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The Emperor's New World

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And here you can see the lay of the land. Rome is my neighbor to the northwest. Cyrus is up north of Bombay, Napoleon is way out west past an ice land bridge, and Khan is across the way to the east.

Also here are my first five city locations. Madras and Bangalore were both kinda crammed in there to grab whatever land and resources I could away from Rome, including ivory at Bangalore. And as sad as Calcutta's location is, that iceberg is my next best site. It does have halfway-decent potential with two seafood resources, and also a Silver resource farther south. Finally, it does have several river tiles in the ice that can be watermilled later.

All of the new cities whipped granaries ASAP, then got some kind of border expansion (Madras used an obelisk; the others waited for religion). Lighthouses were also high on the priority list; remember we're Organized so they're half-cost. I trained two more Fast Workers from Delhi while bootstrapping the new cities.

Hinduism had spread naturally to Madras, and despite having founded Confucianism, I now switched to that religion. Caesar and Napoleon were both Hindu, and I needed some friends, both for protection and for trading. Napoleon would trade techs once I did that.

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I also picked up Sailing and Monotheism elsewhere. And with four different Plantation resources in my possession, Calendar most certainly had to be next. But it turned out Rome had it already, and I had plenty of trade-bait. So instead of spending 6 turns of my own research, I set course to Metal Casting instead. Rome was in "not yet" mode on trading Calendar, but a few turns later Napoleon researched it, and Rome flipped it to me for Alphabet + Meditation + Priesthood. All the plantations now went up.

My research on Metal Casting landed it at monopoly (this was one reason I went for the Oracle, to deny the MC slingshot to the AIs), which meant I had a lock on the Colossus in my capital. Delhi promptly built the forge, then started the wonder.

My Great Scientist from Bombay popped in 520 AD, and reached Delhi to build the Academy in 580 AD. My beaker production had gone from 60/turn while researching Civil Service, to 183/turn now with the Bureaucademy.

I sent enough Confucian Missionaries to Rome that he converted to the religion on his own, and I did the same.

And so I kept researching: Currency, Literature, Compass (harbors are nice for health), Drama (theatres are nice with dyes), Philosophy (Liberalism prep.)

And then disaster struck.

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Boom. Out of the blue. We shared religion and had several peaceful trades going, but he blindsides me just like that.

And here's the worst part: I had no metals. I'd been planning to rely on Elephants if necessary, but now I realized I'd NEGLECTED TO GET CONSTRUCTION. Saladin had it but refused to trade. And Genghis had some copper for sale, but wouldn't trade it. If it weren't for the variant rules, I would now go to no state religion because I desperately needed to trade with these guys, but that's verboten. I buttered up Genghis as much as I possibly could, gifting a tech, then trading three more techs for alliance against Rome, and signing Open Borders, but he still wouldn't cough up the copper.

To ram home how desperate this is, here's a look at my "military":

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Yeah. 3 archers and 7 warriors. That'll beat, what, approximately half a praetorian? And on the right is a slice of the power graph, also known as the "India is a Cupcake" graph.

At least we've got Horses. I traded for Horseback Riding from Cyrus, and blew out whatever other techs I could to pick up everybody's spare cash, totalling 600. I whipped a couple Horse Archers before losing the horses to pillaging. And I blasted research to Construction, due in 3, and PRAYED that I could get it before Rome pillaged my ivory. In that meantime, my precious few troops set up camp on the ivory tile, gamely defending that as more precious than the city itself:

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Next turn, that Roman elephant killed my archer on the ivory tile, but then my horse archer counterattacked to kill the wounded elephant, and the whipped archer in Bangalore replaced it.

Also, I used a noteworthy little micromanagement trick here. There was a gap of one turn between the times I whipped those archers and the time I could start building elephants. For that turn, I set my cities to build Research, which preserved the overflow from the previous whips so that it could be applied to the elephants.

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And when I clicked End Turn in 720 AD, Rome's stack assaulted my capital...

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but the RNG took a WILD swing in my favor, giving me three straight wins at 84%, 65%, and 32% for the offense!

And Construction came in this turn, and I madly whipped out elephants while setting research to Feudalism for longbows. Saladin already had it, but wasn't trading.

Much fighting ensued, during which I needed all my concentration to fend off the units instead of taking pictures. Two turns after the first round of elephant-whipping, I whipped out four more elephants. Two turns after that, Feudalism came in, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I upgraded five archers to longbowmen.

whipped.jpg 400x123Much whipping also ensued -- an average of four times in each city! Trying to do this with the no-Slavery extra credit would simply mean LOSING right here right now.

And after much meticulous whipping, positioning, attacking, and upgrading, I put together this stack:

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and nailed Neapolis with it.

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The tide had somehow, miraculously, now turned. I really needed that city just for logistical reasons, to get my empire connected.

I did not make peace yet; I planned to keep going and capture Cumae as well. Stone and Gems are both nice resources. War weariness was only 1 per city so far, and I had more than enough forces to do the job. Rome was gassed and now in trickle mode; a couple of Shock elephants were able to handle the few Praetorians that were still coming.

But then Rome snuck a stack past my front line by boat:

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Bangalore had only one longbow on defense; it could whip a second, but that wouldn't be enough to hold without another wild RNG swing. So we made peace.

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My kill ratio in that war (subtracting a few early barbarian units) was 28 to 10. Not too shabby, though not all that great.

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