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Marketplace Competition

250ad.gif 318x84So in the next few years, little happened. I got several more wonders: the Great Library, Sistine, and Hanging Gardens, all with the resource doublers.

rome-gp.jpg 487x247With my civ still in dedicated Great Person configuration, Rome was still cranking out the GP points. The next Great Person (at 600 points) I hoped would be a Great Merchant for Cereal Mills. But instead a Scientist spawned at low odds, from the Great Library that I finished a bit too soon. The academy in Rome seemed the right choice, multiplicative with the Bureaucracy commerce, National Epic specialists, and Great Library scientists.

And, after that:

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Nuts, I missed Cereal Mills by less than three turns.

But wait! Look where it is - in Bombay right on my border! I have no fewer than THREE cities positioned within 4 squares for cultural pressure on it. And I've even already got 34% Roman culture in the city, from Antium. Go go flip!

Well, I did get that Merchant from Rome, and I wasn't sure what to do with him. Every single option seemed quite valid: lightbulbing Paper, running a trade mission, starting a Golden Age, or settling. Well, settling might be the best call for a long-term spaceship win, but we have another scoring deadline at 1500 AD so I want a quick payoff. As for the Golden Age, my Oracle/Shwedagon wonder city was going to cash out a Prophet soon and that would be a better choice to burn that way. Finally, the trade mission was strictly superior (1500 gold vs 1000 beakers) to the Paper lightbulb, so I did so and fed the money into deficit research.

GP #7 did cash out from Antium as a Prophet for the Golden Age, which I promptly triggered. GP #8 came during the GA as an Artist from my capital. He settled in Antium to keep pushing culture pressure on Bombay. I also set all my espionage at Gandhi to see inside Bombay and see if I could do anything to it. On the last turn of this Golden Age, I finally passed from the specialist civics to comfortable old Slavery / Org Rel, and whipped the last two badly needed courthouses.

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Presently, I started seriously spreading the corporations. Sid's Sushi came first, especially for my southern cities with late starts, which needed the powerful kick up both the food and border-culture curves. Then Civilized Jewelers, since it directly turned a slight profit right away (assuming the courthouse), and real profit after a bank in the city and Wall Street in the HQ. Finally Creative Constructions, which was the weakest corporation of the three, providing only +6 hammers. About half of the CC branches didn't get established until right before 1500 AD.

I also built several Machine Guns until one was stationed in every city. They're expensive, but certainly each more effective than two longbows, both in actual combat value and on the power graph for deterrence.

So, how was I running my economy here? It was not yet a cottage economy; all my core cities were focused far more on production and wonders. Nor was it really a specialist economy any longer; after all the corporations were taken, I mostly stopped running specialists. There was a little bit of a trade route economy, with the extra Corporation route, but nowhere near that of a dedicated Great Lighthouse game. And it wasn't a great person economy; even though I spawned bunches of them, they hadn't lightbulbed anything. Monk economy was right out.

I was staying afloat by something I can only call the resource economy. Thanks to the generous hand of our world's creator, we've got gold and silver and gems and sugar and spices all over the place. All these resources were producing tons of commerce! My cities had the commerce equivalent of several cottages each, with no need for growth time, plus also the food or hammers from the resources. (I couldn't even take screenshots with the resource indicators turned on. There were SO MANY of them that the indicators got in the way of seeing anything else!)

With that economy, I beelined to Banking. Banks would be stronger than usual here, with Civ Jewelers directly providing cash. But more importantly, five banks would also immediately enable Wall Street since we already have Corporation technology. Cumae built that national wonder the instant it was able to do so, adding over 100 gold per turn.

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Frederick finally built the United Nations. I saw no need to waste 1000 hammers of my own, since I was comfortably in the population lead and had a sure election seat. Frederick won the secretarial election, although I thought I had fairly good diplomatic relations for the most part.

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I next focused on Nationalism, after someone else turned up with it so I needed to start the Taj Mahal. Presently, I spawned a second Great Artist from my capital, who went in Antium along with the Hermitage. No, this is not at all the best way to set up for cultural victory -- but it IS the best way to attempt flips of 3 enemy cities including a corp HQ. The scoring for speedy victory is minimal in this scenario.

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For the second consecutive game, I was dallying around on something else when the AI tech leader got Education, and so lost the Liberalism slingshot. Well, I guess it's okay, since there wasn't anything big I needed to slingshot myself, and looks like Frederick won't get a whole lot of use out of his Superconductors. :)

However, that did remind me that I wanted Liberalism myself to get into Free Speech, and the Taj Mahal GA would save the anarchy. We made it so.

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rome-culture.jpg 452x316Also, I finally need to settle on my third cultural city. Cumae and Antium are two, no doubt. Rome should have been the third, but I made the biggest bonehead play ever by founding Mining Inc in the city. At the time, I figured that culture in Rome was a waste since it wouldn't push borders or acquire flips, and Rome only had one wonder (Pyramids) so it didn't have any particular favoritism for culture. But that didn't take into account Rome's future wonders. It now had three more, making it a great culture candidate. But Mining Inc's headquarters permanently locked out BOTH CreCon and Civ Jewelers. What a dumb move.


No other choice is ideal. Neapolis is weak on hammers with that water terrain. Mediolanum has great border location, but a very late start and also little hammer capability. Ravenna shares both problems. So, just by process of elimination, legendary city #3 has to be Arretium. At least Arretium retains six forests for National Parking, and can add to the avalanche on my target Bombay. Arretium built its Hindu Monastery and Temple now, in time to kick in 1000-year doubling before the time slowdown in 1800 AD. Also, I realized that Hollywood was still available, and built it in Arretium during the Taj Golden Age.

Also from the above overview, I can comment all around on my flip chances. Hastings (up top) is dead meat, swamped by monster Antium and also within the 5000 level of Rome. York is also losing to Antium, already under 50% English in the city tile. Bombay is a tough nut; it's 60% Roman now, but boasts six anti-flip units.

But presently...

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YES! Halfway there in Bombay! York also revolted a couple turns later too.

I'd slammed all my espionage at Gandhi, hoping to get a look at Bombay. It was pretty cheap, only 450 EPs, and soon arrived.

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Wow, that's sad. The poor thing is running 100% CULTURE SLIDER in a completely impossible attempt to win our culture "war". And he's got 2000 gold, which must have come from that Great Merchant he spawned, but India is too small to be able to burn the gold. But the AI doesn't even realize it's got gold to burn, and runs merchants instead of artists.

Anyway, most importantly, I've got 7% chance of the flip each turn, and it looks like Gandhi has no chance of building enough police units to reduce that. With over 50 turns left until 1500 AD scoring, I should get this. The binomial theorem says that 50 tries at 7% chance each makes for a 97% chance of at least one success.

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