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In the beginning...

I decide to move one square southeast to found the city, while the worker begins working the starting bonus-grassland square. Research to max on Pottery as usual, and start a warrior to explore.

I meet Persia in 3400 BC, trade The Wheel for Bronze Working + 18 gold. Kyoto switches from a second warrior to a spearman.

Then I meet Egypt in 3200 BC. They lack Wheel, so I trade it to them before Persia does, for Warrior Code + 9 gold. Good - I've got two of the starting three military techs, so I should be able to hang on if early aggression comes my way. (Wow, is The Wheel really that expensive that it's worth this much in trade even on Deity?)

We research Pottery, and luckily get it first (no Expansionistic civs are around.) We trade it plus 12 gold to Egypt for Masonry, and to Persia for 40 gold. Set to Iron Working at the minimum.

In 2500 BC, China shows up. They lack Pottery, so I sell it for 25 gold. I can now see it's fairly crowded, but I'm still going to continue with the original plan of a granary before any settlers, given our low-food start. Kyoto proceeds, and finishes the granary in 2750 BC. Heh, one of the historian guys says I'm the richest civilization in the world!

In 2710 BC, a Persian worker is available for sale. I decide to buy it. In my defense, at this time the restrictions on worker-buying (none before 2000 BC, one before 1000 BC) were under proposal, but not officially a rule yet. I wanted any advantage I could get to compete on Deity, and also to take early worker-buying for one last spin. Lastly, on Deity the AIs start with three workers each, so buying one doesn't cripple them nearly as much as on lower levels. It would turn out that I'd buy one more worker each from Persia, Egypt, and China all before 1000 BC - which helped me enormously but didn't unfairly cripple their progress. Besides, some war slowed them much more anyway.

A tech brokering opportunity presents itself: 105 gold to China for Mysticism. Myst + 6/turn + 9g to Egypt for Iron Working. If there's one thing I've learned on Deity from Epic Four, it's that you leap at any two-for-one tech deals. Iron Working was expensive, but this was the cheapest I'd be able to get it for a while, and probably couldn't wait for it on the minimum. I switch minimum research over to Polytheism.

Um, look where the iron is.

Fortunately, I had just built my second settler. I decide to make a bold gambit: found two spaces away from Persia's city, and ten turns later whip a temple. If I get that temple up before Arbela does, I get both the iron and the horses in my territory.

Unfortunately, that gambit failed! Persia got their temple up ONE TURN before Tokyo did, and there was no way for Tokyo to take a cultural lead before libraries. Blast it.

Miraculously, we soon discover another iron source to the west. Whew!

I founded Edo on the space where the settler is standing. One more to the NW would have been much better city spacing, but honestly I didn't think I could afford to wait for the worker to build a road through that jungle square to get the iron connected. If we learned anything from Epic Ten, it's that SPEED counts for everything with regards to early aggression. (It also bodes supremely poorly for the variety of multiplayer gameplay, but that's a whole different can of worms.)

I now knew I'd have a narrow window when I'd have swords and Persia wouldn't yet have Iron for their precious Immortals. I also knew that these four cities would be all I'd have before going to war against Persia. Those cities take the time before the iron gets hooked up to all build barracks and a couple more spearmen.

Some more notes as we prepare for war:

1525 BC: China asks for a map trade, which means I know they have Map Making. (I haven't gotten Alphabet.) I also buy Persia's territory map, to get an idea of what I'll be attacking.

1325 BC: We observe Egypt attacking Persia!! Could there have been a luckier break? I'm definitely itching for Persian war now, since Egypt will be (already has been) taking the full brunt of their force.

1175: YES, Polytheism comes through at minimum science! Egypt has it, but China and Persia don't. I trade it to China for Alphabet and Horseback Riding, and to Persia for Writing + TM + 35 gold. With the new increased tech costs on Deity in 1.29f, the Minimum Science play is back in style in a big way. That's one way to completely short-circuit the increased cost.

I'm just about caught up on technology. I start Monarchy at minimum science; if that comes through I'll have another something-for-nothing tech.

I was waiting for Polytheism to come in so I could trade it to Persia before declaring war. Now, though, I demand that Persia withdraw from my territory, and of course they declare war. Remember that I do have Persia cut off from any access to iron, and that's a window that may not remain open long. War in 1175 BC on Deity; let's rock!

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