Overview at 1500 AD. I'm still easily on top of the scoreboard even with only the 7 cities. (Each of the 7 cities is holding quite a lot of land - most of the cities have no tile overlap out to even 3 or 4 ring distance.)
Memphis is the win clock at 128 turns which will drop with more great artists and that Stupa. Memphis is working 5 Artists, since I'm in Emancipation for a little while. Eventually I'll go back to Caste and Memphis up to 7 artists. But Memphis's location was definitely a mistake - I had no business making my Great Artist farm anything less than as strong as it could possibly be. One tile NW would have added two more flood plains and the wheat for yet three more artists. Or else just let Thebes be the GA farm since it had just as much food anyway. I placed Memphis there to leave room for a decent city at the stone. But the strength of the stone city had nothing to do with the culture win date.
I killed the research slider after Gunpowder, but even so I can still research in 8 turns at 0% science! Sankore is doing that.
I also used some espionage economy to keep pace in tech for a little while. Building the espionage buildings seemed worth it. Jail + Security Bureau at 120+220=340 hammers gets a delta of 19 EP/turn. 19 EP over 80 turns is a tech. Acquiring techs at an effective cost of ~400 gold (the opportunity cost of EP buildings and spies instead of Wealth) seemed worthwhile. And managing the spies will give me something to do. Over time, I would steal Construction, Banking, Engineering, Horseback Riding, and Optics. I parked my own slow-burn 30-turn research on Mil Tradition, figuring that would be * too expensive to steal * not needed for a while, but * desirable in the long run when everybody else learned Gunpowder.
What I found myself wanting was an espionage option for Steal Religion. I still only have two religions and never got any more.
Mycenian, that barbarian city, shortly flipped to me. First time I ever flipped a barbarian city.
And yes, that's the Forbidden Palace under construction. It requires 8 cities on a large map. Apparently the split second that I held Mycenian before disbanding it counted to qualify the build order. But then the build order was disallowed the next turn.
Monty-Hannibal war breaks out, fine with me. Charlemagne-Huayna war also broke out - distracting the two leaders that could conceivably attack me. (Ragnar's now at friendly.) Great! And Ragnar finished off England, then turned on Sitting Bull, once again leaving me happy.
I never properly realized this before, but the correct move for a slider-based culture win is to build cottages only at the three legendary cities. When the slider goes up, any other cottages are useless. Correct is to build farms at side cities instead, and use the food to run merchants. I actually did that mostly correctly here - only Pi-Ramesses out of the nonlegendaries has more than a handful of cottages.
I did build grocers and banks. Whether to build them was very easy to figure - each would cost 150 or 200 gold in Wealth opportunity cost. If it would return more than that by the end of the game, build it. This was true for the legendary cities with settled Great Artists, plus one other city that had surplus specialists and ran merchants.
A useless Great Engineer (how often do you see those words together?!) spawned from my capital, so he went for the 1-man Golden Age.
Ragnar did pass me in score after conquering some of Native America, and also wrested the AP residency, but nothing important came of that.
This was a highly amusing bit:
Qin Shi Huang is approximately a million miles away, with both Sitting Bull and Ragnar between me and him. Qin's threat factor to me is about negative one rhotillion. So this little move keeps FIVE of my neighbors busy, even Huayna who is not even Jewish but got dragged in anyway. Meanwhile I also sneak free "mutual struggle" diplo merits. Now THAT's diplomacy - getting your rivals to LIKE you while manipulating them into killing each other and letting you win.
(It's also completely absurd. If I had been on the receiving end of that Apostolic lunacy, I'd be screaming bloody murder about the AP right about now.)
Index | Next