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A Crafty Plan

or, How to Take Apart an AI From Your Own Home

Building continues apace. I decide that 10,000 gold in the bank is more than enough, and start rushing some buildings, mostly in the core cities near the relocated Palace.

I trade Ivory + Dyes + 1145 gold to Germany for Democracy @5th-civ price. It isn't going to get any cheaper, since China and Aztecs aren't going to get there. And I definitely want to be in Democracy for the worker speed boost when rails come, and so may as well get there sooner rather than later. Also, this will let me see if there's any brokering opportunity for Free Artistry (Germany just started Shakespeare's.)

Yup, bingo. 942 gold to Germany for Free Artistry. FA + 615g to Egypt for Metallurgy. FA to Iroquois for Silks.

Hey, wait a minute, my workers aren't getting the Democracy speed boost? What gives? No, the native workers are, but the 50+ slave workers aren't? Ugh. Either my game glitched up badly (I am using a cracked no-CD executable), or... it's a roundoff error. The game measures worker activity in "base turns", which is the base speed of a slave worker. Non-Industrious non-Replaceable slave workers in a Democracy apply 1.5 units of work to a project per turn; but the game truncates that to 1. Later, when I got Replaceable Parts, this did sort itself out and the slaves were up to speed.

In 1200 AD, Babylon lands two bowmen next to a city in the west I had accidentally left undefended. I feel guilty about tempting the AI like that, but it really was accidental and I was not expecting Babylon to come looking for war yet at all. I could've traded Babylon gold-per-turn for those last two techs, knowing that they were about to declare war, but decided not to; I had reinforced the city with three nearby samurai, and thought they MIGHT not attack. I did, however, trade them Ivory for Furs, so that they'd take a rep hit if they attacked.

Of course, they do attack. Hmmm.
Germany will ally against Babylon with me for only 390 gold. Sounds good to me; that war should result in much more than 390 gold worth of damage to both civs. Iroquois will also join the alliance for only 305 gold. Sounds good.

Nothing to rush with him. The medieval wonders left are Smith's, which I have due in 5 turns; Shakespeare's, about which I couldn't care less, and Newton's, which is prebuilding in Sidon. Newton's would be much better in Sidon than any other city, since the city's got SO much trade: four Ivories, on a river, and no corruption. So I'll keep this Leader in my back pocket, and use him for any Industrial wonder that I might not be able to get in time.

How is Sidon prebuilding? It's the capital; can't use the Palace. What it's doing is building a University; but anytime that's one or two turns from completing, it swaps to a Colosseum to shed all the shields above 120, then switches back to University. In this way I keep a prebuild "floating" in the 120-200 shield range; enough to match the Deity production discount for the AIs, and with Sidon able to heavily optimize for shields (I had it running -4 food for a little bit), it got Newton's fine once the tech did come in.

Bah, the Iroquois beat me to Smith's by 3 turns - should've used the Leader for it. Kyoto grumbles and takes Shakespeare's instead.

Dyes + Incense + Spices + 910g + ROP to Iroquois for Physics. Physics to Egypt for 101 gold, a worker, and an alliance against Babylon!

Here's the crafty plan. I've got every one of the viable civs in the world allied against Babylon! That oughta slow them down.

Also, looks like Germany had been buying horses from Babylon. I can trade Horses + Incense + 1100g to Germany for Theory of Gravity. Also trade Dyes + 1200g to Egypt for Magnetism, and we're in the Industrial Age. Research to max on Steam Power, as always: it'll take 7 turns, despite my very powerful economy. On Emperor it'd take 5 turns and on anything less 4. This is my first non-minimum research since Pottery, in fact.

Germany got Nationalism as their free tech, and no one else has it. I ask him how much he wants for it...

Hey, cool. Hadn't even been thinking about that.

I get Steam Power first (yay!). Germany and Iroquois made peace with Babylon, but we'll fix that.
Steam Power + Ivory + Dyes + 310g to Germany for Nationalism + Wines + Alliance against Babylon.
Steam Power to Iroquois for Silks + 20g + Alliance against Babylon.
Steam Power to Egypt for Mil Tradition + 25/turn + Embargo against Babylon.
Also sign Germany and Iroquois to embargoes against Babylon.

An Embargo? Yup! I've never had a situation like this before, but Embargoing Babylon is going to be very useful. Egypt is still at war with 5 turns left on the alliance. It paid off! Egypt made peace a few turns later, but I pay them 320 gold to get back at war - and Babylon did NOT get to trade lux for Steam Power in the interim! Meanwhile, Babylon researched Communism, whoopee - and again it was because of the embargo they were unable to trade that to Egypt for Steam Power - Egypt was unable to add in luxuries to make up the price difference between Steam @5th and Communism @2nd.

Heh, and the others even got into the embargo act as well!

How do you beat a 900-pound gorilla? With four 300-pound gorillas!

And I guess the Aztecs are a little organ monkey (they're still OCCing )

As for Steam Power... we have two coal connected and one unconnected; that's fine. I had been hoping for an Iron Works at Edo, since it has Iron and 18 of its 21 squares were eligible for Coal, but it didn't happen. Industrialization due in 7; Factory placeholders everywhere. Sidon gets Newton's now, and there's no cascade.

I have to fend off Babylonian invaders every now and then, but with a bunch of cavalry around that's easy. I still have that GL in my pocket, so can't get any more; but it's going to be nice to keep building without worrying about losing any wonders since he's there as a backup. One Babylon invasion comes close: goes down to a longbow attacking a single samurai in a city, but my samurai wins.

Industrialization comes. Satsuma and Edo rush factories and coal plants (I still have over 7,000 in the bank), and begin Suffrage and Palace-for-ToE respectively. I may as well use the Leader for Hoover when we get there. Nobody can offer enough for Industrialization, so I don't trade it around. Electricity next up, due in 5.

The silly Iroquois sign peace with Babylon again. I trade them Electricity for Silks + 14/turn + another alliance, and also renewed the embargoes with everyone somewhere around here. Taking a peek at the demographics again:

Hah - the plan is working. War weariness is CRUSHING Babylon - their top two cities are STARVING! Also, I've passed them in most of the major categories. Victory is assured.

Replaceable Parts comes in. I had been thinking about denying rubber to Babylon, but they've got three very widely spread sources on their continent. Eh, we'll wait and see if we can deny them Oil instead. With Rep Parts, I throw all the workers on automate except for a few to clear forests and convert irrigation and mines. Everything will get improved and railroaded eventually; they'll figure it out.

Just to recap, here's how many wonders I've got.
Rushed with GL: Great Library, Sistine Chapel, Magellan's
Built: Bach's, Shakespeare's, Newton's
Conquered: Pyramids, Sun Tzu's
Guaranteed to get: Suffrage, ToE, Hoover (GL)

All those really are making a huge difference, especially the Pyramids, Sistine, and Bach's. These are keeping my economy ahead of even the huge Deity production advantages.

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