Rome and India fell behind the pace back in the Ancient Age - I think they may have had a very early war with each other. Then they got to Republic a few dozen turns later than everyone else. And ever since then, I've been carefully keeping both of them out of any of my brokerage deals.
Rome and India are back at Chemistry right now - six techs away from riflemen - and just wasted time getting and entering Democracy. Also, I upgraded 38 knights to cavalry last turn. (Yeah, I was building a supply of military in there.)
I don't have any way to make them declare war on me, so in 830 AD I declare war on both India and Rome. Let's rock!
India never got saltpeter, so has only pikemen defending. Rome did, but never had the capacity to build many muskets, and also never had any iron to build Legions - no golden age. Four cities fall on the first turn of the war. Rome city falls on the second.
Another turn later, the Nationalism monopoly is broken, and I pay Steam Power and 154 gold/turn to France for it. I can pay lump-sum, but I'm going to try always paying out gold/turn in an attempt to get the AIs to research more instead of blowing the cash on rushing things. Brokerage #19: Nationalism to England for 1000 gold and to Korea for 700. (The tech cost me half price thanks to reselling, so I'll call it a brokerage.)
Then Spain declares war on me out of nowhere - it wasn't even an alliance. A Spanish medieval infantry attacks one of my cities - I hadn't thought about it when it entered my territory because we had RoP. This was probably coming even if I hadn't declared the other wars.
The Spanish MDI beats the Numidian in my city - as I wanted it to. I do NOT want to trigger my Golden Age now. In a normal game, your Golden Age speeds your growth curve by about the same amount whenever you happen to get it (out of despotism.) An earlier GA increases production by less, but the buildings produced by it get you developed sooner. A later GA is worth more in and of itself, but doesn't speed your future development as much.
But that's all different here. In this game, it isn't about the growth curve; that Treasury Bonus is about sheer numbers. The Golden Age will produce a larger quantity of cash if it waits until I've got the continent under my thumb, my city sizes maxed, and Stock Exchanges built. Hoover Dam will trigger it at the perfect time.
I should have thought of this before, but now I upgrade all the Numidians to riflemen to prevent the Golden Age getting triggered now.
Well, the wars continue. Cavalry against civs lacking Nationalism is always a blowout. Spain and I fight to a draw; I'm just sparing as little of my military as I can to accomplish that while bulldozing the other two civs.
And I have this to say: as maligned as the Conquistador is, it's terribly annoying and nerve-wracking to play against. Any worker within SIX SQUARES of the enemy border is vulnerable. Any city that gets left with only one or even two defenders could spell disaster. Conquistadors can't threaten an AI with its defend-everywhere programming, but think about multiplayer. Against a human's typical cardboard-cutout defensive scheme, with the ability to use combat settlers and workers to extend the unit's reach... the Conquistador is quite scary.
See, THAT's what I mean. Spain and I are fighting heavily on the front over there. And that crummy Conquistador just sprints past a half-dozen mountains like they aren't even there, knocks off the cavalry that was in the city, and bilks me of half a grand. I start drafting a lot of riflemen - probably more than I've ever drafted before - to make sure I have two in every city near the border.
But anyway, I get a Leader.
Should I save him for the new Palace rush, or go ahead and make the army? I'll do the army, since I have Spain against which to fish for leaders as much as I need, and I do have five or six elite cavalry already.
Good call, since on the same turn I get another! This one I'm definitely going to save for the new Palace in Antium. I'm not going to gamble on getting a third leader, since getting two in six elite attacks means I've got a big run of non-Leader luck to make up for now.
Well, Antium falls, completing my conquest of Rome and India from the western half of my continent. I rush the Palace in Antium... no, wait, Leptis Magna is still using the Palace as a wonder prebuild. I hate to do this, but I've got to cough up monopoly price for Industrialization to France, to the tune of 270 gold/turn, to swap to Suffrage. Well, at least that should encourage France to keep doing more research of their own (c'mon Stock Exchanges!) And I can make back 100/turn of that by reselling Industrialization to Greece and Korea.
Leptis Magna swaps to Universal Suffrage, due in only 2 turns. Many other cities swap to factories. Antium swaps to the Palace and the Leader marches in to build that. The new Palace improves my income from... 407 to 416. Heh. I had thought it might actually go down in the short run until all the new cities got on their feet.
I soon moved Pompeii one tile west, and founded another city between it and Pisae to undo the AI's horrible city spacing. I also took all of Northeast Island in these wars; you can see it in the minimap if you look closely.
Hang about - why won't Greece and Korea accept gold/turn payments for things? But France still will. Hm, France is at war with England. Sheeeeeesh. Despite having TWENTY-FIVE CITIES on their continent, England somehow now has NO HARBORS. Something happened and the trade route got broken, meaning I "broke a deal" with England. This is still a TERRIBLE aspect of the game design. Aaargh...
Rome and India still have some cities scattered elsewhere. I want to eliminate them to eliminate the risk of their cities flipping, of course. It's already minimized by having their capitals now far away, and my capital right in the middle of their cities. Extra bonus: Antium is size 9 and I can keep it there without starving, now that the city is immune to flipping.
Spain will finally talk. An interesting little detail - every Spanish unit I kill makes them have one more gold-per-turn available to pay for peace. (Yes, I manipulate everything in this game.) After sending all my cavalry at any units within reach - and almost "accidentally" capturing Toledo - Spain pays me 17 gold/turn for peace, and a Right of Passage so that my cavalry can go reach the Roman cities on Spain's back lines.
I was keeping an eye on the buildings in captured cities. Thanks to Smith's and Sun Tzu's (and of course Sunny T's effect was extremely helpful as always in continental conquest), actually only one of the cities had more than one maintenance-costing building. I hired a "broker" (tax collector) in that city for a while to make the city's income match its expenditures.
Anyway, I complete the plan of eliminating those two civs. That also involved capturing the Great Lighthouse, which is another 500 points for holding until the end of the game.
The cities on Spain's back lines I just gave to Spain. They aren't going to help me, and I don't want to be tempted to waste resources at the cities to defend them against both military and flips.
Why didn't I raze them? Razing carries a relations penalty with all the other civs. I'm now thinking that I want to head for the Diplomatic win. By the looks of things, I'm going to accumulate at least 200 grand in the treasury by the Modern Age. Also, the game's research pace has thus far been going about as fast as one could expect, which should leave me close enough to the fastest reported diplomatic win. Space could be a much different story, though; if the AIs go to war and drop into Communism, they could take a couple hundred turns in the Modern Age to research all the spaceship techs for me. I could fall a hundred or more turns behind the fastest space launch, and thus lose all the bonus for the treasury. So I want to cash in at Diplomatic, but the option for space is still open if the world is peaceful and researching then. It's mostly peaceful and researching now, but France and England are still at war with each other, and one AI war tends to invite more with alliances and MPPs.
I did get a third Great Leader in here before the war ended, which I'll save for a wonder.
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