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At a crossroads...

Now I've got to decide how I want to win this game. I already passed up my best shot at 20k culture, and 100k culture isn't going to happen. I could go for the space race, but I think I rather goofed with the Forbidden Palace location. For that, I should've waited the few turns and done it in Paris, and expanded and settled onto the lands south of this continent.

I decide this: to duplicate what Thyfrog did in Epic Seven, which is to settle all the islands in the game, build cheap religious temples, and win early by domination. After Map Making, I keep going at max research towards Republic, to facilitate rushing the cheap temples. I think I can win without researching anything else after Republic.

Galleys go exploring everywhere, and every city is building either a settler or a galley. I'd really like to know what Rome and England are up to, but one thing they're NOT up to is Literature. F11 still shows me as first in Literacy, so neither of them has built a library yet.

Long about 550 BC, one of our exploring galleys does meet England. They're one tech behind us (Philosophy), and have eight cities to our nine mainland and assorted island settlements.

England does have contact with the Romans, and they also have -- Rome! Wow. I guess Caesar can't be doing very well. So this game is now a two-horse race, and we all know how well the AI doesn't do in those.

The cheapest way to get some kind of information out of a newly-met civilization is to pay for the territory map. It costs one-third to one-half the price of their world map, and contains 90% of the relevant information. So I pay 24 gold for Elizabeth's territory map. I could trade Philosophy for both their World Map and contact with the Romans, but don't want to speed them towards Republic. Based on this map, I think I've got a pretty good idea where Rome might be.

Two turns later, our galley does find Rome. They're four techs behind, and Caesar trades his world map and 16 gold for Horseback Riding. Looks like Rome is doing some OCC action. It will be useful to keep them around, though - as long as Rome exists, any tech that I have will cost England second-civ-of-three price rather than second-civ-of-two price to research.

Between turns, our galley observes Caesar and Lizzie STILL AT WAR! They must both be doing pretty terribly, so that's it. No tedious Domination victory here. I'm going conquesting. Every city besides Salamanca swaps to barracks.

Salamanca builds the Great Lighthouse. In a larger game, I'd swap Thebes over to the Palace to placehold for the Great Library, but that'll be useless here. Thebes takes the Colossus, which does indeed work out to getting to Republic two turns sooner. Republic comes in 330 BC, and I do revolt to it. The cash will help us rush extra Mounted Warriors, since I'm never going to research anything else again.

The only trick is going to be tracking down and eliminating all the English cities and settlers. Elizabeth agrees to trade her world map and all of her 52 gold for my own map, which will help greatly. Sure.

While building up more Mounties, I dispatch a galley holding a Mountie and a spear to England's iron, which is on the far side of their island, by Nottingham.

In 290 BC, I land that galley on England's iron, and three more full of Mounties on the near side of the island. Elizabeth demands I get out, and I declare war instead. Conveniently, that English iron is on a mountain... my fortified spear will take two or three swords to dislodge, but England can't build any more. They would never even attack that stack.

250 BC: Rome captured from England. I hang onto it because it's got Wines, and rush a harbor when I can. Galleys continue streaming back and forth getting dozens of Mounted Warriors over to England's island.

150 BC: London is razed, and all the rest of the English cities fall in quick succession.

No point in reporting all the rest of the details. No more Great Leaders came, but I can hardly complain about that. I declared war on Rome and took out Veii easily. Threw luxuries to 80% for the last few turns for whatever incremental score boost that might give. Couldn't quite pull it off in BC times, but Conquest Win in 70 AD.

Holy schiesse, that's a big whack of points. 10469!

My next best was 5800, and that was a succession game (LK27)!

Never built a worker or a warrior! I also never bought any workers in fact -- didn't think to check diplomacy every single turn, but it turned out that I acquired them all quickly enough anyway. :)


I'm still second-guessing myself as to what sort of victory I should've gone for. If I'd had more time to play, and hadn't just done so in my previous two games of Civ, I would've whacked out the Oracle with the second GL for an unbeatable 20k cultural win.

I probably should've conquered England while leaving Rome's single city alone, and then gone for domination. With the early Pyramids and Forbidden Palace, that expansion rate would've been pretty close to unbeatable too.

But this conquest win was certainly beatable. I did clear the starting continent about as fast as possible, unless someone got The Wheel from the second hut, or maybe pulled it off with archers. But I could've gotten to Map Making five turns sooner and to England about 15 turns sooner. My galley that went towards England had previously come back to get settlers to deposit on the tiny islands between our continents, before sailing on to find England. But I guess I did get lucky in finding England so war-slowed by the time I got there.

Well, what's done is done. But what in Bob's name was up with that freaky start layout? I know the map generator doesn't start any civilizations on landmasses that lack luxuries. But why did it have to cram all the luxuries in the world onto two islands? Any of the six civs would have had a better time on its own island instead of the Tokyo-subway wedging we got. It did that same thing of placing all the luxuries on only two islands in both Epic Seven and my Deo-y-Deo game.

Also, at least four times during the game I had MWs next to a city that turned out to have an archer in it, but the archer never attacked the MWs. It was as if the AIs were building the archers, but I got to attack and kill them before they could be used. This gives more evidence to a theory forming in the Apolyton strategy forum about the turn order. Logically, it would go

Human science/cash - Human city production - Human movement
AI 1 science/cash - AI 1 production - AI 1 movement
AI 2 science/cash ... etc.
But there's mounting evidence that it actually goes:
Human science/cash - AI 1 science/cash - AI 2 science/cash - etc
Human city production - AI 1 city production - AI 2 city production - etc
Human movement - AI 1 movement - etc.

I wish we knew for sure how this works...

Finally, what was up with AI civ restarting? Sirian posted something on the RBCiv forum that sounded like it was enabled, but obviously it wasn't. Well, whatever.

As always, my mailbox is always open at erik-at-dos486.com .

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