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A foregone conclusion

This is probably the only time in the history of Civ 3 this has ever happened, but I shut off research the moment I entered the Industrial Age. I can run all cash while waiting to see what he researches next to halve the price for me. And that cash will get me up towards the 1000 threshold for Wall Street which will come soon.

For the fourth or fifth time, we negotiated a new two-lux-for-two-lux deal.

What Zulu gets next is Nationalism then Communism. Sigh.... what a game this could be if the AIs were just a bit more intelligent. Many turns later, he gets Medicine. What a doofus. Meanwhile, I start moving up the Shakespeare's line. When I have Medicine halfway done, I trade Printing Press, Music Theory, and 50 gold for Medicine. Both those techs are useless to the Zulu, and it will even fake them out into building Bach's for a few turns before I finish it; and trading them saves me 600 gold worth of research.

He FINALLY gets around to researching Steam Power, and I follow. Joy of joys, we have coal. Joy of even more joys, Zulu doesn't! That's it folks, this game is decided. :)

Wall Street completes, but not in Persepolis. Yeah, I'd like to have the culture there, but we need the income sooner rather than later, plus Percy will have a factory, coal plant, hospital, and Shake's to build. At 2 turns to Industrialization, I trade Incense + Wines + 10 gold for it. By my count, the lux is useless to him and has been for a while: three content faces to start, plus six for temple-colosseum-cathedral, plus his own three luxuries, keep any size-12 city content.

Crap - he demands Free Artistry. (When'd he get Democracy?) The AIs rarely bluff twice. He can't conquer me attacking riflemen with riflemen. Still, I don't need the hassle, and I think I can beat him to Shake's, since Zimbabwe is busy on Suffrage and Percy has a factory. I cave.

He starts it in - eek - Hlobane, his FP city. I pay the 150 to investigate - 12 turns, but Percy can even finish its coal plant first and then get Shake's in 9 total. Phew. Now just to hope he doesn't turn it into a ToE prebuild; he probably won't, since he just got Corporation and hasn't got Electricity.

A while later, it's almost time for him to demand tribute again, so I divest myself of anything valuable: trade him Sanitation + Wines + Incense + 160 gold for Rep Parts + Spices. Once again, the lux helps me (I need it in size-13 cities) while doing nothing for him - and by the time he gets hospitals built, the deal will run out.

Wish I could've seen that I have rubber and he doesn't before doing that, though. From now on, I can deny any and all tribute requests, and wait for the riflemen to beat themselves to death on my infantry. Which the cities are now building tons of, having run out of anything else to build.

Shaka does get Universal Suffrage, but I'm a lock for ToE. I make another never-in-the-history-of-Civ3 choice: With Theory of Evolution, I select Economics and Refining as the techs. I want Adam Smith's so Percy has some sort of culture to build, and to see where the oil is so I can grab it on an island if necessary. Yes, there's two sources of oil in the world: one to the northwest near but outside Zulu borders, and one in a vacuum to the southeast. Out to the latter one I run a settler and some spare artillery to disband to build the harbor.

Of course, Shaka eventually can't resist attacking. But with no rubber or saltpeter, he attacks infantry with swords, rifles, and longbows. I have absolute naval superiority with ironclads, and sank about five presumably-loaded galleons.

We get a Leader with our first elite attack (after about six elite victories on defense), and here's my first look at the new Rename Unit feature in 1.29.

Here's an oddity. How the heck do you get a conscript swordsman? (Answer at bottom.)

Shaka asks for peace. I take it - I got my Leader and an Army victory for the Heroic Epic, and plus Adam Smith's is due to complete in one turn so I can now trade Economics (which will be useless to him) for his three lux.

Oh no, I'm five techs behind in the industrial age! That's pretty bad, right? Nope :)

40 turns later (after one peace renewal), he declares war again. I've got tanks. He has none of the industrial age resources. Tanks vs riflemen. No need to drag this game out any longer.

He somehow stayed in Democracy right up to the end, despite losing Universal Suffrage early on.

Conquest Victory in 1830 AD.

Only 2816 points, though. Xerxes the Great.

Just like Epic Seven, this game felt far below the nominal difficulty setting. The Zulu fell apart in the Industrial Age like a Monarch AI usually does, although most of that was caused by lack of resources. Until I had coal and he didn't, it felt somewhere slightly above Emperor in difficulty, but still far from a regular Deity game. Still, though, it's a Deity win, and so now I've won on Deity. :)

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Answer: The only way to get a conscript swordsman is to get a warrior from a goody hut and upgrade him. :)


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