First off, I insist on moving the settler. I actually DON'T want coastal access. Those seafood resources take an entire build each - minimum! On top of the initial work boats, they'll require ships to defend them and possibly even more work boats to rebuild in the event of later war. And my capital must have as many towns as possible, not blah coastal squares. And those flood plains look pretty tasty.
After two turns of scouting (with Imhotep helping), here's what I found.
The best site I can see is red dot. It pulls in freshwater corn, cattle, three flood plains, and an oasis, for +10 food total. That's enough to support all 8 one-food cottages in range of the site. It's also VERY near Elizabeth's capital, but I have no worries about that culture war with the Pyramids coming in 3500 BC.
There's also gold up north - out of range of a good capital site, but very enticing to claim with the first settler.
The first research took a bit of thought. I actually decided to slip in Mining first before Masonry in order to give the first worker something to do. (Mined plains hills are quite useful early for an Imperialistic civ.) This would delay the Pyramids and ownership of the corn for a bit, but that might actually be good. The corn is useless until farmed (my 3-0-2 oasis and 3-0-1 flood plains are better). And maybe I can just put off Agriculture for quite some time if Elizabeth happens to farm that corn for me. (Ok, maybe the AI can literally be farmland caretakers for the player. )
And sometimes the huts throw out all that planning and just show it's better to be lucky than good.
In trying to keep my build count down, I built no scouts, relying on the first one to do as much scouting as possible. The starting build order was worker - warrior - settler (at size 4) - warrior, and research went Mining - Masonry - Animal Husbandry - Bronze Working.
So here's the Pyramids. I toyed with a swap to Universal Suffrage to spend my 100 hut gold, but decided against it. Not worth the turn of anarchy, and I'm dismayed to learn that the +50% Imperialistic bonus doesn't discount cash rush cost. (Whyever not? It does reduce whip hurry cost!)
With Bronze Working, I double-revolted to Rep & Slavery. Next was Archery. My garrison and escort units needed to be efficient per build, which meant Protective-enhanced archers, not junk warriors.
And city two, collecting another cow, gold, and a bunch of flood plains to support the gold. Like my capital, it was intentionally not coastal to avoid the expensive seafood resources. It started on a monument, but ended up throwing away the hammers in favor of a granary, then library. Monument is about the weakest item possible on which to spend a build point.
City three, to grab two healthfood resources, and run 17 towns. It would be a slow starter - no food resources until Iron Working - but great in the long run. Both of my first two cities match borders perfectly with the capital with no overlap, of course to still get maximum production out of each city and each build.
After Writing, I beelined right to Aesthetics and Literature. Thanks in large part to the gold at Prague (21 of my 28 beakers, a full quarter of my research!), Literature would come only a few turns after the Great Engineer. With no marble in sight, I'd definitely want to whack out the Great Library the cheap way.
In addition to the free scientists, Aachen also ran two regular ones, to get a jump on the Academy. Next came Alphabet to get on the trading loop.
City four came as a reach into the southeast jungle. I really wanted the Rice; that makes a full boat of granary health resources, and granaries are definitely worth their build slot. The site only makes for 14 towns after the four resources and two junk tiles, but that will have to do.
City five came in the jungle, at a marvelous collection of resources. Actually, I probably intend to simply build towns on most of those; sugar and spices are both fairly weak for actual production. Though the location kind of defines slow start. Kind of silly that the right tile to work is the 1-hammer tile, since a size 1 city cannot starve.
And yes, I really am researching at four turns per tech already with that Pyramids - Great Library - Academy start.
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