The strategy is clear: we're in the perfect situation for a Military Tradition run and a Leonardo-fueled Horsemen-to-Cavalry upgrade, which will steamroll our continent. Immediately after its aqueduct, Coneria begins Sistine as placeholder for Leonardo's. We won't worry about building any other wonders, since we'll conquer them all.
Well, not a perfect situation... one decidedly imperfect aspect is there isn't any good place to put the Forbidden Palace. Well, Elfland will do for now, and then later we'll GL the Palace to the other side of the continent.
It occurs to me now that I should have triggered the Golden Age, since we were in fact ready to move into Republic. Oh well, it'll happen eventually; it won't be hard to find a longbow or something for a jaguar to kill in a later war.
Lots - like forty turns worth - of nothing happens. We research Engineering at 40-turn minimum science. Forbidden Palace completes in 410 AD. England demands Monarchy, is refused, doesn't declare war. Athens finishes Pyramids, everybody cascades. India completes the Great Library after it expires.
India also completes Sun Tzu's, leaving us desperately hoping that we can get Invention before someone finishes Sistine. Engineering is due in 2 turns, at minimum science. Greece cascaded to Sistine from the Library. India is building it in Lahore.. investigation shows 76 turns to completion. We're safe.
Engineering comes. I actually have to slow down the Leonardo prebuild in Coneria; looks like it started a tad too soon. Invention comes in 500 AD, and we click ahead ("What's the big picture", F1, go to Coneria) to instantly get Leonardo's. India will still trade 75g, 19/turn, and Dyes for Invention. Also, Invention + 200 gold to England for Astronomy. The tech is rather useless to us, but may as well get some value for Invention while we can.
In 520 AD, there's a Greek archer sitting out in the open. We declare war against Greece again for the sole purpose of triggering the Golden Age with a jaguar. We're four techs from Military Tradition; this should get us a bunch of Cavalry upgrades before anyone gets Riflemen. (Hopefully we can cripple Greece before they get to the Industrial Age so they won't have free Nationalism to trade around.) I will have to keep this war in effect until the Cavalry actually arrive (since it'll be within 20 turns), then we can blitz Greece.
I actually build a few longbows to fend off Greek units until I'm ready to actually invade. I do not want to trade for Chivalry, because I want to keep building cheap Horsemen. Chemistry to India for 59 + 5/turn + World Map. I probably intend to declare war before that 5/turn expires, but we need the money now.
In 650 AD, at 3 turns to Metallurgy, it dawns on me - hey, why isn't musket listed in the build box? WE HAVE NO SALTPETER! And there isn't any nearby. England has the only one on our mainland, and Greece's city over on Pharsalos Island has one. Arrrrgh....
Oh well, one does what one must. Trade for Chivalry, shut off the research, and start upgrading to knights. We'll take Greece this way, sign RoP with India to get through to England and their saltpeter, then conquer India with cavalry.
With research off and in Golden Age, we have +170 income. Swap Delphi to barracks, which it builds this turn, and pre-turn-upgrade five horses to knights (since that 170 came into our coffers at the beginning of upkeep.)
First knight beats the hoplite and goes elite!
Third beats a hoplite, surviving with 1 HP left.
Fourth beats a hoplite and captures Athens! We own the Pyramids!
A couple turns later, we take Thermopylae. Also, India and England go to war! Guess Gandhi wanted some saltpeter too. We get the RoP in place with India. It's a rather large deal: Right of Passage; he gives Banking; we give Horses, Gems, 20 gold and 1/turn.
We take Corinth in 690 AD, kicking Greece off our continent. May as well make peace; we aren't going to attack Knossos on that island now. Better to wait for cavalry. We take Alex's 12 gold.
Gandhi researches Physics, for which we trade Metallurgy. Set research to Military Tradition.
In 740 AD, we move troops up to London. Liz demands we get out. We refuse, declaring war, and our first knight takes London next turn (it only had one spear for defense!) That plops the saltpeter into Indian territory, but it will come to us once London expands borders. (India will build a few muskets - I should have pillaged it first.) Good - all resistance in London ends on the first turn, and we can rush a temple.
We take Nottingham (which conveniently comes with its harbor intact) and then York, which conveniently comes with a barracks for upgrading the knights. England won't talk to us, though! I want to make peace now, while we can still grab island cities from them. (If their capital moves to Newcastle, which is on the small island SW of Knossos, our Plan is Screwed.)
Next turn, the English will talk, and will concede either Coventry or Warwick, but not Newcastle which is the one we need. Hastings is the last English city on the mainland. In 800 AD, India moves two elephants next to it just before we move up 6 knights. I REALLY need England to hold out against them so I can take the city myself...
One English spear loses...
but the second holds...
and we capture Hastings next turn!
England's capital moves to Warwick, on South Island. They won't concede both Newcastle and Coventry, each of which would give me a hold on another landmass. I accept Newcastle, since we NEED that one; the other landmass can be entered by getting an Indian city later.
Still no Great Leaders, but India's got quite a bunch of elephants that should provide good Cavalry fodder.
810 AD: Military Tradition comes, and we will never research again.
It's only six turns until our RoP with India expires. That'll give us time to cash up, upgrade all the knights, and build another couple cavalry.
India remained at war with England, and wasted energy sailing boats to the southern big island rather than expanding out to settle.
880 AD: we cancel the ROP, declare on India and immediately attack with 16 cavalry at the ready. This was NOT an ROP rape - we had no units in Indian territory when we declared. Bombay falls - it had only one musket - procuring us Dyes. On Pharsalos Island, we have rushed one cavalry, which sees nothing better than a spear in Karachi. It attacks Karachi and wins, but there's another spear.
890 AD: Delhi had only one musket and a handful of spears. It falls. Bangalore has NO muskets. It falls, procuring us Wines. Karachi on the island is attacked again by that cav. It falls.
900 AD: Lahore razed. On Pharsalos-Karachi Island, the 2-hp elite cavalry must attack a War Elephant to prevent it from retaking Karachi. Crappo - it loses. Karachi is abandoned rather than let it be recaptured and take the war weariness hit. 910 AD: India won't talk yet. Calcutta razed.
Wrong war, India!
India will now talk. They'll give plenty of ex-English cities on South Island. But Punjab is all by itself on the island east of that, and India won't give it for peace. I can see another island east of Punjab as well. Hmm... We capture Madras, India's last city on the mainland. Still won't give Punjab. I rush another cavalry at Pharsalos to keep going on that island. No more Saltpeter for India, so we won't see any more muskets built.
950 AD: We capture Kohlapur on Pharsalos Island. India STILL won't give Punjab.
960 AD: We take Canterbury, India's last city on Pharsalos Island.
Yay!!! The Plan still has a chance! All we need to do is wait 20 turns, buy cavalry on South Isle, and we'll win. One small problem though - Punjab just dropped from size 5 to 3 immediately before India conceded it. They've got a settler somewhere - hopefully hopefully hopeflly not heading to another new island.Conclusion...