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Final Building Plans

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Here's the before and after on my economy after the palace move.

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It's interesting to see how my total corruption losses went down, by a good 20%, but my overall income also dropped slightly. (The science slider was changed between those pictures, but the total science plus cash in the first is greater than the second.) That effect is because the new low-corruption slots are in cities that don't yet have the economic multiplier buildings, but that wouldn't take long to get into place.

I research Theory of Gravity and Magnetism, and in 1110 AD enter the Industrial Age. Checking what the other civs have acquired... Nationalism is around to three of them, Medicine to four, but Steam Power to none. Babylon has yet to make the Industrial Age for a free tech, too. Tempting as Steam Power is, I can't afford to research at first-civ research prices; and even Nationalism at 4th-civ is higher than I'd like to do. So I make yet another you-don't-see-that-often choice: at the doorstep of the Industrial Age, I begin research on Navigation, which I can get in 4 turns at a big surplus. It'll cost less than 1000 beakers (gold) to research; down the line paying that cost will be worth it to have and deny Magellan's Voyage. Can't do it in landlocked Shanghai, but I assign one of the coastal cities to start prebuilding it.

leader22.jpg 486x303And Leader 22 comes in 1130 AD, and reaches Shanghai to rush Newton's University in 1150 AD. That completes my sweep of all eight eligible medieval wonders in one city. And that's along with every eligible ancient wonder save only the Great Wall, and even a very early Heroic Epic as well. Now THAT's how to get a cultural victory.

Actually, I might have done that a bit TOO well. Shanghai will reach the cultural win about 130 turns from now; will I even be able to build enough military to wipe out everyone else in that time? Tanks will come quite late, not more than 30-40 turns from the cultural end of this game; I'll have to get a long ways with cavalry and artillery before then.

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The next turn, everything's in place for me to make the next advance on the front line, capturing the next two Iroquois cities and popping Leader 23. As I said before, I do not fear a flip to the Iroquois, so I kept the cities to take advantage of the existing infrastructure (just aqueducts, but it does help.) With no big buildings to hurry, and Industrialization for a factory too far away, I use that GL for another army.

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Then in a Babylonian counterattack against my new city, I get my second-ever GL on defense. He does yet another cavalry army. With all the medieval wonders behind us, I don't need GLs as much anymore, so I'm doing the armies to even further cut down my unit losses, which are already at a good 4-1 ratio; cavalry attacking cavalry with very ample cannon support. Armies make a GREAT deterrent on defense; the AI won't attack a healthy cavalry army with another cavalry or even a Sipahi, and will advance its cavalry past the city for easy pickings on counterattack.

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See, that's what I mean. Those heavy, powerful Sipahi decided not to challenge my army in that city, even though the army was several HP off of fully healed. AI tactics like that let me simply skyrocket the kill ratio far, far in my favor.

Steam Power comes in 1200 AD, and we have no coal in the huge third of the pangaea that we control. There are TWO in the Mongol jungle JUST beyond my borders. But there's also a coal resource within Grand River's radius that I just captured. Grand River's borders will expand this turn to include it; it'll be two turns before I can get enough workers there to hook it up.

I'm sure that coal distribution was Sirian's doing; thank you very much. tongue.gif 15x15 But I guess I can thank him for a couple other aspects of the game: the starting position was distant and very defensible, and also we didn't have to fight against Spanish conquistadors, Viking berserks, either of the 3-defense ancient UUs, or either 3-movement knight UU.

Research goes to Nationalism, but at one-beaker style until it devalues to a bit more than 4th-civ. It didn't take long, though.

And now my oodles of workers (50 each native and slave) begin slapping down the railroads; my entire military railroad connections were finished in about four turns. This melded my two military fronts back into one operation. No longer did troop position or allocation mean anything; all my cavalry and cannons could be put to use anywhere instantly as needed.

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And I got to take advantage of yet another deficiency in the AI programming here. Mongolia moved workers onto that tile, presumably to try to build a road, on something like four consecutive turns. Every time that happened, I could steal them with cavalry, and the AI would dutifully move more workers there the next turn for me. I can only guess it happened until Mongolia ran out of workers.

Anyway, Leader 25 came after a short drought in 1250 AD, and a turn later became the university in New Shanghai (my new capital.)

Leader 26 didn't arrive until 1300 AD; he rushes the university in Salamanca. I'm waiting for the AIs to start getting Industrialization so I can rush factories and of course Universal Suffrage in Shanghai...

My five turns on Electricity research finish in 1320 AD. I had to research that tech at fourth-civ cost. Only Persia, India, and the Ottomans are making any sort of economic progress at all. Those three are all up to Replaceable Parts, while only one other civ even has Steam Power. Japan and Babylon have as much land as the three leaders, but are falling far behind in tech; I really don't know why.

And I wish they'd research Industrialization to devalue it for me, but they went to Replaceable Parts. And I'm tired of following on the devalued techs. I NEED to get my factories going; we've already wasted too much time following barely-devalued techs. Plus going to Industrialization lets me go to Espionage next, which is a cheap tech; and then that Intelligence Agency of course lets me try to steal the more expensive techs like Replaceable Parts.

Research goes to Industrialization at 100%, due in 5 turns at a -162 deficit, though I still have 1400 gold in the treasury. Persia and India then indeed get Industrialization before my research finishes, so I still got it at 3rd-civ discount cost.

Espionage is next up, and Shanghai has been prebuilding with an army that will be ready to convert into the Intelligence Agency. Except that I misremembered the Agency as costing 300 shields instead of 400. But, Leader Twenty-Seven came the turn before Espionage was discovered. Shanghai swapped to a factory to build it that turn, then had the Intelligence Agency rushed by the GL a turn later. Here's what my empire looked like around that time.

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Unfortunately, all my spy tries fail! Except for Japan, who doesn't have any technologies to steal but I can at least finally steal a complete world map. And getting that spy in lets me look at the cost to steal technologies: 2300 for a safe steal. The beaker cost to research Replaceable Parts is around 3400, but for Sanitation is only 2100. And I need to get Replaceable Parts as soon as I can - Persian infantry are starting to invade and whittling them down with cannons is a major pain. So I go back to no research and all cash income to save up to steal it.

Leader 28 rushes Universal Suffrage in Shanghai in 1370 AD. That also happens to be the turn Shanghai goes over 10,000 culture. It's producing 114 per turn, which means that my time limit to win by conquest is now no more than 87 turns and that will drop even more.

In 1385 AD, four turns after the previous spy attempts, I make another round. I get one in Ottomans but the rest fail again. That's all I need to start stealing techs, although I don't have the cash to do it just yet and I want to stick to safe steals.

Leader 29 comes on that turn too; he makes yet another cavalry army since I now have a few Elite* cavalry to load into it. This makes six active armies: four of cavalry, one of riders, and my original motley army. My pace of getting Great Leaders has slowed considerably compared to how many attacks I'm making, since a great number of those attacks are with the armies whenever necessary - whenever I need to attack something, especially infantry, that didn't get worn down by cannons. I still don't like armies much for offensive operations; they're nice to take out a defender or two but waiting for them to heal slows the pace of the whole army. But used as counterattackers on defense, armies are indeed pretty handy to have; and arguably their best attribute is that they can be left exposed since the AI won't attack them with its own units.

steal-tech.jpg 374x268In 1400 AD, I have enough money to safe steal, and I get Rep Parts. Although, I didn't consider the cost of the spies when calculating tech steal costs; in fact I paid slightly more total to steal it than it would've to research it. That combined with the possibility of failure means it probably wasn't worth it to try and steal this tech; save the stealing for the uber-expensive techs like Radio and the Modern Age.

Right now the next two techs I need are Scientific Method and Sanitation; but first I need to run all cash for about three turns to pay for upgrading everything to artillery and infantry.

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1440 AD brings Leader Thirty, by the name of Darwin. He reveals the wonders of Evolution to the people of Shanghai. Atomic Theory and Electronics are the prize as usual, and then I start research on (devalued) Sanitation. Hospitals would come in sequence after that, with the usual flood of worker merges immediately maximizing my production capacity and getting a good eight cities up to 80 shields for a cavalry or artillery every turn.

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But, 1440 AD also brought another important milestone...

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