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Adventure Thirty-five: Mach Five

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Holy carp! I knew corporate resources were magnified on small map sizes, but that's amazing! It's TWO FOOD PER RESOURCE on Duel size, FOUR TIMES its productivity on Standard. Ok, I knew Sushi would be strong, but had no clue it would be THAT huge.

Going out of order a bit here, let's examine the Sushi numbers from the end of the game. The total corporate costs came out to 273, modified by about 50% inflation for 400. 16 food from Sushi gave an average of 6 specialists per city (most were over the health cap costing 3 food per spec). 6 specs x 6 econ units x 11 cities x +100% modifiers = 792 units of economy. Net 400 beakers, or over a sixth of my final production, came from the corporation.

I had researched to Radio out of habit, then realized it doesn't actually do anything here. :) No need for culture multiplying, and I've got enough happiness too, and Cristo Redentor is redundant. I did do Broadway mostly for trade bait in exchange for Sushi resources instead of paying cash.

broadway.gif - 12kbBut on second thought, with that much extra population, I do need the Radio wonders for happiness. :) Oh, and so much for trade bait: Broadway provides ONE hit musical on a Duel map?!

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Another overview. I've noticed that the AIs have had trouble bringing enough worker labor to match the speed of this game. Notice all the forests still around Thebes, and western Egypt and eastern Celtia are both still lacking in roads. India, though, has done pretty well at improving all their terrain, and not coincidentally, are my only tech rival. Hey, they have the Fast Worker, right? Wow, that's a UU that can make a serious difference here!

Once all my tiles were railroaded, I cut off my coal to recover the health. Other than railroads, the advantages of coal are pretty slim: messy Coal Plants, useless Ironclads, and a bit of Ironworks productivity. I'll have more to say about this in the Epic 24 report.

To assign the Sushi-powered specialists, Scientist vs Merchant specialization was pretty easy: Scientists in cities with Academies, Merchants in cities without. Most cities swelled enough to hit the limit on both, though. And I was forever fighting a battle to get the dang governors to stop hiring spies. The emphasize-beaker button doesn't do squat after the scientist slots, thanks to that 1 beaker per spy. And emphasize-hammers would get me priests. There's no way to get auto specialists to become merchants.

Great Person #9 was a Scientist (from another city, not Paris) for a fourth Academy. #10 Merchant went finally for Sid's Sushi. #11 for a fifth Academy. #12 a fourth despicable Artist! #13 Scientist for a 6th Academy, still just enough turns left to beat lightbulbing. #14 Scientist lightbulbed towards Fiber Optics. #15 WILL YOU STOP IT WITH THE FREAKING ARTISTS?! Ok, maybe that Salon wasn't the best civ choice for this scenario. I sure pitched a nasty curveball, and struck myself out on it. :)

rifling.gif - 64kbAnd I scored my second and last tech steal, Rifling from India. That's another 1900 beakers gleaned from an economic side project and saved for my researchers. (It did take two tries after an 82% spy attempt failed.)

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And this is amusing, I've beelined so deeply that the tech width available to research has overflowed the display space on the main screen. :) Yes, that's Drama on the left. I never got it.

T133 Combustion
T135 Plastics
T137 Computers (now solidly back to 2 turn research)
T140 Superconductor (just barely missed 2 turns here, by less than 100 beakers)
T142 Rifling (Stolen!)
T142 Genetics (needed health badly)
T143 Artillery
T145 Rocketry
T146 Satellites, now up to 2600 beakers/turn.
T148 Composites
T150 Fiber Optics
T152 Fission
T155 Fusion
T156 Ecology

While waiting for the EP and stationary spy for Rifling, I ran the bottom line up to Genetics, which put me a bit in the hole on production for Apollo and the spaceship. Apollo completed with only 6 turns to go on the last three techs! That meant I needed a swap out of Representation (losing 600 beakers/turn) to Universal Suffrage. I also dropped Org Rel since that doesn't help with ship parts, in favor of Pacifism's no upkeep (didn't want Free Rel in order to keep the +2 AP hammers for temples.)

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This is what a negligent spaceship building empire looks like. :) I've spread out all the parts, hoping for a launch in 10 turns. Each city got the biggest part it could build in 10 turns, except for the two inland hammer cities who would bang out a small part and then start the late-tech Engine and Life Support.

A late Great Engineer founded Mining Inc for a few 16! extra hammers in a few cities. With that (and hiring 11 Citizen specialists), Paris was able to squeeze in the fifth thruster on schedule with the other parts. I launched the ship minus one engine, which seems fairly common if Fusion is the last or penultimate tech.

Ramesses built the UN just as I launched, and I narrowly won the secretaryship to block any problem of loss that way. And Delhi went legendary, but of course that's turned off. :)

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Space Race Victory in...

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1720 AD. Wow, it still took over a century between Apollo and launching. And I didn't quite beat the halfway marker in 1700 AD as I'd hoped. So now part of me wants to "win" the scoring (although I'm shadow spoiled of course), but part of me also wants to see an even better performance trump that score. :) I'm really looking forward to these reports!

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I find the food graph amusing. Can you tell when I founded Sid's Sushi? :) And can you tell how each civ maxed out its available land? And what in the world happened to India's food production? (Health problems? I guess the graph must subtract food lost to unhealthiness?)

OK, so the AI challenge wasn't quite there in the late game. I plead guilty for not taking the time to dial in the game balance as in the Civ 3 version of the game, where a few AIs even beat the player to the space race. I expected a competitive game given Emperor difficulty and Civ 4's AI, but that wasn't so. Asoka's early performance on wonders and beating me to Economics I took as enough evidence for balance, and shipped the game off to Griselda at that point, but that was a fluke. Given equal land, the player can race far ahead of even Emperor AIs, and then post Sid's Sushi there was no competition at all. Still, the comments in the info thread sounded encouraging for players finding enjoyment in this scenario, and I look forward to comparing the results.