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The Final Countdown

While finishing off the Iroquois, I'm watching Germany's research progress closely. In 1762, they will offer Amphibious + 810 gold for Motorized Transportation. Next turn, it's down to Ampib + 210. So I know they're researching it, and will have it soon.

I did pull about two Great Leaders in each of these wars, but none did anything special. Mostly, they rushed Battleships, of all things, since that was usually what I needed most in the area, and those things are expensive.

I try to steal a tech in hopes of getting Germany to declare war on me, and it succeeds.

Next turn, 1766 AD, Germany has Motorized Transportation. Crap. But at least the Iroquois were finally eliminated on this turn. I now must go to war with Germany; I try stealing their world map to get them to declare war, and it works this time, but my spy gets captured.

I land my transports full of tanks on Germany's rubber, and two battleships in the area get lucky and bomb out both railroad and road on the rubber square. Was that soon enough? Did they get a Panzer into production?

Naturally, I sign Egypt to an alliance, Dyes being enough to buy their help. I also sign them to MPP for the heck of it. Once again, two massive AI navies take each other out and it's easy enough for me to mop up the leftovers.

Egypt also moves quite a stack of doom up to Germany's city on our main continent:

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Next turn at least, there's no Panzer in sight. I've already got thirty each of artillery and tanks on Germany's north coast, and thirty more of each are coming over from the Iroquois continent as soon as I can get naval superiority in the area (which takes a few more turns.)

The war continues, and it turns out that Germany never does get a Panzer. At one point, I bombarded Berlin with many artillery, but didn't have enough to take it that turn. On Germany's next turn, the city dropped from size 17 to 9! Four drafts and four citizens whipped, I guess?! Well, Berlin falls that next turn anyway.

And in 1782, Germany's eliminated. Not too bad, eight turns to conquer that island, and yet again our Democracy survives the war.

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Last up, Egypt. The last couple turns, I switched over to building mostly Cavalry instead of tanks, for the extra mobility to get through Egypt sooner. They've never had rubber the entire game, so rifles are their best defenders. Once again, I want the AI to declare the war, and all it takes is stealing the world map twice. Sometimes this is just too easy.

Only two turns into the Egyptian war, I lose my little sub-game.

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Why'd the Democracy last through every other war but crumple instantly here? Because war weariness is driven primarily by losses sustained by your civ. I was sending Cavalry at any city they could reach anywhere, since I didn't care about losing them, and many of them were losing their battles. So I flip back to Monarchy for the final few turns.

Cavalry Armies are like mini-Modern Armors. I actually had one cavalry army kill THREE Egyptian cavalry armies in one turn!

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Conquest win in 1796 AD. I did reach the Modern Age with the minimum-science run on Radio, but got no modern techs. And that's the LAST time I'm ever going to conquer the world like that without going for the much much faster Modern Armors. That just took FOREVER to play.

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4799 points.


Miscellaneous thoughts from this game:

Resource control is so important. That's one area where the AI can't recognize the value of something, and even if it could, can't move towards that objective nearly as nimbly as a human can. Keeping the Iron away from Persia in the early game was the pivotal move that allowed me to expand despite the cramped start, and monopolizing the world's rubber supply made the game winnable earlier without going all the way to Modern Armor.

A Persia without Iron is a harmless little kitten - actually one of the weakest civs. Scientific doesn't do anything in the early game, so their sole advantage is being Industrious, and the AI doesn't manage that nearly as well as a human can.

What do you need to win a war? You need a localized advantage, for about five turns. That's it. Hit something hard in the first five turns of the war, and you need not fear anything, since the AI will settle for peace as soon as you want it to after that, with concessions. If you don't have anything important within five squares of an AI's force, you cannot lose a war. That's unless the AI buys an alliance against you, but there are things you can do to minimize that possibility, primarily signing the other civs to an alliance on your side first.

Martial artists know the way to defeat a physically stronger opponent is to use their strength against them. That's exactly what I did in this game. Hey Egypt, you've got an extra ten starting units? Attack Persia with them for me, would you? Thanks! Hey Persia, you had a massive discount on the build cost of the Pyramids? I'll take those, thanks. China multiplied like rabbits in settling the northwest part of the continent? Mine now!

Don't overlook the embargo. That helped against Babylon, and made the difference in them not getting to Infantry before I could control their rubber. The most important aspect of the embargo is that it doesn't expire when an alliance does if you sign the deals separately. Then, if a partner makes peace with your target, there's a much smaller chance of that partner getting to sell your target any techs before you can get your partner back at war.

I see now that Sirian won in 1752 AD, sooner than I did despite researching up to Synthetic Fibers. I probably could've come close to that date, especially if I had gone against Germany and the Iroquois at the same time. Or I could've attacked Egypt earlier - probably could have conquered most of their cities in the Cavalry pre-Infantry era - I picked a rather odd time for a bit of role-playing in the game.

But most of the date difference is because I kept the game tech pace as slow as I could the whole time (with help from Babylon not finding me until 1000 AD! I still can't fathom how that happened...) The slow tech pace kept some aspects out of play: the AIs got minimal air power, which was nice to not have to worry about, never got near Mech Infantry, and kept the world FAR away from nukes.

It sure was a heck of a game, even if the outcome was beyond doubt a hundred turns and 20 hours of gameplay before it actually ended. On to Epic Eleven at last...

- T-hawk, 9/8/2002

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