So other than that brief Viking war, it was just peaceful building. I beelined to Medicine to get Sid's Sushi going, then to Combustion for Creative Constructions (although it was another 20 turns until I finally got a Great Engineer), then Physics - Electricity - Radio - Mass Media, building all the wonders along the way and starting Civilized Jewelers.
I also finally got this flip I'd been aiming for. Babylon had grabbed that city from the Maya just as I joined that war, and I'd been pushing culture heavily in my cities on both sides in order to score the flip. Its first revolt had come a good fifty turns ago, but took forever for the game to roll that second flip chance in my favor.
So here's a current overview showing all 20 of my mainland cities.
And my happy little island.
I'm building the United Nations, because I most definitely want to approve Single Currency and Open Markets resolutions. Both give more commerce, which will account for more culture at the 1900 AD reckoning date.
I put all three +50% culture wonders in my capital, since it seemed that city would have the highest base culture to work towards the culture multipliers. It had fifteen towns plus Gems, and a number of high-culture ancient wonders.
With my economy soundly thrashing all the AIs (my tech lead is now somewhere north of 20), I went to 10% on the espionage slider, just to keep my options open in case I needed anything. I did do a Steal Treasury mission one turn when I needed the cash to spread one of the corps, but didn't do anything else with espionage.
Boudica and Asoka were still at war, and Boudica captured an Indian city, leaving enough of a gap that I could poach in with a new city. So I trained a settler along with Sid's and Creative execs, and put them all together. This struck me as just slightly absurd: a new city making 197.5 culture on its very first turn of existence. It easily seized control of the entire surrounding area. Combat settlers are back...
Another event, and another superfluous Artist.
I didn't bother with any foreign expansion of the corporations; my roaring economy hardly needed the pennies, and I wasn't about to start granting the AIs free food and culture. I researched Communism just to pick up the Great Spy, and with him fired my second Golden Age, since now I also had a set of three more GPs saved to make sure I could have a GA at 1900 AD.
Flips kept coming, first a Portuguese city, then a Celtic city. This latter one was important because it got me access to Islam, my sixth religion.
Yes, there's been a religion subplot going on here. I had acquired Judaism and Buddhism from my neighbors early on, conquered a Christian city, and self-founded Confucianism and Taoism. To maximize culture in 1900 AD, I need as many religious cathedrals as possible. I haven't actually built the cathedrals yet - making sure to avoid triggering a cultural victory before 1900 AD - but I've been laying the groundwork by spreading the faiths and building the temples. Any time a city didn't have anything else to build, it started training missionaries. (I'm still in Organized Religion for precisely that purpose.) Thank
God Soren for that handy Auto-Spread button.
Another important deadline was coming up presently - 1820 AD. This is 35 turns from the culture benchmark date, so this is the last turn on which I can build cottages that will mature into towns by 1900 AD. My workers had for quite some time been cottaging every single tile that could hold one, except for important resources. (Unimportant resources like Ivory and Sugar got cottaged over anyway.)
Flip number four... wow. This is a full core Portuguese city, first ring from his capital, founded 1640 BC! And I flipped it!
My target city in the ex-Viking area also flipped...
...as did another border Portuguese city near old Mayan land. These corporations sure are powerful.
Flip number seven, of a tiny Celt city, came, but I had to disband this one. Here's why:
I'm edging WAY closer to domination than I thought. I finished off the Viking war at about 40% land area, and expected to coast well under domination, maybe coming up to about 50% through border expansions and flips. I had absolutely no idea that the corporate culture would gobble up 25% of the world's land area and seven cities. Hold that thought a moment until the replay, as we move on to the endgame.
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