With America having collapsed too fast, now how do I get a new Palace? Well, the options are to build it myself, or to attack someone else in pursuit of a Leader. The latter option isn't too attractive. The Zulu are the big dog and have something like two dozen each of knights and muskets in the area. Babylon already got Nationalism for rifles, and given the geography, I would have to go up against Babylon's capital very soon into that fight, not a situation conducive to Leader breeding. Plus I'd like both big Shaka and scientific Hammurabi to survive and help speed me towards space. So I'll have to build a Palace.
I did still get to assemble a neat plan. I couldn't eliminate America right now, because they had a city out on a one-tile island. I could, however, take that city in the peace treaty, leaving them their one other city (Buffalo) on the island northwest of the home continent. Very conveniently, I could build the Palace now, and return to wipe out America as soon as that's done, triggering the Golden Age with a Mountie at the perfect time for all the new core cities to get a huge kick-start. This is why I avoided triggering the GA earlier: it would be useful for twice as many cities once the new Palace was completed.
The Zulu had already researched Nationalism, and Babylon had gotten Steam Power for free. So in the interests of speeding everyone toward the modern age as fast as possible, I researched Medicine. I got that first, as expected; traded it for Steam Power and Democracy, and revolted. Research on Industrialization came next.
As for the new Palace, the city of choice had to be New York. Washington was too far away to pull in more than 50% uncorrupted shields even with a courthouse. In New York, I rushed a marketplace for happiness, a temple for border expansion, courthouse, factory, and coal plant, and gave it top priority on railbuilding. Here's how that worked out.
The entertainer is to keep the city in We Love The King Day, of course. 19 turns of building a new Palace to expand my civ from barely more than one core to about one-and-three-quarters. Sounds like a plan.
While doing that, I researched Industrialization, Electricity, and Scientific Method in about eight turns each (not bad at all for one core on Deity!), and sold them around for Nationalism, cash, and Free Artistry. I also built Universal Suffrage as usual, and Shakespeare's for the heck of it. Bet we won't see many people do THAT in this game.
Seattle flipped back, but that was of no consequence. I took it back easily when the time came.
My Palace completed in 850 AD, and that meant it was time to finish off America and grab the Golden Age in doing so. Here's my land with the Golden Age in full swing.
Niagara is prebuilding Hoover of course. I researched Steel while building the famous pair of wonders, and grab the usual techs from ToE. While doing that, Egypt very conveniently researched Sanitation for me. I also skipped Replaceable Parts to let an AI research it, which they dutifully did, and researched through the Industrial Age myself in 4-5 turns per tech, pulling monopoly cash payments from sucker AIs as usual. Maybe this game is getting a bit too formulaic and manipulable for us?
Presently, the Zulu declared on Babylon and wiped them off the continent. However, I saved Hammurabi by gifting him the one-tile island that America ceded to me some time ago. This would keep the Babs alive to feed me a free scientific tech. Yes, this game really is getting a bit too formulaic and manipulable.
When I hit the modern age, I gifted Babylon techs to get them there too. They got Computers for free, and I researched Fission myself to trade for it. I didn't care about letting the AIs catch up; I just wanted to speed my finish as much as possible. Babylon sold around the gifted techs, of course, so they had money to keep buying techs from me as well. This has to be the highest payout ever by a one-city civ (you can see no cities listed in the left box) :
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