds up. Carthage builds Bach's instead.
Again I hoarded Economics until some worthy trade bait appeared, or tried to. The AIs wasted time on Navigation and Democracy, and then got Chemistry on the same turn as one of them researched Economics themselves and traded it. I bought Chemistry at full price, then started full research on Physics and Theory of Gravity so I could build Newton's.
Now THAT's a cascade - six wonders in three turns! Good thing Utica can use the Palace to tide it over until Newton's comes available.
The AIs enter the Industrial Age, and I buy Metallurgy and Magnetism to match them. Research to max on Steam Power, of course. Industrial Age in 270 BC. That's what I'd call Turbo Mode. Although, some 1.21 Deity games with the low tech cost factor came pretty darn close to it; I have indeed seen Industrial AIs in BC times once before.
Here's a shot of my cities; sorry there haven't been any before this point. I was concentrating more on playtesting than on compiling material for a report.
Leptis Minor was far behind in infrastructure because it had built the Forbidden Palace. Also, the marketplace got pushed farther down the importance chain because I had Bach's for some extra happiness, and because I was researching so the research buildings were more important than the economic ones.
You can also see that I kept around my token military from the barbarian days. I'm not quite sure why I did that. I guess it was just in case I made a mistake in the scenario setup and war somehow came my way.
Speaking of mistakes, here's one:
Hey, I never saw an enemy Privateer before! Guess that's what happens when an AI can't build any combat navy. Well, you won't see this in your game, since I disabled them in the scenario file after I finished my game.
I research the usual Industrial drill - Steam Power, Industrialization, Sanitation, and up to Scientific Method. All take 3 turns, up against the minimum science limit but at a cash deficit. Surprisingly, the AIs keep pace.
And among that, France hits me with a shocker:
WOW. Never before (besides RBE2) have I failed to get that wonder. France got Atomic Theory and Espionage from it. I have to slow my Palace prebuild for Hoover in Leptis Magna until I have time to research Electronics myself. And I have to investigate Orleans after it did that. Nothing special or unusual about the city, other than that it's working four mined hills - it's pretty unusual for the AI to manage worker labor well enough that the city can have the food to work four hills. Carthage's construction of ToE turns into a very very expensive hospital.
I research Radio to have some trade bait - it takes five turns - and I do get it first. I trade it for Combustion, and fortunately Mass Production is available to get from somebody else. Then to my surprise Motorized Transportation is available from the third trading partner! Somebody forgot to tell the AIs they're supposed to fall apart in the industrial age.
Well, time to try out the Commercial Docks here in PTW. Could that finally put me in the lead, or will I need an Internet-induced Golden Age for that? Or - hey, the United Nations is commercial, isn't it? Ok, THIS time I'm not passing up the Golden Age.
Three turns later, I buy Flight to enter the modern age, and go to max research on Fission. Battlefield Medicine is my biggest prebuild available for the UN.
The first Commercial Dock that completes drops my time to research Fission by a turn. :D Hey, these things are pretty cool. Yeah, in Accelerated Production mode, I didn't get to complete a Commercial Dock until after the modern age began. You can't possibly appreciate the blinding speed of this game if you didn't play it. I had been thinking the title of Speed Racer was pretty corny, but now I think it really is quite accurate.
I do get the UN, and bury the vote. I need to go for space, to see how the play balancing will play out through the rest of the game.
And yeah, I found out afterwards that that was a mistake. I never tested the diplomatic victory condition before starting the Epic, and it was two weeks later while I was writing this report that I thought to try it. And the result was all four civs were eligible for election! Every one of them besides the player controlled at least 25% of the world's land surface, so they were all eligible. And if everyone's eligible, everyone votes for themselves, and you'll never see a diplomatic victory. Whoops. I really apologize to anyone who was planning on the diplomatic victory, but hope you had fun going for space instead (and it wouldn't take long, of course. )
But anyway, now in Golden Age, it should be an easy cruise on home for space.
Index | Conclusion