Back on the home front, Ottawa actually took a break from building settlers for a while to pump workers until I had about a dozen total. I'd fill this vast land area faster by getting roads built across that big mountain range, to speed along the settlers.
Building settlers right on the front lines would also help, of course. With the Pyramids effect now, I could plant any city next to a cattle resource, and soon have a six-turn settler farm. Edmonton was the original such city - you can see its first settler heading west there - and Halifax another for the northern areas.
For Vancouver, however, I have other plans. That city, built next to two food resources and a bunch of forests, has started a prebuild for the Forbidden Palace. Vancouver will take advantage of lower city-count corruption while I expand out to the fringes as far as I can reach. Like Montreal, it will use the two food bonuses to plateau at size 7 quickly, then work forests. The FP should be close to completion when I backfill the rest of the land, and I'll have two centers separated by a good four rings before we even leave the ancient age.
Hiawatha must have had some weed in his peace pipe:
The line shows the path taken by that settler. I don't know exactly what he was trying to do, but I was quite happy to settle my own city on that spot. This would actually happen a few times, me settling just ahead of wherever that Iroquois settler wanted to go, until it retreated and settled in a spot adjacent to their core.
And so my explosion of settlers continues. I'm plunking down cities every couple turns now, with a good four cities all pumping settlers at six turns each. There's still a lot of land to fill, but I'm getting plenty of it. It's also working out very well for that Forbidden Palace location - look at that wide, wide arc from Calgary all the way around to Niagara, centered on the glorious city of Vancouver.
Also, after building the Pyramids, Montreal was still in such an optimal configuration for building wonders that I had it start on another. The Great Library of Montreal would soon follow. (That's not 2 turns in the picture, it's 20-something.)
Another demand on a tech where I have a monopoly (I researched Literature myself), with the same considerations as before. I wouldn't mind having a Blood Enemy right on my border, easily taken out when I want, but I still have no military in that area and I don't want to lose the cities I do have. Again, I cave, and here's all I can get from selling Literature to anyone else.
But I get the Great Library. Babylon crash-completed the Great Wall, and somebody completed the Lighthouse, killing the cascade. Toronto starts a prebuild for the Hanging Gardens. And my Forbidden Palace also completes.
I had several settlers in place, waiting for the Forbidden Palace to complete before settling, to keep Vancouver's corruption low. They now settled - look at the filling in of light-blue territory between this picture and the next.
I ran into one unexpected problem with my game plan. I could only get up to about 20 cities before running out of Canadian names. A Google search found a list indicating that Canada only *has* about 25 cities. So I really had to start reaching, culminating in Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, with a population of 18,000 and three bus routes.
So this went on for some time. That Forbidden Palace completed in 90 BC, and nothing of note happened for the next four centuries. Cities finished the basic infrastructure of temples and libraries, and filled in some military defenders. Aqueducts and marketplaces still weren't available, so I took the time for plenty of courthouses. Toronto's Palace prebuild was about to reach the 300 shield mark, so I decided I'd better start researching Monarchy myself (how often do you do THAT with a non-religious civ that holds the Great Library?)
I'd also built some galleys out of the coastal cities to send out to explore, and that turned out to be a critical move:
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