Presently, Japan declared war on me. That broke my reputation, because it broke my trade connection to the gems colonies - that I was only exporting to Mongolia because they *demanded* it from me. I should've been smart and built only one gems colony to avoid that, since I wasn't selling the gems anyway. Oh well.
To get cavalry to fight Japan, I paid 70 gpt to Mongolia via renegotiating peace to get Military Tradition, rather than trading away a monopoly tech for it.
I easily razed all the Japanese cities there, and accepted a 25 gpt payment for peace.
I sent out a number of troops to hold my claim on this territory and potential future resources, which turned out to be a good call. You can see the two ships in that harbor, cutting off access to quite a number of interior squares to reduce my required unit count. Madrid had just expanded to 10,000 culture, picking up another ring of squares to make the task a bit easier. This whole excursion costed 40 gold/turn in unit support, but I figured it was worth it for the potential future resources, guaranteed gems, reduced tribute demands, and having the military ready to go in the event of another war.
Yes, those are a bunch of Conquistadors. Madrid could make exactly 70 shields per turn, and the conquistador was the only unit cheap enough for it to pump out every turn. Barcelona and its 100+ shield production built infantry.
The rest of the world blew up into MPPs and alliances as usual, but nobody else messed with me. In turn, the Byzantines eliminated the Aztecs, the Japanese eliminated the Portuguese, and a dogpile eliminated the stunted husk of Korea.
I kept researching through the Industrial Age, my lead holding steady at about 10 technologies. I researched up to Motorized Transport first, then the Electronics branch. Flight came last so as to expire the Colossus as late as possible.
Here's a shot of Madrid on the last turn before discovering Flight:
It maxed out at 504 science. The breakdown goes like this:
River squares: 7
Road squares: 12
Coastal squares: 10 (2 * 5)
Sea squares: 5
City center: 2
Commercial dock: 8
Republic trade bonus: 21
Wonder tourism: 40
Raw commerce total: 126
I held off on Theory of Evolution until after getting Flight, so I could grab costlier modern techs with it. I'd never done that before, so I missed the timing by a couple turns on the prebuild for SETI (that's what Universal Suffrage is for in the picture.) I took Computers and Miniaturization right away.
I intended Madrid to build Shakespeare's after SETI (one of the AIs had finally researched Free Artistry), but had to pass, because the culture from it would put Madrid over 20,000 before I finished researching up to the spaceship! Barcelona grabbed it instead, giving me quite a discrepancy in happiness between the two cities. (Barcelona also has the Mausoleum of Mausollos.) Barcelona would be in WLTKD for the rest of the game, while Madrid forced me to continuously import any available luxuries.
Barcelona cleaned up on the rest of the wonders: Shakespeare's, Universal Suffrage for real this time, Smith's (Economics appeared too), Hoover Dam (useless because both cities already had nuclear plants), United Nations, The Internet.
However, the spectre of premature cultural victory in Madrid was growing. In 1814 AD, when I began researching Space Flight, I had 7 techs left to go at 11 or more turns each. Madrid was at 15,000 culture and was scheduled to reach 20,000 in 68 turns. I had to sell off all of the city's ancient cultural buildings and replace them with new editions lacking the 1,000 year bonus.
There was no danger of actual accidental cultural victory, though. As a last resort, I could've sold off Madrid's cathedral and marketplace to make it continually riot, halting its culture accumulation while Barcelona built the spaceship.
I had uranium in the northern territory, but had a problem with no aluminum. And I wasn't about to gift anyone ten techs into the modern age so that I could buy some. But with the two-city restriction, conquering some wouldn't be a simple task. To do that, I'd have to find a place where I could raze cities to isolate an aluminum resource in neutral territory, colonize it, blockade all nearby territory to block settling, and build a road from my colony to an AI city on the same landmass with a harbor or airport. A lengthy tasklist, to be sure.
It looked like the other AIs would make it to the modern age pretty close to the time that I finished the spaceship tech tree. And someone finally researched Navigation so that I could buy maps, revealing that Byzantines had three aluminums in their territory, so one would surely be available for sale. That seemed like the easiest plan.
So I kept researching at 100%. End turn, end turn, end turn, end turn, end turn. Quite some time later, in 1920 AD, I had two techs to go for the spaceship. I had to get started on building the spaceship now (the Apollo Program requires aluminum and I'd need a good 12-15 turns to build everything.)I could go for the aluminum-conquering plan, or I could buy some. The Byzantines had just researched Flight, and I'd just traded them Mass Production for 97 gpt and a new supply of luxuries. My technology lead was up to thirteen, so rather than take hours to conquer some aluminum, I just took the easy way out. I gifted the Byzantines four techs: Atomic Theory, Electronics, Motorized Transportation, and Rocketry, and purchased aluminum for 33 gpt.
Building the spaceship was easy. Both cities had Nuclear and Manufacturing Plants, so they were maxed out on shields. Barcelona churned out 162 shields per turn, building many of the small parts in a single turn each. I also had a military Great Leader that I'd kept in my back pocket since my last war, who now became one of the premium 640-shield spaceship parts.
Finish researching Satellites, swap a prebuild, and Space Race Victory in 1956 AD. I had a lead of 10 techs, and that was after gifting four to the Byzantines.
Even with only the two cities, I was #1 in GNP and productivity and #2 in Mfg Goods (shields).
Madrid could've gotten a cultural victory at least 20 turns ago, and Barcelona was also set to do so very soon. Here's a final shot of the uber science city; the Colossus had expired, but all three double-science wonders and six tourism-producing wonders were active for 662 science in total.
It was neat to revisit Civ 3 again after several months, but I don't really expect to return to it again. There's just nothing left to do; there were no surprises anywhere in this game. Seeing the spaceship movie for one last closure with the game was nice. This was still a worthy Epic, and thanks to microbe for sponsoring it.
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