Well, not exactly, but I spent more time thinking on the 4000 BC turn than I ever had before. Here was the start:
Of course, a flood plains will be the first tile my worker improves. And I guess they're all equally good, except that moving directly west will reveal the most additional map information.
Well, of course we want that wheat in immediate range. So do I move south or southwest? South, because that'll ensure we have two wines within the city range (the second one's visible under the fog.)
Two bonus grasslands in addition to two wines and the flood plains. Sounds good to me.
That's enough food (wheat and three flood plains) to reach the +7 threshold for growth every three turns, since it could be a little while before we get to build a granary. Carthage also has two bonus grassland and two plains-wines (just as good), two forests for even more early shields, two hills for later wonder building, and of course the two luxuries.
The game makes you nominally set research to something; I pick Warrior Code because that's the one I want to lock out of getting from huts.
Here you can see the order in which my worker improved stuff. I left that middle flood plains tile without a road in order to get the next one irrigated sooner; that will speed the city's growth by a turn by getting the city to the magic +7 food surplus in time to get the size 4-5 growth in three turns instead of four. (Yes, I ALWAYS micro-analyze starts like this. )
The first warrior went southish (since we started in a northern area according to the world map), found my first hut, but got barbs.
Rome is contacted in 3200 BC, and has a nice list of technologies: Bronze Working, Pottery, Warrior Code, and Ceremonial Burial. I trade my Masonry for Pottery and his 10 gold.
The next turn, I contact Spain to the south, and they'll trade me Bronze Working + 29 gold for my Masonry and Pottery. Caesar and Isabella must have contact with each other, given that my techs aren't worth monopoly price to Spain.
2950 BC and my eastern exploring warrior bring me contact with India and my first brokerage deal: Masonry for Warrior Code and 4 of Gandhi's 10 gold, and then trade Warrior Code to Spain for Ceremonial Burial.
After sending out one warrior exploring in each direction (four total), Carthage builds a settler. Rarely do I not build a granary first, but the city reached size 6 while building those warriors, so it would've lost food anyway when dropping from size 7. Also, there's more of those yummy flood plains to grab with a second city which will be high-growth. Finally, I was already over the free-units threshold, and getting another city sooner would alleviate that problem.
After that settler, Carthage, still growing every 3 turns, built a worker. The only way to take advantage of Industriousness is to have workers working, of course; and Leptis Magna will need worker labor rapidly to grow at its fastest speed. Carthage then builds the granary, aided by a 20-shield switch-whip-switch along the way. The granary will only improve growth from every 3 turns to 2 (50% improvement as compared to the usual 100%), but Carthage can pull many more shields if it only has to run +5 food surplus rather than +7.
Carthage finishes its granary and starts another settler, while Leptis Magna is forced to whip an archer to fend off an incoming barbarian. Yeah, I'd rather have a Numidian, but the city needs the unit NOW and can't spend the extra shields. (While writing the report, I realized I never had a city named Utica. Not sure why that happened.)
And here's the other reason I built the granary, to recover from this:
But here's good news:
My third city and second brokerage both come in 1990 BC. Mysticism bought from India and sold to Spain for Iron Working. Leptis Magna turns out to be right atop iron.
In 1870 BC, disease hits AGAIN, at Leptis Magna this time. But Carthage has settled in at being a very nice four-turn settler pump, growing every two turns, and producing the settler just as it grows to size 7 every time.
Brokerage #3 comes in 1750 BC, buying Writing for 164 gold (rather high) and reselling for The Wheel.
My fourth city came in 1675 BC, and it has one mission in life:
I couldn't stop being indecisive about whether and where to go for the Colossus; this should've been my third city instead of the fourth. Well, I should still have a decent chance at it here. The best way, I think, to go for an ancient wonder on high difficulty is to pick a site with no or one food bonus, but with lots of immediate shield potential in bonus grasslands and forests. Have the city start the wonder as soon as it's founded; don't waste time with a granary or temple.
Note the worker building a road in the game-forest so that the tile will qualify to be worked under the rules that all worked tiles must produce commerce. Note, too, that Hippo is relying on Carthage city to expand borders (it will in 8 turns) to bring that game-forest and second wines tile (as good as a bonus grassland) online. (I micro-analyze EVERYTHING. )
This looks much like a farmer's gambit, but isn't totally; I've got some units patrolling a few squares out beyond my perimeter of cities. There aren't a whole lot of barbarian units on Roaming barbs, so this works well enough.
Delhi is on the coast; I groan when the Indians start the Colossus, but smile when I see it's in Bombay (size 1) instead of Delhi (size 3, better terrain.)
Brokerage #4 comes in 1275 BC, buying Philosophy and Literature from Spain for the world map and 217 gold, and trading those two techs (they're cheap techs so I bought two) to India for Map Making. Leptis Minor swaps to a galley, and will whip it soon.
Looks like I'm doing quite fine in this land-grab:
I was expanding (why do the silly Apolyton guys have to always call it REX?) in the direction of the other civs first, since the land on my back lines is pretty definitely mine anyway. By 1250 BC, it was time to start going towards the northeast. The eighth city is the one that allows the Forbidden Palace to be built, and this city, Oea, starts on it the moment it's founded. This site is a little closer than the FP might usually be built on a standard-size map, but it will get up and running quite quickly, and it's also in an excellent place to cover this whole end of the continent by itself, should I acquire more territory later and relocate the Palace.
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