The starting point looks obviously designed to settle in place, complete with blue circle. So unusually, I settled _first_ and used that information to decide the warrior's order. Of course I couldn't resist popping the hut, which gave a pretty nice map. (I am wondering if Sullla playtested popping the hut just to see what everybody will get.)
Dear ghod, could that scream Great Person Farm any louder?
Oddly, we're Spiritual but do not start with Meditation, so an early religion is out. The opening took me a bit of time to consider, but eventually I went with Fishing - warrior - work boat - work boat - Mining - Bronze Working. The idea was that work boats will help build a worker faster but not the other way around.
Also, there is SO MUCH FOOD at this capital (and the second city site) that Slavery whipping will be productive even pre granary. Hence Bronze Working before Pottery.
I actually decided to pass on the west hut for a bit until I could get a scout there. Too risky to stake my first warrior on a tile with no defensive bonus. I then later decided the same for a couple other huts.
Worker double-whipped (!) on turn 30, as Pottery started. Granary whipped on T39, Animal Husbandry started (if there are horses, we get our great UU and can skip Archery.)
This health event made me stop and think for a good long while. Two health is a spectacular long-term boon in a game with few and large cities. But Thebes is already at the happy cap right now, and adding two whips to that clock would be brutally painful. (The middle option is right out.)
In the end, I decided: no thanks. I think I'll have enough health, since I don't anticipate this game going into the industrial age. And with stone nearby, I do plan a bid for Hanging Gardens health.
Here's turn 50, 2000 BC, with city two and Animal Husbandry. No horses means we need Archery now. Stone nearby also means that we're clearly targeting the Pyramids.
Heh, are we intentionally imitating the Apolyton demogame map? Settle towards the opponents first. Settle on stone. Make do without strategic resources. No happy resources and a serious happy cap crunch. And lots of deep whip strategy. :)
And it's tough to find good production sites here. There's almost no grassland hills anywhere around. Plains hills are abundant, but they are not good for hammer productivity - you can convert food to hammers more efficiently with the whip. In fact, the highest productive hammer area is that clump of elephants. (Plains elephants at 1F 3H are functionally grass hills.)
So here's city three, destined to be my hammer capital and Heroic Epic. (It says Heliopolis now but then I decided that the elephant city had to be Elephantine.)
With No Tech Trading, the Oracle is comparatively less valuable since you can't leverage its bounty into more techs. So I decided to let Priesthood and the Oracle go, which fell in 575 BC. I got Writing, then it dawned on me that No Tech Trading also renders Alphabet irrelevant. So after Writing it was Masonry, need to make sure to get started on those Pyramids. Then Mathematics to get full chop value towards the wonder.
With the Pyramids coming, I let the cities grow ahead of time past the initial happy cap in anticipation of the Representation happiness.
I'd contacted Ragnar early, but went quite some time before finding any other neighbor. But then a scout finally pushed through to the southwest to find Huayna and Charlemagne. Victoria showed up a while later too.
So here's a popular time for an overview, the calendar change. Funny how it always seems that my research project at the calendar change is, well, Calendar.
Thebes has already built (chopped) both the Pyramids and Hanging Gardens, and is well on the way to Legendary. Memphis is also a powerhouse, working seven floodplains cottages, and will become my Great Artist farm later. Elephantine's elephants will be my Heroic Epic military city. Heliopolis is a role player, grabbing stone, and will just contribute what it can in the way of commerce and temples. Pi-Ramesses is also filler for resources and a good count of 10 grass cottages.
Alexandria was a bold grab towards Scandinavia, but I felt it necessary. This was the strongest site to command the gold tile (cow and 4 flood plains), although it'll take until the 100-culture expansion. It's also on a plains hill. I haven't yet decided if Alexandria or Pi is going to be the third legendary city.
I'm biding my time on city seven for the moment. I have several options, but none that are both reachable and good at the moment, plus I really need to see iron and claim it if at all possible. Those two barb cities really gummed things up. Mycenian is a real pain: it's on a hill and spawned with three archers. Not worth cracking until macemen, and that's if iron shows up somewhere.
Iron did show up at Pi-Ramesses, so city site seven was open. It eventually came far in the west, grabbing more resources - banana, spices, copper. Spices isn't so great a tile to work at 3-0-3 so I'm fine with it being in third ring.
Tech went to Calendar - even with Representation, the happy cap was highly constraining with all my high-food cities. Next came Iron Working which was also functionally a happy resource by clearing jungle sugar, then up the Aesthetics line to Music. Yes, an Industrious civ wants Metal Casting, but "what can wait must wait". Forges can wait, while wonders and a free great artist can't.
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