That's Shaka, and he's traded contact with me to Carthage and Arabia. These three civs have no other contacts, and are both ahead of me by most of the Ancient Age. Well, I can sell around my world map for what I can get, which is 50 gold plus Ceremonial Burial (from the Zulu who had no cash to offer.)
In 850 BC, I whipped the granary in Veii.
A turn later, Arabia and Carthage have Code of Laws, but the Zulu do not. I have 12 turns left on the minimum research, but I can never turn down a brokerage deal. 226 gold to Carthage for Code of Laws, and that's resold to Zulu - hmm, it isn't worth much, they've probably partially researched it - plus 74 gold for Philosophy. I can start minimum research on Republic now, of course.
750 BC brings me my fourth city, and 570 BC my fifth. The Zulu are helping me out against the barbarians, and I can finally expand some.
More time passes, and with the barbarians finally tamed to some extent, I woke the archer of the mountains and sent him south to explore the limits of my island. He, however, made a tremendous discovery:
Um, we're NOT on an island. Carthage is down over there, on the same continent that we are. That mountain range in the middle, plagued by barbarians, made it impossible for either of us to get a unit through to make contact.
An eternity later, the one-beaker run on Republic finishes in 30 BC, and improbably, Arabia didn't get it yet! For it, I can get: Contact with the Ottomans, Map Making, The Wheel, Bronze Working, and Masonry!!
Then the Ottomans lack even Philosophy and Code of Laws! Those two techs get me Iron Working and Mathematics, choosing those two to acquire because they lead to further techs beyond. Trading Republic to Osman then gets me Currency, Horseback Riding, Mysticism, and his world map.
Osman also lacks Literature, which I buy from Carthage for 148 gold. Literature by itself isn't enough to get Polytheism of course, and I'm in anarchy so I don't have gold/turn income to offer. Well, I can hire enough tax collectors to get my income up to 6/turn; that, 28 gold, and Literature is enough of a package to get Polytheism.
Construction is now the only ancient tech I lack (besides irrelevant Monarchy.) I got ELEVEN TECHS thanks to that original brokerage and subsequent one-beaker run on Republic.
I'm back in this game, baby!
Anarchy ensues, and eventually the Republic of Rome is founded.
Also, I need a Forbidden Palace. I pick Neapolis for it. Ravenna would be a better geographic point, but that city's terrain has very little shield-producing ability. I did a switch-whip-switch towards Neapolis' courthouse while in despotism, and finish rushing the courthouse here in Republic.
After rushing that courthouse, I rushed a harbor somewhere as soon as I could, which was 230 AD, and that opens up trading routes with Carthage and Arabia. Also this turn, the Vikings and Japanese appear on the F4 screen. Trading time!
My only Wines (the second will be hooked up soon) to Arabia for Incense and contact with the Germans.
Germany is far, far behind. I trade him Currency for his world map.
Also, Zulu and Germany didn't get contact with each other. I trade the contact to Shaka for a discount on Construction (you can't get a brokerage on the last tech in an age.)
Then, I decide to gift Germany Construction to get him into the middle ages and his free tech. He gets Engineering, which nobody else has yet. I was hoping he'd get one of the other two so I could trade him Republic for it, but Republic at last-civ can't buy Engineering at monopoly. And by the next turn, Germany has obtained all the known techs.
So, I continue building for a while longer. As for diplomacy, I bide my time until the right deals show up, and here it is in 310 AD in a three-fer.
Dyes + 31/turn to Arabia for Engineering.
Engineering + 30 gold to Japan for Monotheism.
Engineering + 4/turn to Scandinavia for Feudalism.
So Rome, after an unprecedented pounding at barbarian hands, has finally grown to reasonable strength.
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