By the way, my city of Chichén Itza has more culture than any other entire civilization. Even the nation of Rome, which had the Temple of Artemis, has 2200 culture as compared to my city's 2600.
While all this war was happening, the AIs kept researching the bottom of the tech tree. Gunpowder was discovered and Leonardo's was built, killing the cascade, before anyone researched Theology! The way to the Sistine Chapel was clear, and after filling in its colosseum and cathedral, Chichen started on that wonder.
The other cities built a typical collection of infrastructure. Except that several of my cities were in cultural conflict with Dutch cities. With the Dutch stuck at war, my cities could get ahead, so I prioritized cultural improvements. With Sistine coming up, cathedrals would be a one-stop happiness shop, and libraries went on top of that.
Copernicus crashed in the Sistine cascade, so I slipped in the Heroic Epic after that.
I brought the trebuchets home to keep around for defense. But my veteran and elite Ancient Cavs kept taking the war to Carthage in hopes of a military Great Leader or two. Meanwhile, Chemistry and Education popped from the Great Library together.
The Dutch signed peace with Carthage, but I *had* to keep both those civs occupied with each other, so I coughed up 25/turn to William for another alliance.
My Ancient Cavs prowled through Carthaginian territory for a while, not attacking cities but pouncing on exposed units. And so I got my Great Leader, who made the long trip back home and formed an army to fill with ancient cavs..
Then the Dutch weaseled out of the new alliance; I let 'em go rather than paying a third of my economy to keep them at war. I had to pray they wouldn't go after me next... and three turns later the Netherlands declared war on China. Whew!
I researched Printing Press and got a monopoly on it. I used *that* to get Holland back at war with Carthage again, after trading it to Rome at monopoly for Metallurgy. My war with Carthage was now almost entirely phony; I was just using them as a rogue state to keep everyone else busy.
Also, here I investigated an unusual issue. In a couple solo C3C games, I seemed to have noticed that it may cost more to buy techs now than to research game. In this save, you can check out this effect. Both Rome and Holland have the technology of Banking, and our Maya have one turn of research into it. Banking is a very normal technology with no special multipliers or anything.
Setting the science slider at 20% shows 21 turns remaining at 43 beakers/turn, or about 900 beakers to get Banking. But set the slider to cash and it takes 50 gold/turn to buy it from the Gracious Dutch or even more from Commercial Rome! Even after discounting for interest rate, that's still just as much cost in cash as it is in beakers. What happened to the 0.75 cost multiplier for trades?
Anyway, next I played follow-the-leader research on Democracy, since it'd be cheaper to research than buy given that it has a cost multiplier for trade, and I have libraries but no marketplaces. No, I had no plans to revolt to Democracy, but I needed Shakespeare's.
Presently I got some great news:
The game's two big powers decided to go at it. The Dutch (orange color) need some taking down, too; check out this power graph:
I got Democracy, and saw that Rome had a monopoly on Free Artistry. They wouldn't be trading it since they're at war with their only potential customer. I wasn't about to pay monopoly price for the tech, but I needed to start prebuilding Shakespeare's. So I traded my only Saltpeter to Rome for Military Tradition so that I could use the Military Academy to prebuild while I researched.
I kept playing follow-the-leader research up the rest of the tech tree. I had universities everywhere and marketplaces nowhere, so my economy was far stronger when researching than when profiting.
That's how much the difference was: 374 beaker production at the cost of only 205 take-home income.
Chichen Itza built Shakespeare's, and workers piled in to take it to size 20. (I'd never had a worker farm, but was very aggressive in skimming workers off size-12 cities. For quite some time, several cities were putting out a worker inbetween each of their other builds. The agricultural trait definitely still helped that.) Next, I had a choice between Newton's or Bach's. Same culture production, of course. But I figured that 80+ research per turn (it's multiplicative with wonder tourism, which is already producing around 25 commerce and increasing) was better than happiness that I didn't even need, and so went for and got Newton's next.
Soon after that, the Netherlands made peace with Rome. Yikes. One thing I've learned is that when there's an AI that's far ahead militarily but makes peace with everyone, it usually jumps on a new target *fast*. The Dutch already did that once this game, ripping China apart three turns after settling for peace with Carthage.
I hated to do this to poor Hannibal, but I had to declare war on him just so that I could sign the Dutch to alliance to keep them busy. My saltpeter sale to Rome also ended now, and I included a Horses purchase in the alliance deal with the Dutch so that I could finally build cavalry and stand up to William if he did finally decide to come after me next.
Occupying the Dutch that way didn't last long, though...
OK. Now my choices are to declare war on Germany (forfeiting a bit of cash they still owe me) to sign the Dutch to alliance, or pray that William doesn't decide to go after me next, ... or take this bull by the horns right now.
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