The starting position looked almost identical to that of Epic Seven! Not coastal, no hills, but a lake, food bonuses, and many forests.
I built four warriors, then started the Pyramids. Same as in Epic Seven, I leveled off Persepolis at size 7 for no growth and maximum shields. The Pyramids completed as expected, and the settlers started racing out. Looking at the replay later showed me that Shaka had managed to fill his entire island before I even got a second city founded.
The game turned out to be set up almost identically to Epic Seven as well! Each civ's home continent had room for about 10 cities. I had two luxuries, while my opponent had three, and there were no more anywhere on the map. It's Epic Seven all over again!
I researched Alphabet and Writing at minimum science. That accumulated over 1,000 gold for me to burn off - and I couldn't! Even after researching Literature, Ceremonial Burial, and Map Making at maximum deficit 100% science, I still had 600 gold left. You can't run a higher deficit than you have maintenance and unit costs, which were both still very low.
Shaka built the Colossus, Oracle, and Lighthouse before I had any sort of shot at them. In 370 BC, I met the Zulu. They hadn't yet gotten out of Despotism - good - and didn't yet have Literature! I beat a Deity AI to a key tech! Establishing the embassy showed that Zimbabwe had 10 shields and could get up to about 12 -- which could beat me to the Great Library, so I couldn't trade them Literature now (they soon researched it themselves.)
As in Epic Seven, absolutely the best research strategy is to follow in your rival's footsteps, since anything he's researched is at second-civ cost - HALF price - to you. I followed his Philosophy and Code of Laws research at half price, then researched Republic at full. Once I got it, I decided to trade it. He's probably close to either Monarchy or researching Republic himself at half-price. Also, I don't really mind him revolting into Republic a bit sooner, since the AI is absolutely terrible at managing happiness under the rep governments with few luxury resources. For Republic, he gave me: Iron Working, Mathematics, The Wheel, Warrior Code, World Map, 25 gold.
There's a very subtle effect that came into play here. Most of those techs would have been minimum 4-turn researches at a cash surplus. But, you can't run a deficit if you're limited by the 4-turn minimum, and I want to do so. Why? Follow this. Most of my cities have libraries (we're scientific), but we don't yet have marketplaces. I want to max the science percentage now, while there's libraries in place to multiply the science output, but the cash output goes unmultiplied. Once marketplaces are in place, then cash accumulation will be more efficient. Making that deal opened up more expensive techs to research so I could leverage the full deficit. This is a very subtle concept, and it's understanding of stuff like this that makes for efficient and winning Deity play.
Forgot about this: Shaka came calling, demanding Wines. I cave. Also, I can see that my other luxury will be useless to him; since his cities don't yet have aqueducts, four luxuries are already keeping them all content. So I trade him my Incense for all he'll pay, which is Mysticism and 42 gold. Another subtle move to gain me an advantage.
I actually delayed the Great Library a few turns, so as not to get the Golden Age until after we got into Republic. Persepolis ("Percy" by now in my mind) completed it in 310 AD.Index | Next