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The Armchair Circumnavigist

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Just before signing that peace treaty, I'd researched Paper, allowing Rome to cede me that map. That map turned out to be pretty extensive. Then I went to Cyrus, who wanted 50 gold for his map, which I paid up. That led to this:

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"Circumnavigation", without ever sailing outside my city borders. biggrin.gif 15x15

And so I rebuilt, with Delhi training three workers to replace the ones Rome had captured. They rebuilt all the improvements around my capital that had gotten pillaged. The build order of the day was Harbors; since I had all three seafood resources, that made for +3 health in each city and some extra trade route commerce. Delhi now completed the Colossus which it had paused during the war.

On the research front, Education came after Paper as always, then Philosophy to be ready with the Liberalism slingshot when necessary. Now I researched Nationalism, thinking to go to Representation, since that's the favorite civic of all three of my immediate neighbors. Fortunately, I happened to re-check the game info page before I finished that research and recalled the variant rule of staying in Hereditary Rule.tongue.gif 15x15 Well, OK, I'm sure Sirian did that on purpose. The favorite civic relations bonus would keep Napoleon, Caesar, and Cyrus all friendly with each other and aligned against the player. "Thanks, Sirian." I suppose I should truly thank him for keeping the map clear of Financial AIs, though.

Anyway, here's an updated overview.

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So now I've got seven cities. I'd just founded Lahore down there at two fish resources. It had only three water tiles to work, but it did have four windmillable hills. Right now I made a Spiritual visit to Caste System for a few turns just to pop Lahore's border with an artist. Neapolis is building work boats for Lahore's fish. It was a good thing I built this city, as later it would turn out to have my Aluminum!

I don't know what France was doing building Besancon there. Obviously the site has some future resource, but even more obviously, the city's going to flip to me long before that ever happens. It's _already_ down to 8% French. The city revolted to me once, but then got razed in a war by somebody else before it flipped.

bombay-cash.jpg 238x228The slow drip of Prophet GPP from the Oracle spawned my third Leader in 1360 AD, and he went for the Confucian shrine in Bombay. Bombay built its bank, market, and grocer, and this city was now supporting almost the entire expenses side of my economy. I'd even get to positive cashflow at 100% research later with Wall Street.

I kept spreading Confucianism, and Cyrus converted eventually. However, Rome screwed up my plans regarding religion with him. He founded Islam and converted to it! And canceled Open Borders so I couldn't finish spreading Confucianism there. Argh.

So I kept researching, to Guilds - Banking - Economics, trading for Optics, Engineering, Music, and Gunpowder. I adopted Free Market, and settled the free Great Merchant in Bombay (my Shrine city which would later have Wall Street.)

I kept researching to Printing Press and Replaceable Parts before Saladin showed up with Education, which meant it was time to take the Liberalism slingshot. I grabbed Rifling, and immediately trained a few to avoid a repeat of the Rome Incident. I toyed with the idea of using the rifles to resume conquering Rome, but decided against it. Rome had gotten Gunpowder via the Guilds path, and thus was at the doorstep of Chemistry for the counter to riflemen.

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And here's a look at the world GNP stage.

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Ignore that spike by Napoleon, that's just a Golden Age. I'm about to start my own by the Taj Mahal, too.

So I'm riding high on the economy, but I'm not entirely sure exactly how. I guess the Bureaucracy / Academy combination forms the foundation, with the Colossus contributing a good deal, and the Organized trait with cheap courthouses was keeping the expenses side down. And the Kong Miao accounted for that last big jump, right before Napoleon's. But how long could this go on? I'm not expanding any more anytime soon. And surely the AIs must eventually get mature towns, academies, and courthouses going too, right?

I noticed a strange inclusion in the list of available wonders, and with some imported Stone from France...

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I got the latest Hanging Gardens ever. That helped significantly: health was the limiting factor in most of my cities now, and also just the city size increase was now worth more food than it cost hammers to build the Gardens. Also, this city needed the extra dose of culture; that Roman cultural infringement from Cumae was starting to get annoying. Neapolis would soon reclaim its full 21 without much trouble.

Napoleon worried me with a swap to Vassalage, and with this stack...

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but then he declared war on Cyrus instead of me!

Along with that war, there were a few others going on. Khan and Cyrus were at war for a while, and the war I'd bought between Cyrus and Rome lasted for quite some time although it was mostly phony.

With all these wars came a steady stream of demands to me to join in. I refused them all, except for canceling deals with Khan once when Cyrus asked. That accumulated a lot of diplomatic penalties. Also, there was a funny drop in my GNP on the graph that I couldn't explain, until it finally dawned on me. I was down to a single Open Borders partner (Cyrus), and he went to Mercantilism -- so no trade routes!

Well, how about this? I gifted Economics to Cyrus, and flipped him another tech (he needed it, being in a three-way war) for the Free Market conversion.

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That turned the trade routes back on and fixed the dent in my GNP. (I threw in the Bureaucracy and Org Rel conversions just for fun. He'd flip right back to Vassalage / Theocracy later.)

Steam Power came in, and Coal showed up right underneath Madras. Heh, I'll take it.

But I was still notoriously short on trading partners. I started aggressively spreading around Liberalism, in hopes that _somebody_ would go Free Religion and start trading with me. Especially Rome, but he didn't. I got Divine Right in trade for it from someone, and took a flyer on the Spiral Minaret, and got it. (This is unusual; more often the AIs won't trade Divine Right until the wonders are gone.)

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It went in the same place as the Hanging Gardens for the same cultural reasons.

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And Khan demands Paper while I'm researching Astronomy. How far behind IS this guy?! He's been in wars, but hasn't lost any ground.

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