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The Emperor's New World

I moved the warrior, and could see no reason not to found on the starting tile, so did so.

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So here's the plan. This capital site has great early shield production with those forests, but not much commerce potential for the opening plays. I don't think an Oracle-CS slingshot will be possible here on Emperor difficulty, but an Oracle slingshot to something else is quite doable. So my plan is to grab something with the Oracle -- probably Code of Laws or Metal Casting -- then avoid Masonry in order to use the first Great Prophet to slingshot CS.

First things first, though -- research to Fishing while training a warrior to explore, then a work boat while researching Bronze Working.

The first warrior went north to explore. The south end of my maze showed tundra and ice, so there was a good chance that that way was a dead end. The first hut paid 43 gold, and the second in the north paid a nice little prize:

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Then the northern warrior got eaten by a panther at 31% odds. Delhi trained a replacement after the work boat, but that had to stay on police duty. That warrior finished just as the city grew to size 3, at which time the worker was started. Hunting followed Bronze, so that the worker could camp the deer as soon as it was born.

And in 3040 BC, I changed to Slavery and whipped the worker. Yes, I wasn't interested in chasing the honorable mention for not using Slavery. With excess food at this capital location and several other sites nearby, Slavery was just too powerful to skip.

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Next research was Pottery, for both the granary and the Metal Casting prereq. I put hammers into a settler until the granary was available, then immediately chopped and whipped the granary (actually double-whipped a settler and let the overflow carry into the granary.)

My warrior that went south and west to France got amusingly stuck after a French border expansion:

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So my scout found an insanely fertile little valley, and my first trained settler struck way out to claim it.

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Three different food resources, plus two dyes, in a location where a single border expansion will block off the maze. Bombay whipped an obelisk as soon as possible, then whipped a granary as well. Delhi double-whipped a second worker to ship over to Bombay, and also trained a warrior to escort it. Yes, Slavery IS that powerful.

And now it was time to research to and start the Oracle. I did not try for any of the early religions; it was higher priority to get the growth curve bootstrapped by improving the resources. These were my opening plays:

Builds: Warrior - Work Boat - Warrior (MP) - Worker - Scout - Settler - Warrior - Worker (sent to 2nd city) - Archer - Oracle

Research: Fishing - The Wheel (hut pop) - Bronze - Hunting - Pottery - Meditation - Priesthood - Archery - Writing - Animal Husbandry

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And so the Oracle completed in 1160 BC.

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I thought long and hard about whether to take Monarchy, Metal Casting, or Code of Laws. But eventually I decided that Monarchy was the tech I needed RIGHT NOW rather than waiting the turns to research it. We have wines, and a VERY tight happiness cap on Emperor difficulty with no Hunting or Mining happiness resources on hand. Getting into Hereditary Rule right now would allow my cities to double in size.

After Monarchy, I researched Writing (first one to get it) and signed Open Borders all around, then started research on Code of Laws.

Bombay whipped a library, and used its food production to hire two scientists, to land a Great Scientist as my second Great Person (after the first Prophet from the Oracle.) My workers connected a road through that Roman city so my cities could finally share their resources.

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Yes, a Roman city. I'd been targeting this area for city #3 to keep my empire connected, but Rome beat me to the area while I was busy with the Oracle. Well, we'll deal with this in due time. For now, my third settler had to plunk Madras down there to grab that land before Rome did. The location is a bit tight against the capital, but grabs silks, incense, and fish.

After much time, Code of Laws finished in 325 BC, founding Confucianism...

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in Bombay! Nice -- I'd much rather have this strong city as my holy city than my fledgling little village. And as required by variant rule, I adopted the religion immediately. The free missionary went to Delhi, so that Delhi could build a temple right away to get my Great Prophet out sooner, and also could build a monastery for the research and to train further missionaries. Rome was still religionless, and so he's quite the natural target to spread a faith to share.

And in 225 BC, the war horns sound as Genghis declares on Cyrus. Fine with me. I'd contacted everybody by this time, but there weren't any trading deals to be made early, as usual.

And finally in 50 BC my Great Prophet arrived. I needed three turns of self-research to bring Civil Service within his reach, but that happened, and Bureaucracy was reached in 25 AD.

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Here's an overview shot from just before that, showing my city locations:

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