Now the United Nations came around to mess with me.
They voted in Environmentalism, putting the screws to my corporate costs bigtime. Okay, I really need to get control of that UN stewardship. To accomplish that, I started gifting things around diplomatically: old techs like Guilds, and resources.
An unintended effect of this map's generous resource distribution was few AI-AI resource trades. They all had almost everything, so compatible trades were quite scarce. This meant that the AIs never collected "you have supplied us resources" diplomatic merits, but I took advantage of the situation myself by trading and gifting resources whenever possible.
Also, I hit on the idea of getting Frederick into Buddhism, since most of the world was Hindu. Germany's cities held a mishmash of religions, with no strong singular presence. I trained Buddhist missionaries, but instead, he went to Free Religion. Scratch that plan. (Also, that brings to mind another risk factor. I REALLY don't want the UN going Free Religion, killing my Sistine Chapel culture, Org Rel cathedral construction, and most of my diplomatic merits!)
Strangely enough, the United Nations brought up Environmentalism again on the next docket. (The AI routine for choosing resolution proposals must involve throwing darts. Blindfolded. At a hyperspatial dartboard whose dimensions exist entirely outside of reality.)
Anyway, dare I DEFY this resolution? I think I must. So I took Free Market (for free, still in the Taj Golden Age), dropping my corp costs from 340 to 200, lifting a huge weight off my economy. The defy caused some happiness problems, but constructing a few extra temples, markets, and then Hollywood fixed that.
But next, the UN did propose Free Religion. Of course I didn't want this to pass, but of course everybody voted for it, and I definitely couldn't sustain a second defy. Bye bye to all that lovely Hindu diplomacy and the Sistine Chapel.
Then the next secretarial election came around.
WTF? I'm WAY on top of the population scoreboard, but I'm not eligible? The only possible reason is that defying means forfeiting vote eligibility? Why doesn't the Civilopedia mention that anywhere? Hello? I hate playing a game where the rules aren't even known to the players.
Well, I voted for Pericles since the +2 diplo would push my nearest neighbor very close to Friendly.
Anyway, I started collecting my flips. First York (actually a while ago, before that UN nonsense, but the narrative reads better this way.)
Whammo! +70 points for flipping a corp HQ! And +50 points for controlling the HQ, and +30 for the flip itself!
I swear that this was total dumb luck, far more than any strategy. Think of how much had to go right for that. I should have gotten Cereal Mills for myself, but my capital misfired twice on a high-odds Great Merchant. Then out of 40 cities on the map, Cereal Mills just happened to get founded within range of my culture city Antium. And Antium was only in that spot to snag the Stone in first-ring to build the Pyramids early. And Antium was only chosen as cultural because it built the Oracle, in order to keep Prophet points out of the capital.
All together now, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
FIVE! I hadn't even noticed that Sparta had ever done its first revolt. I only had 60% in the city tile, which usually isn't enough to force a flip. Guess I got lucky.
ARGH: Two of the flipped cities came with Christianity, but I had no possible way to spread it to the legendaries. Monasteries had gone obsolete, and Org Religion was locked out by the UN!
After researching Economics (first), PP, RP, and trading something for Gunpowder, my next research path was Chemistry - Steam Power (enables railroads!) - Assembly Line. I almost diverted to Democracy, but then Frederick who had discovered the tech spawned a Great Engineer, and I conceded the Statue of Liberty. (With the UN having forced me into Emancipation anyway, Democracy held no other benefit. Executives consumed all my spare hammers, way ahead of any thought of Security Bureaus.)
Thanks to our ancient muse of Plastics, I built the Three Gorges Dam ahead of time concurrent with Factory construction, and oh did that take me back to Civilization 3. Just like the old Hoover Dam prebuild swap, instantly transforming every sleepy medieval city into an industrial powerhouse.
I had to cancel Open Borders with Peter, since he kept sending Standard Ethanol executives to my cities to knock out Sid's Sushi and its food production.
Speaking of Ethanol, I'd like to acquire its corporate HQ for ever more scenario points. I toyed with the idea of running to capture Moscow before 1500 AD. Russia was very small, with only three cities. I could probably produce enough cannons and cavalry to do it, which dodge the Machine Gun's ability of +50% vs Gunpowder. Tanks and Artillery both do crack machine gun defenses, but the techs were out of reach before 1500 AD. Ultimately I decided against the plan; I could get just as many points by peacefully expanding my own three chief corps.
Or my own four chief corps.
In 1300 AD, halfway through Electricity research, I realized another way to get points. This probably wasn't in the original intention, but I absolutely can't resist. Before 1500 AD, I can research Rocketry and found ALUMINUM CO! Even better, Aluminum Co is compatible with the three culture corps! (Thanks to the Combustion muse, the definitely lesser-used Flight path to Rocketry was considerably and vitally cheaper than the Steel - Rifling - Artillery path.)
And I'd kept a Great Scientist on hand to do it. Actually, Rome's collection of wonders had kept putting out ever more Great People, all the way up to the 1600 mark now. It birthed a Great Prophet, which I paired with the Merchant from Economics to spark my 2-man Golden Age now to help with that Rocketry research. And now it also spawned a Great Engineer, which I burned on the Pentagon just for lack of anything else to do. I had no worry about military conquest. Both of my closest neighbors (Elizabeth and Pericles) had gotten to Friendly thanks to favorite civic. And I was staying quite competitive on the power graph, still keeping a machine gun in each city.
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