Well... this is a shadow, a year and a half late. And I was already spoiled going in. I would never do this in a competition game... but I reloaded from 15 turns back to avert the dumb Parthenon mistake and start Sistine on time. For good measure I also chopped two forests into Sistine to make sure of it and also appropriately chastise myself. This isn't reloading to undo random results or use spoiler information; it's reloading to what was the correct strategic decision in the first place if I hadn't gotten stupid. I'm not trying to deliver a competitive scored result, I'm trying to prove if any victory at all other than diplomatic is possible on this map.
(Besides, if I hadn't reloaded, I would've just abandoned this shadow and you all wouldn't have anything to read now. :) )
Hey, Theology opened up Paper too. Let's go for Sankore too! But then I finally started "beelining" Optics.
But I missed Sankore by 4 turns, and this one was legit. I could've had it by chopping, too. This is about the fifth time recently that I've missed Sankore by a sliver; I really need to work on my timing for that. Well, the refund is as good as 30 turns worth of the wonder. I love stacking up all the religious building bonuses (AP, Sankore, Spiral Minaret), but I've only ever managed it once, and that was in Adventure 31 (Speed Racer) when it didn't even matter.
News of Great Generals in faraway lands is good (somebody's at war), but the Taj Mahal going already is bad. Yet there's been no news of Liberalism.
Ha! No resources my heiney! I recall this happening in other reports as well, so I won't object. It's not that big, though. Health is the real problem. Happy can be handled with temples and cathedrals and HR and the culture slider.
GP #3 Scientist, academy. GP #4 Prophet, saved for golden age when I get some civic techs.
Rome sailed a caravel to me just as I got Optics myself. The tech roster:
Tough question: trade Paper now, or wait for more contacts to look for brokerage? I think it has to be now. Can tell by the trade values that Paper is devalued. He wouldn't give any more than one tech, so I picked Currency as the only immediately helpful economic tech.
So contacts came, and I got trade value out of Paper twice more and Music once too, getting CoL, Alphabet, Drama, Monarchy. Babylon threw in his map, which actually qualified me for circumnavigation.
Pacal got Liberalism and slinged Sci Method. And oh my goodness, he blew through Printing Press and Democracy in about three turns each! Boston has an unhappy face, how did that happen, oh my god it's Emancipation.
But fortunately Genghis sent me a Buddhist missionary! Hooray second set of cathedrals! Also on the religion front, I converted Hammurabi to Christianity with missionaries. He has an easy fave civic diplo bonus (Bureaucracy) and is somewhat behind the pack to make a good trading partner for me. A Friendly friend would help a LOT to get around WFYABTA. And I even started voting for him in Apostolic elections to help with that. A while later, Rome attacked Hammurabi and vassalized him.
I researched Printing Press, hoping to land it in time for trade bait, and did. I have it and three rivals still lack it. But a problem - two of them are not friendly enough to trade. Solution - pop my 1-man Golden Age and go to NO STATE RELIGION temporarily! PP got Civil Service, Feudalism, Guilds, Calendar in trade.
That was the first breakthrough towards catching up, and I continued to research for windows of trade bait. Education picked up Banking and Construction. Then I researched Rep Parts (which also works well with my windmills and forests) into a great brokerage stepladder:
Rep Parts got me Liberalism.
RP + Lib together got me Astronomy.
Lib + Astro got me Economics and Gunpowder.
Gunpowder got me Engineering.
Economics + Gunpowder got me Nationalism! Seven-for-one on the Rep Parts research! (With help from a Philosophy gift to two civs for "fair and forthright" to achieve Cautious relations.)
I'm most definitely in contention now.
Hello most obvious event choice ever.
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