So here's an overview shot at the calendar change, even though we haven't invented the calendar yet.
I've got eight cities, five of them strong core producers, and three outliers to snag resources. The silver at Chengdu and furs at Tianjin would be pretty important.
Hangzhou is an unusual case. I stuck it over there in the middle of Japanese land, in mediocre terrain, for resources I already had. Why would I do this? Well, you see above that I'm researching Music, right? Here goes; I've never tried this before:
I fired a culture bomb with the free Great Artist, to get cultural domination in no fewer than THREE enemy cities. Satsuma is dead meat for a flip. New York is right at the fringe of my city's influence; it might take until my city can expand one more ring (from 4000 to 5000 culture) but it should fall too. Edo has some culture built up; I don't know if it will eventually flip or not, but at least I've got dominance in the area for a long time to come.
This sort of trick was made possible by the Democracy game setup. Without a Muse providing me double cottage income, I wouldn't have the GNP to chase after silly things like the Music culture bomb.
Wait a sec. New York? Isn't that America's second city? Why in the world is their second city all the way over here? Where's Washington?
Oh, here it is. Um. Ugh. That is the most buttraped start I've ever seen. Squashed into a corner like a metaphor about Japanese train conductors. And Saladin's already declared war on Roosevelt, so he's not going to be long for this world.
Anyway, the Great Library popped my first Great Scientist on schedule (only 7 turns later), who of course went for the Academy.
And my research came to Civil Service in 250 AD. Thanks to Democracy, that's definitely much sooner than it comes normally; usually it takes to about 600 AD to get there without a slingshot. And I sidetracked to Literature - Music first too.
So it was time to double-revolt to Bureaucracy and Org Rel, and so it was finally time to pick a side on religions. I had to go with Hinduism. The religion had spread itself around quite efficiently: Huayna, Saladin, Tokugawa, and Roosevelt were all Hindus! Four friends is better than none. I'll just have to make sure to reinforce that border with Monty and Vicky.
So how is my GNP doing in this glorious age of democracy? Glad you asked.
Simply ridiculous. It did take some time to ramp up -- enough that I lost the Oracle slingshot -- but we're still outresearching everybody else put together. (This is the unmodded GNP graph, not my fixed version.) That's the butter; what about the guns?
I'm also on top in hammer production, by a fair margin. OK, most of that lead is thanks to Bureaucracy (that's the big jump shortly before the end of the graph.) But Universal Suffrage is giving me about 20 hammers from towns already, letting me carpet the landscape with cottages without worrying about falling behind in military.
Thing is, this lead won't last forever. The Democracy synergy package just accelerates you; it doesn't provide anything permanently different. My rivals, especially financial Victoria, will eventually narrow the gap, if not outright catch up. So I'll need to do some expanding sometime.
Speaking of Victoria, presently this happens.
OK, what is she up to?
There's her stack. Is that on an approach vector towards me, or Montezuma, or one of the Hindus on the far side of me?
Well, I set research to Feudalism (done in 3 turns), and started a few military units which could be cash rushed to completion if needed. But a few turns later, no war horns had sounded, and Vicky's stack was still plodding through my territory. OK, I'm not the one to be hoist by this particular petard. So back to the economic plan of researching up through Machinery to Printing Press.
Great Person Two came as another Scientist who went for a second Academy (definitely better than settling with cottage spam and without Representation.) Leader Three came as an Artist, thanks to the gene pool pollution from the National Epic. He could lightbulb Theology (useless), lightbulb Philosophy if I ever get to trade Theology sometime (not so useless but not reliable), settle (bleah), or culture bomb somewhere (not now, but I'll save him to perhaps do it later.) Leader Four came as a Scientist shortly later, who went for my third Academy.
Printing Press came, and bumped my 80% research economy from 276 beakers to 306. Education next, naturally, for the cheap universities. My workers continued cottage spamming everywhere, even on grassland hills.
I built a fairly late Hanging Gardens in my capital. I'm quite a fan of that wonder, even without Stone. It's fairly cheap, the health is permanently useful, the population boost just about pays back the hammers it takes to build it (definitely so with Slavery), and the Great Engineer points are always welcome. And it's easy to get late because of the aqueduct requirement. The AIs don't build aqueducts until they actually run out of health; they don't plan ahead for the wonder.
Also, I realized I was supposed to build the Statue of Liberty sometime around now, and started it in Shanghai, pausing it for a University when Education came in.
Hey, there we go!
And whoa, look at who the neighbors are!
Victoria's mystery stack was targeting this city, which flipped to me ONE TURN before it would've been obliterated!
And then, one more turn later, the war horns sound!
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