I've had a bit of a fascination with 20k games lately. There was the Japanese game I posted to RBCiv, and I also played and won a solo Deity C3C game by 20k culture; I'd never done that before on Deity. And I want to try 20k again here.
But I know from past experience that an OCC really isn't able to keep up on economy. It's tough even on Monarch if you don't get the Colossus. On Emperor, even with the Colossus, wonder tourism would help some, but probably not quite enough, especially with only 5 potential brokering partners. So what I'll do is stick to one city and build wonders early, let the AIs bring weak cities to me instead of going after their strong cities, then build javelins when I get the chance probably around the early middle ages.
The start left me unable to get any more information before founding the city, though. I didn't want to move the worker, as it could start improving the bonus grass right away. I did want to move the settler so as not to waste the bonus, but didn't know where. It could move one to the northwest, which would be a good site for both early growth and later shields. Moving the settler downriver would eventually find coast for a good shot at the Colossus, but who knows how far away that might be if it's a good city site at all, and moving downriver would lose all the nice productive hills.
Further complicating things is that I can see *something* peeking out from under the fog E-NE from the starting position, and moving NW would lose that. It's probably just sugar, which isn't too important, but might be cattle. I actually went so far as to load up the resources.pcx graphics file and compare that tiny little shadow there with the resource icons. It looked most likely to be wheat or sugar, but could also be incense or wines.
Finally I decided that information was invaluable, and an industrious civ could afford to lose one worker turn to move and investigate.
It's ivory, which means that I damn well know the first wonder I'm going for. :D Coastal access is now not necessary since I'm not interested in the Colossus. I decided to move northwest to preserve the bonus grassland and pull in at least one more hill, and that should also leave room for more cities down the river later.
Now I checked the F10 list, and seeing no religious civs there decided to go after Ceremonial Burial first myself. The F10 list revealed some bad militaristic news - three civs with defensive UUs in Rome, Carthage, and Holland, that won't make it easy for Javelin Throwers to do much conquering.
I built two warriors for exploration and one for police, then stopped building units as I didn't want to exceed the free unit threshold. A Dutch warrior showed up and I traded for Alphabet and started researching Mathematics while building a temple.
In 2670 BC, I had to decide whether to build the temple now or continue right on to the Statue of Zeus instead. I elected to go straight on to the wonder (using the Pyramids to prebuild), just to see how it would work out. Temples are boring, and I've never built the Statue of Zeus yet. :)
By 2070 BC, I'd contacted all five civs. I got a monopoly on Mathematics in 1950 BC, and traded it around for everybody's techs, six in total. Chichen Itza swapped to the Statue of Zeus... no, wait. I had a serious problem: my city's culture wouldn't expand to include the ivory until long after I had 200 shields in the box. Dang, I should've built that temple first!
Well, now my options are five:
1) wait and overbuild the Statue by about 100 shields
2) sacrifice the worker for a colony to get the ivory and Statue
3) build the Pyramids now
4) build the Oracle now
5) go for Literature and build the Great Library instead
Overbuilding for the Statue or sacrificing the worker both seemed like shortsighted, unwise plans. I could get the Statue next easily anyway. Likewise, the AIs usually bypass Literature, so the Great Library can also wait.
I decided on the Pyramids. One of the hidden parameters of this scenario is that we can't capture wonders. If we want the power of something like the Pyramids, it has to be built ourselves. The Pyramids' effect would be very helpful down the road; since our additional cities will all be coming small and late, having that granary effect will make a huge difference in getting them up to speed. And the Pyramids are the one wonder where denial of it to a rival can seriously matter.
The Pyramids would be an instant Golden Age, but that would be far from wasted. With my city working eight one-shield tiles and growing, the Golden Age would net my city 160-plus extra shields over 20 turns - almost a free wonder!
I also decided to take a flyer on the Philosophy free tech, pushing research to 100% on that.
Then the game served up something that has to be the most wildly improbable event it ever has:
Despite Griselda's efforts to limit volcanoes, the first one I found went KABOOM the instant my warrior found it! Five minutes later, once I stopped laughing, I reloaded the autosave to grab that picture and conceded that losing the warrior was worth it for the humor value.
But anyway, while I was building the Pyramids, disaster struck. (No, not the volcano.)
Two Dutch warriors walked right up to my capital, making sure to stay on the high ground. All I could do was pray that my one warrior could beat them. Fortified in a size-9 city, it had a chance to win, though it was hardly a good one.
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