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Beyond the Sword

After moving the warrior to a hill, I could see no reason not to found in place, so did so.

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With freshwater corn on hand, and Agriculture known, the build choice had to be worker first. On the tech front, none seemed immediately pressing, with no Mysticism so no religion. I went for Hunting in order to get scouts for scouting instead of warriors.

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The hut to the east helpfully popped Animal Husbandry. After Hunting, with loads of forest and hills at the capital, and gems to improve, Mining - Bronze Working was the natural path. Buddhism and Hinduism went on turns 10 and 11, so good thing I didn't try for that. The Wheel came next to get the gems connected by road. Bronze Working revealed no copper nearby, so I went for Archery next.

Amsterdam put out a total of three scouts, one warrior for police, and one archer for escort while growing to the happy cap of 6. Amsterdam built a settler next, and city two came on the river to the south with two food resources.

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Soon I went for Iron Working - with no copper around we needed metal if at all possible - and yes we had some right at Amsterdam. This was important not just for metal units, but also just for the hammers at the capital. It feels weird not to be pushing for some kind of slingshot or other wonder game plan, but I think that's the right call now. With this much good land, the top priority is to put out settlers and claim land as fast as possible, and that's what I'm doing. And with the gems at the capital, I'm doing fine in the tech race, so there's no rush for a Library/Academy type of trick.

The scouts soon revealed that Sulla gave us a pretty sweet start: strong capital, lots of room, lots of resources. A Gentle Adventure this certainly is. I don't usually dotmap for solo games; usually I'm scrambling to get whatever good sites I can grab before the AI. But here we've got lots of room and time, and also an incentive in the scoring to use every tile and cover the land. So here's the dotmap.

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Purple dot might require a bit of explanation. The location's in the middle of nowhere, with only one resource, so why is it a priority? It's got no fewer than TEN hills, and will be my hammer capital for wonders and Heroic Epic military.

So I expanded and filled to those city sites, with little of note happening. With three Plantation resources, Calendar was high priority so I beelined research there. Then Alphabet which I got first and traded for a few fill-ins, then to Monotheism. I revolted to Org Rel and Slavery together in 500 BC.

Hammurabi had founded Judaism, which spread by itself to no fewer than FIVE (!) of my cities, so I adopted that as well. There was no religious bloc developing anywhere - only Pacal had Buddhism and Boudica had Hinduism. So if I'm going to have only one friend by religion, I'm quite happy for it to be Hammurabi, letting me leave that border undefended and pacifying an aggressive leader.

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Shortly thereafter, Hammurabi demands that I cancel deals with the Maya, and I comply, cementing my allegiance. Also I notice that his favorite civic is Bureaucracy, which I'm also heading towards. So I research Currency - Code of Laws - Civil Service, trading for Monarchy, and revolt to HR and B together. I did get Confucianism, although wouldn't do anything with it, sticking to Judaism for diplomatic reasons.

Shortly thereafter again, Judaism also spread through to Ragnar and he converted, setting up a very nice alliance between Babylon, Vikings, and myself.

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hanging.jpg 705x362In the picture above, Rotterdam is building an aqueduct in prep for the Hanging Gardens. And the timing worked out that the Stone at Nijmegen came online just as the aqueduct finished. Rotterdam cranked out the HG quickly, giving all my new cities a very helpful kick up the growth curve. Also, it would be in line to produce a Great Engineer eventually.

The Creative trait is often maligned, but I made great use of it during this land-grab. Almost every city has a resource at second-ring distance, which came online quickly thanks to the free cultural expansion.

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And the land-grab kept on rolling, with me grabbing even two more city spots at Haarlem and 's-Hertogenbosch. Eleven self-founded cities should put me well in the lead: I'm at nearly double the score of my closest rival. Guess I do still know how to play this game. :)

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