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The Long Long Peace... or is it I Long for Peace?

I'm researching Gunpowder, which I delay to get the turn after JS Bach's is completed. Huh? Follow me here. On the turn that ANY tech is discovered, you can click "What's the big picture" for the Science Advisor, hit F1 for the Domestic Advisor, and start a Revolution. This means that you DON'T lose the commerce for this turn, since it's already been calculated. With a religious civ, you lose one turn of shield production in anarchy, and ZERO turns of commerce income. I want JS Bach's to complete first, because its happiness effect will keep everything content during the one turn of anarchy as we switch to Republic.

Now our economy kicks butt, while Greece is stuck in Monarchy. And I'm in a Perfectly Awesome happiness situation. Two lux, a temple, a Sistine cathedral, and Bach's are exactly enough to keep any size-12 city content. No lux tax needed. (The Hanging Gardens provide one more for insurance.)

And it's only 300 turns until Thebes will win the game.

Er, where's all the saltpeter? Under Abydos that I lost, on the island south of Coal Island. And on Middle Island in area I don't control. Crud. Well, I won't press for war before Riflemen if Greece doesn't - but just in case I'll stack up some Longbows ready to take Abydos if necessary.

Greece goes into anarchy. Fine with me - several turns lost, and they'll be hurting BADLY for happiness without police in Republic, since the AI never seems to run any luxury tax. By my count, a size 12 city will need both an expensive cathedral and colosseum.

Without anything else to do, the workers engage in a bit of lumberjacking. It helps Thebes' university along by two turns, although then the city has nothing to do until Newton's becomes available. The Greeks soon start it in Athens. I'll pay to investigate the city: dammit, Newton's in 16 turns from scratch. I can't beat that - Thebes can't do more than 23 shields absolute max. (DANG, I wish I had those hills to the west in Thebes' radius.) But it IS exactly on the edge of happiness (with a cathedral and colosseum too)... if Greece declares war, weariness could slow them enough that I might have a chance, so I change research to Theory of Gravity (forfeiting two turns of progress towards Metallurgy - that's useless without saltpeter anyway.) And even if I lose it, there'll be a bank to swap to so it won't be a complete loss.

(This image looks weird because I was experimenting with PNG settings. It's under 3 KB.)

Never saw this before, believe it or not. And it seems a bit unfair. If the player suggests renegotiating peace, and the renegotiation fails, he's the aggressor (reputation doesn't matter here, but war weariness does.) If the AI suggests it... well, the player is still the aggressor if it fails. I have to commit to 20 turns of peace, or declare war as the aggressor right now. I take the peace, of course.

Awesome - a new source of iron pops up on Middle Island. Good insurance. Greece still has the other one on Middle Island, but if I can take that away before they get many rails built...

Banking comes, and hmm. I pay the 150 to investigate Athens (again) to see exactly what's up with Newton's. It is in fact coming in four, which Thebes can't beat. However, four turns is enough time to research Economics and swap to Adam Smith's. Is it worth delaying rails by four turns? I decide yes - the clincher being that we can sell the useless tech to Greece before the wonder completes.

Industrial Age in 1415 AD. Steam Power in 1435, and rush a harbor in Troy so we can use that coal. Greece's coal... is in that same area of Middle Island as their saltpeter and iron! Wow, that's a lot of resources, and they just ALL happen to be in Greek territory:

Thing is, I don't really want to go to war. We still don't have Saltpeter, Military Tradition, or Nationalism, so we'd be attacking rifles with longbows and catapults. Bad idea. Peace has expired again, and when I go to renegotiate it, "they will be insulted by this deal." But I throw in 15 gold and it's acceptable.

Greece starts Universal Suffrage in Athens before I can get Industrialization, and so will probably beat me. Well, Wall Street will soon be available, Thebes needs a factory anyway, and it can then grab Theory of Evolution. All the forests near Thebes that have supplied lumber for five millenia of wondrous projects... are brutally slaughtered to build its Factory. No points for Greenpeace in this game. :)

After Industrialization, I catch up with Nationalism, and Greece researches Communism, which is now the only half-price research available. So, I take this opportunity to move on up the Shakespeare's line while waiting for Greece to lead the way on Industrial Age research. Printing Press due in 4 at +124 gold.

Democracy comes in. Do I revolt? Remember it's only a half-turn of anarchy, no commerce lost, just a turn of shields. Wouldn't mind the better corruption, and the worker speed bonus would help given that we're building messy coal plants, and that I'm going to plunk 8 workers into Thebes the instant it eventually gets a hospital. If we get into a protracted war, we're swapping back to Monarchy anyway.

I decide NO, it isn't worth the turn of shields, especially with everyone at the critical point of development, building Factories. Plus it costs Thebes a turn of culture, which in the end is the goal anyway.

Thebes has been prebuilding with Suffrage, and Free Artistry comes in. Do I swap to Shakespeare's? Actually, no. I cannot fathom why at all, but Greece has not built any railroads! They have both iron and coal hooked up on Middle Island and the city there has a harbor. About forty turns later, my coal resource would move into Greek territory, and then they built rails. I still can't figure out why that coal on Middle Island somehow didn't register with them. Maybe they were trading it away to aliens?

Can't spend to investigate Athens. It probably has a Factory, but there wasn't enough time for it to have built a Coal Plant before starting Suffrage. Thebes has both and is fully railroaded... can it pull an amazing come-from-behind grab of Suffrage? (Greece can't cascade to Shake's; that's safe either way.)


I'm DYING to know by how much, though. So I temporarily reload the save and sell off a few buildings to get the gold to investigate. ONE TURN! Athens didn't even have a Factory, which is why it worked. And no cascade for them either. Ha-hah!

Electricity finishes; Greece has researched Replaceable Parts, and I follow. After Rep Parts, Greece has The Corporation - but I'm not following there; research to Medicine then Sanitation. Thebes builds Shakespeare's of course, then Wall Street. It reaches 10,000 culture in 1650 AD, and soon builds its hospital. Workers flood in and take it to size 20, at which it has 94 shields. Not bad for a city with no hills. Thebes builds ToE next, and takes Atomic Theory and Electronics, not for Hoover (not a single river on the planet) but just because they're the expensive ones and Greece hasn't researched them. Research Espionage next, just so Thebes can build the Intelligence Agency for its minimal culture. :)

Coal Island runs out of coal. Well, no worry. The question is where did it pop up... Northwest Sliver island, where Greece does have a harbor. Will that make them realize they can build rails? Yes, it did.

I start cranking riflemen and artillery - every other core city (yes, they exist, though I haven't mentioned any other than Thebes in the last 600 years) has long since run out of things to build (including colosseums - needed them for the happiness). Also, any at size 16 or greater needs an entertainer; when about four cities reach 16 I give in and raise the lux tax.

Okay, now THIS proves Alex is on crack:

Against whom are we MPPing?? I decline; don't want him having RoP; would have taken the MPP just for giggles but he wanted Wines for it.

Coal bounces from Megara over into my territory on Middle Island, so we can build railroads, or could if there were any tiles without them.

Greece wastes time researching and revolting into Democracy! Never saw three revolutions by a non-religious AI before. Also, they've researched all the way up to Mass Production, which I've been following, but have still skipped Sanitation.

THIS catches me by total surprise:

That island had long since run out of coal, so I really don't care.

Alex demands Wines. Should I go to war, and see if I can grab a Great Leader to let Thebes build the Heroic Epic? Nah, not worth the effort.

Thebes puts up Battlefield Medicine and the Intelligence Agency for the minimal culture. I hit End of Turn a whole crapload of times, and then another whole crapload of times. And so the game quietly ends.

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