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To the Stars

So, back to building as we digest Japan.

I built Hagia Sophia in my capital. That's rare, but now I actually had quite a bit of terrain to improve and some time left before Steam Power. And Marble made it cheap. And the Great Engineer points would be nice too.

I slinged Liberalism into Nationalism, and researched up to Economics before double-revolting to Free Speech / Free Market. That would be the last civic change; I'd stay for good in Universal Suffrage / Free Speech / Emancipation / Free Market / Org Rel. And the free Great Merchant paired with a Great Artist that popped in my capital to start a Golden Age, and Taj Mahal completed on the last turn of that to extend the GA to double length.

Kyoto was quite a natural location to build the Forbidden Palace, so it did.

I researched Astronomy next, then beelined Biology, both techs with economic bumps. Next choice was tough - basically either to Railroad, or beeline Computers for yet more economy. I chickened out a bit and went for Railroad first to lock down the military side of things (Machine Guns are uncrackable until somebody gets Marines.)

Research continued rapidamente throughout the double Golden Age, hitting techs up to Railroad in three or four turns each. Great Scientists kept popping from Beijing, including the one from Physics. I built Academies in four core commerce cities (plus two captured Japanese cities also came with them), then started lightbulbing since the time horizon for Academy payback was now beyond the rapidly approaching end of the game. And one Great Merchant did a trade mission -- cash was more valuable than lightbulbing for beakers, since my cities had higher multipliers for beakers than for cash.

Friendly relations with both Saladin and Huayna let me leave my entire eastern half undefended, fortifying only the three border cities by Monty and Victoria. And even Monty got to +8 or so Pleased thanks to "fair and forthright", "you gave us tribute", and "mutual military struggle" against Japan.

And I declared war against Japan again (nobody liked him) in order to capture an island city with Wheat for +2 health.

I started sending a few galleons full of riflemen over to the New World continent. Not to continue expanding -- this game would end before any new cities over here made any economic difference -- but to capture resources. My home cities were hitting the wall on health. Happiness usually isn't a problem in the late game when you can spread extra religions and build the wonder package of Broadway and Rock N Roll and Eiffel Tower for +4 happy. But health becomes more and more of a problem as industrial buildings come in, and Medicine isn't on the spaceship path.

So here's my first prize, and it's a pretty juicy one:

Two health resources, which would double with supermarkets at Refrigeration, and also two happy resources to boot. Except for a small problem: I couldn't hold it! About a dozen barbarian macemen and longbows descended on the city. My three riflemen couldn't hold out against that!

Well, OK, I trained a settler from home to replace it, and some machine guns to protect it properly this time.

And speaking of Refrigeration, my next tech path after Computers was indeed Refrigeration - Genetics to take care of the health. And that was even enough surplus health that I just built coal plants in all the cities instead of distorting my research sequence to get to Plastics for the Dam.

And how about this? :

Huayna the Hindu had apparently spread Hinduism to all of Monty's cities, and suddenly Monty was receptive to a conversion. And now the game was truly over. Monty, Huayna, and Saladin were all Friendly Hindus, America was long dead, and Japan virtually so. Only Victoria didn't like me, but I'd kept myself far enough ahead of her on the power graph that she wouldn't attack me either.

Montezuma finally attacked Victoria sometime around 1750 AD, and captured some cities, but that wasn't of any consequence for me.

An amusing moment came when that Japanese island colony that I had taken just for the health resource managed to induce a flip. I kept Anjar, but shouldn't have, as it never made up for its maintenance costs.

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