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Scramble in the winter sky

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This is Victoria's stack of doom. It's still three tiles away from my city, so I've got time to prepare.

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This happened one turn _after_ an Apostolic Palace resolution offer. Bad timing on two counts - if that had been the other way around, either I could've directly Stopped the War against myself, or stop Genghis's war against Lincoln in order to buy Lincoln in against Victoria. Lincoln wouldn't help me out against Vicky while he was already in a war - and neither would anyone else.

Well, here's a textbook case of how to scramble a civilization to emergency defense. I mustered literally every unit in my empire except for one policeman per city, and bumped the luxury tax back to 10% to compensate for the loss of police units. I also turned off science for a few turns to get cash for archer-longbow and axeman-maceman upgrades. I whipped the walls in Nubian and catapults in two cities nearby.

hurry-castle.jpg 183x57And THIS was painful - dear lord was this painful - but it had to be done to secure the city.

So I mustered this stack on defense...

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which held... easily... when the AI just pillaged and didn't attack the city. :P

huayna-victoria-war.gif 387x27But I got a great bit of good news - Huayna joined in on my side against Vicky, all by himself! That would entirely take care of any danger - Vicky sent no more units at me after that initial stack.

So with a handful of suicide catapults and a bunch of macemen, I wiped out Victoria's stack.liberalism.jpg 598x305 While waiting for the no-talk clock to tick off, I finished the Liberalism slingshot into Nationalism. Moscow had to start on Taj Mahal pronto since Huayna also got the tech at the same time. I traded Printing Press to Pericles for Guilds, and the pair to Justinian for Astronomy, netting another three-for-one.

So, a couple turns after I started the Taj Mahal:

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Oh crap. That means I must do this:

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(Fortunately, Moscow would pop another low-odds Great Engineer before it came time for Creative Constructions.)

So golden.jpg 427x135with a Golden Age and the war taken care of, it was time to return to domestic planning. I'd chosen Novgorod as my National Epic / Great Person farm for two reasons. One, it has the most food of any of my cities, with five bonuses. Two, it's also still got six forests that I won't chop, making it the eventual National Park city too. So while in the Taj-induced Golden Age, I did this:
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- use the no-anarchy to revolt to Caste / Mercantilism / Pacifism for max Great Person production (also to Free Speech)
- hire max artists in Novgorod for the 8 turns
- on the last turn of Golden Age, revolt to back to Slavery / Org Rel to continue building.

(I had Free Market available, but Mercantilism actually seemed superior for the moment. On a land map, foreign trade routes aren't worth much. And highly specialized cities in a culture gameplan are well served by customized specialists.)

vladivostok.jpg 398x267Also, I founded one more city in the tundra, whose sole purpose was to complete the ninth set of religious temples for the third set of cathedrals. It would never contribute any economy; it would just build temples, then the espionage buildings, then units.

justinian-pericles-war.gif 357x26Back on the foreign front, I'd gotten some great news, with Justinian and Pericles, the two AI leaders, going to war with each other. Despite Pericles' score and tech lead, Justinian actually got the upper hand in this war, capturing at least two border cities.

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And America was still at war with Mongolia, and winning, but presently Lincoln came asking for my help. I rarely declare wars at the AI's behest, but it sure seems right here. For declaring war against the most backwards AI who's clear across the map and already losing, I get with my pleased neighbor a net swing of at least +3 diplo (+1 "you gave us help", +1 "mutual military struggle", and avoid -1 "you refused us").

So I agreed, and absolutely nothing came of the war. Zero battles were fought, and after America made peace, so did I, paying a whopping 40 gold for the privilege. I'll pay 40 bucks for +3 diplomacy any day.

cultured.jpg 384x340Well on track.

apostolic-revote.jpg 365x369An Apostolic Palace re-election came around, and I was no longer a candidate with Lincoln having spread Buddhism to more population than I possessed. But check this out - thanks to my abstention, the election was inconclusive, with neither Justinian or Lincoln getting the required tally! So I stayed in state as the AP resident! It seemed that I lost my ability to propose resolutions - but I did keep the +2 hammer bonus for religious buildings.

And here's an overview shot as we move into the endgame.

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