With the war completed and some decent land secured, it's time to think Forbidden Palace. Odessa looks good, to cover the western cities and Russia, and in a single player game I might have done that. But in a competitive Epic, I'm thinking bigger! Bayshore is exactly in the middle of the arc of the C, so it can cover the entire starting continent fairly well by itself. It'll build the FP, and later I'll move the Palace with a GL to the lands of the next foe I conquer, probably Japan.
You can see that the northern island is missing from that picture. In the early going, I had never built a galley in that area, and so never found the island until after it was filled by no fewer than FOUR civilizations!
380 AD: Patchogue completes the wonder it had been building forever as Hanging Gardens. It needs an aqueduct; I don't want to leave it stuck at size 6 until a 600-shield wonder completes. Plus the happiness will help with lux hard to come by in this game. (I built the Gardens for their own value; I had even forgotten it was a scenario goal! :) )
Japan demands Gems, is refused, declares war! Huh? Well, they've got Feudalism, so offensive action against them is pretty much a no-go.
"Recall the old Moscow siege troops to our southern peninsula. We need to be prepared for Japan's invasion."
"Sir, the Japanese have landed by Odessa in the west."
Wow, a nice fakeout by the AI. Odessa's got a single regular spear, and would be a major pain to have to take back. We grudgingly hand over 80 gold for peace, while putting Japan right at the top of the "To Be Destroyed" list.
Peace ensues. We construct lots of infrastructure: aqueducts, marketplaces, libraries, temples.
There's a ton of overlap in the Odessa-Tblisi-Sevastopol-Bayshore-Islip-Kiev city area. One of them will have to go.. or will it? Actually, here's an idea: Turn Islip into a worker factory, so it'll stay small and not compete for space. It'll use the SE cattle tile and one plains, and that's it. After building a granary, it can grow from size 1->2 just as it builds a worker every three turns. In the long run, this proved to be an excellent idea: this city built over a hundred workers by the end of the game. (Most were joined to cities after they built Hospitals.)
I play follow-the-tech-leader, except for researching Music Theory and Printing Press on my own. Both are quite low priority for the AIs to research. Interestingly, every other civ besides the hopeless Zulu stays at absolute tech parity the entire time - the minute any of them gets a tech, they all have it. That makes it really easy to buy in cheaply.
Bohemia, the capital, and Commack, a semi-tundra city, start wonders; we'll see what we get.
The Forbidden Palace completes in 700 AD.
740: Both Japan and Babylon demand tribute, get refused, declare war! Japan attacks Odessa with the sword I forgot they still had there! Uh-oh. Spear loses one.. two... wins one... two... three! Whew, that was close! After that, we'd be in phony war for a while; every now and then Japan would land two units which would get summarily executed by horsemen.
770 AD: Somebody builds Sun Tzu's, that's okay. The Chinese build Sistine Chapel... darn, I wanted that. I'm now hoping for Leonardo's in Bohemia, which is due in 3; Oakdale starts Bach's, due in 18; Commack goes on Palace placeholder.
China builds Copernicus, pruning the cascade, but it's hardly over. Hoping I get Leo's before anyone else gets Music Theory, which will end the cascade... Will I?
Yup, got Leo's. No wonders besides my Bach are being constructed anywhere now. So I can pull one of my favorite tricks, trade around Music Theory while it's still valuable but nobody can beat me to the wonder. Actually, I hold off for a few turns, since I don't want anyone using Bach's to start a new cascade that eats Magellan. I want the latter too, more so for its effects on this island map than for the scenario points.
Time to start pulling my other favorite strategy: a Leonardo-fueled mass upgrade of Horsemen to Cavalry. To do that, I have to AVOID ever getting Chivalry this whole time, since I DON'T WANT to build Elephants.
In 850 AD, Babylon has a brain aneurysm. They land a single warrior on my shores - our first battle - which promptly beats itself to death against a pikeman. Huh? Now they pay 10 gold for peace. Silly AI...
Did I ask to be the host of the World Regatta or something? Check this out:
"Sir, we've run out of Iron!" Doh! I'll have to take Russia's iron as soon as I get Cavalry. Russia doesn't have any Saltpeter. Nobody besides me has a surplus to trade except Japan, and they haven't hooked it up yet.
960: Whoops! Kiev got left undefended, and Japan lands three units next to it. I can cycle through cities during upkeep to build three horsemen in the area. But one fails to beat a Japanese spear. Japan captures Kiev!
That makes me mad...Continue...