Okay, it's time to plan out my Great People. It's turn 88, so I have 26 turns of Pacifism until the scoring checkpoint. It takes exactly 25 turns to reach the 300 GPP level from scratch in a city with two specialists, so I'm guaranteed to make at least three corporate founders from three cities.
These three founders would definitely be the three cultural corporations. I'm clearly heading for a quick cultural win; somebody more ambitious than me can try that 200-point peaceful domination plan. The culture corps can also earn points through city flips. And those three corporations are all mutually compatible, unlike Mining Inc which clashes with both CC and CJ. (Frankly, I wish they weren't. The corporate culture game would be considerably more interesting and varied if there were some choices to make between them.)
Rome, with the Pyramids and Engineer, will spawn a Great Engineer, first. This will happen only 6 turns from now, on turn 94, so Creative Constructions is a lock.
Antium, with its two Great Prophet wonders, must avoid running any other specialists, so that all the other cities can outpace it. Also, it's perfectly happy to continue working max hammers to build the Parthenon now.
The 200 and 300 point GPs will have to come from Neapolis and Cumae. I decided to schedule it for a 200-point Artist from Cumae (the actual artists will also help push that border vs Greece) for Civilized Jewelers, and a 300-point Merchant from Neapolis for Sid's Sushi.
If any city can further reach 400 GPP, it would have to be Rome again. It has the size and surplus food to run up to 5 specialists, and even 6-7 with a deficit temporarily. Now, the task of timing Great People from multiple cities by a certain turn can be a bit tricky. You can have one city able to reach X GPP and a stronger city able to reach X + 100. But the stronger city needs to stay _behind_ the weaker one until the weaker one actually spawns, or the stronger one will spawn first.
I'd have to time it for Rome to reach about 299 GPP the same turn that Neapolis hits 300, then run MAX merchant specialists in Rome for three or four turns just before 1 AD. I'd get either a Merchant for Cereal Mills, or another Engineer for Mining Inc. Well, 150-plus scenario points is surely reason enough to try!
Back to the present, the next research in that pic says Calendar, but I changed it to Currency. The reason is that Currency can trade for Calendar but not vice versa. Also, I was still woefully short on worker labor to improve any of the Plantation resources, and still not in need of happy cap help, so they could wait a bit. After Calendar, Civil Service was next, for both chain irrigation and Bureaucracy.
By the way, Caste System also gave my young southern cities a neat perk - access to artists for quick border pops. :)
I'd already figured out that I needed Cumae to be the corporate HQ city, just to have the culture push back that Greek border. It of course immediately started on a courthouse after that forge. Antium and its two-going-on-three wonders should easily culturally dominate on the India-England border, so it can wait for the corps.
My engineer arrived for Creative Constructions as planned.
I also completed the Parthenon in good time, 12 turns before the scoring deadline, which would allow some breathing room in squeezing out the third and fourth GPs on time.
My Great Artist also arrived on schedule for Civilized Jewelers -- but this was really close. Somebody landed the Music Great Artist only two turns after that! I hadn't thought Music to be reachable before 1 AD, at least not while taking care of everything else too. But that early Alphabet pop by India, and my Aesthetics getting extorted everywhere, pushed the world up there very quickly.
And Neapolis popped my 300-point Great Merchant with a comfortable five turns remaining before the deadline. Rome was right behind it with 296 GPP now, and with the remaining five turns, it would birth me a fourth Great Person.
It turned out to be an Engineer, at about 30% odds versus the Merchant. I was quite happy with this! Spawning another Merchant next would be quite easy by retaining Caste / Pacifism for a little while longer. This Engineer could found Mining Inc, and then the next merchant could also do Cereal Mills.
The question was where. Of course, Mining Inc competes with CreCon and Cereal Mills competes with Sid's Sushi, so I need some city to pass on culture and house those two corporations. I chose Rome city.
It's unusual to omit the capital from the list of culture cities, but it seemed right here. Rome wasn't on my border with any other civ, so building culture there wouldn't earn me any extra territory or flips. Rome didn't really have any particular advantage for the cultural win - its only ancient culture wonder was the Pyramids. And I figured that Rome could make great use of the extra Mining Inc hammers multiplicative with Bureaucracy, to be my primary wonder builder going forwards. (Anyone see the contradiction in those last two sentences? More in a bit.)
The official scoring at 1 AD:
+400 : 100 x 4 corporations founded and controlled. (CreateCon, Sid's Sushi, Civ Jewelers, Mining Inc)
+ 40 : 10 x 4 corporate branches (only the 4 HQs.)
That's pretty good though not perfect. Five corporations is certainly possible from that start by adding the Music Great Artist to my plan. I think all six would be out of the question: the AIs can spawn that Ethanol Scientist very early, and the player would have to race out a Scientist ahead of that, delaying the CreateCon Engineer until the 200 GPP mark, which would come too late to also reach 300-400-500 before 1 AD. Getting all six corps is possible, just not by 1 AD, at least without luck on popping the right GPs from mixed point pools.
Also, I passed on attempting any points for spreading the corps before 1 AD. I probably could have gotten out two or three executives from Cumae. But rather than crash my economy with corporate expansion costs and maintenance, Cumae behaved itself on a forge, courthouse, and
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