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Let's Rock!

I've still only got four swordsmen (after whipping one even), and it takes a dozen turns to clean up all the Persian archers and spears that were in my territory. My cities were never in danger, thanks to cheap militaristic walls and Persia's lack of immortals.

One Persian spear gets outside Edo, and moves onto my iron. Oddly, a swordsman in Edo made a zone-of-control attack on the spear and damaged it - how'd that happen? Well, the sword kills the spear before it can pillage, and even goes elite.

Slowly, the tide does turn, and eventually I stack up several swords outside that annoying city Arbela.

Sometime around now, I scraped together the cash to establish an embassy with Egypt. They're also at war with China, as I suspected. We could ally against Persia, but I don't want to commit to 20 turns of war. But, how about China? Wow, Egypt will PAY ME 135 gold to ally against China? Sure, I'll take it. China's quite far away, and won't be getting any major forces my way within 20 turns.

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I do get a Great Leader and form an army of swordsmen. Several more turns later, in 690 BC, Persia's got a few too many archers outsite Tokyo, I fear for the health of my damaged army there, and I am starting to see a few Chinese units coming my way. So we make peace, with Persia ceding three techs and a city. I couldn't figure out why they wouldn't cede their scattered cities to the northwest, but would cede Tarsus - which is size 4 and is right by both our cores. After I got it, I saw that it appeared to have three whip effects lingering (yes, that's a lot) - does the AI devalue whipped cities, and if so, to that extent?

And here's a fundamental problem with the AI and advantage for the human: the AI bases peace concessions on what HAS happened, not what is LIKELY to happen. I had done quite a lot of damage to Persian units, but was starting to run out of steam with only four cities producing units, while Xerxes had found his footing and had around eight archers in my territory. I wasn't in a position to take any more gains from Persia, but the AI couldn't realize that and made way too many concessions.

Oh, and then I turned around and traded with Egypt. They had Monarchy, but wouldn't trade it to me (at 2nd-civ) for the THREE techs I got from Persia PLUS 375 gold PLUS 8/turn! But I do trade Mathematics and Code of Laws to Egypt for Map Making and the world map. So that's four techs, a nice core city, and the world map for peace. And I've still got Monarchy halfway done at 40-turn minimum science.

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Also, I decide I can trade my only horses to Persia, for Spices + 50 gold. I then take a closer look at Persia's spices: there's one that isn't within the two-square radius of any of their cities! So I ran down the Tokyo River with a settler, and founded Satsuma. I whip a temple after ten turns, and five turns later those spices are mine.

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Meanwhile, I am still at war with China, so I'll see what concessions I can beat out of them the same way. Also, good thing I did stay at war, for I got this:

What's the best thing I can do with him? Save him for the Great Library! That's a game-breaker if I can get it.

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