Now, we haven't invented Electricity yet, but it seems that Peter can telegraph just fine.
Oh, well that's all right then. Peter bought Ragnar against Victoria too; pretty strange that the Ragnar AI would do that at such distance.
And hey, I know opportunity when I see it. Victoria does not have Gunpowder, and Janissaries beat anything that is not a gunpowder unit. And I just got my Taj Mahal into Nationhood. Time to go to war with a drafted musketman UU, a plan that shall be known as Operation Bloodbath.
(Hammurabi will not declare at Pleased, and also I'm a ways ahead of him on the power graph, so giving up Bureau seems safe.)
War with Victoria also (I hope) sets up things for the diplo victory vote. Peter and Ragnar are both becoming very good friends. I must manipulate the populations for either Hammurabi or Cyrus to be my election opponent. Shouldn't be too hard, by pushing Cereal Mills to my chosen opponent, and perhaps gifting cities.
Ooh, this is interesting...
(BTW, popped one )
Hah! The Apostolic Palace voted war on Victoria! And my vote was the swing. Funny that I had not spread Confucianism for its own sake at all (Shwed Paya for Free Religion). I'd spread Confucianism a bit just so I could build a few monasteries before Sci Meth in case I did want to spread it in the future.
That's about the fourth or fifth time that the AP has delivered me something nice pretty much by accident. So much for a "strategy" game. Anyway, here comes free shared-war diplo merits with everybody, while keeping them distracted.
"Small offensive stacks" says the game writeup page? Well, I've gathered 12 Janissaries from HE whip and draft, which is enough. So I conquered English cities. First they were weak enough that I could just slam without siege, letting one Jan suicide per defender. Then I used a spy revolt for one city, while some trebuchets made their way to the front. (The usual wisdom is that catapults are more hammer efficient to bombard. Here, the question isn't hammer efficiency, but unit efficiency, so trebuchets are correct.)
Unusually, for once I didn't care about the speed of my conquest. If anything, I want it to last _longer_, to keep everybody else busy and pile up diplo merits. But Peter and Ragnar both had pretty big stacks coming and I had to stay ahead of them conquering. Peter got ahead of me to one city and I had to bribe him to peace with Victoria.
My military maxed out around this arrangement: that's 53 units and now I have 30 cities. The remaining slots will go for a handful more garrison longbows for new cities and a couple naval ships in England's puddle ocean.
So here's England. Marching north towards London, Cyrus's stack was one turn ahead of me, and he was going to beat me to the precious English capital. But in diplomacy, Cyrus actually obeyed a suggestion of "Why don't you attack Coventry?" and diverted his stack the other way! Meanwhile, I already have a stack (Janissaries moved by boat, met by fast knights on land) ready to take Coventry ahead of him.
Why was the English capital so precious? It's got the Buddhist shrine, but that's not it. Two reasons. One, the CLAM, that's +1 health everywhere and I need it badly. Two, this:
Now every one of my cities can have an "overseas" trade route. (Curiously, that makes the population of the island city more important than that of London itself, so the island will get all the shared tiles.)
With England's demise, my next move was to flip back to Bureaucracy. This was entirely for diplomatic merits with Peter and Hammurabi. Both had dropped to a level where they can declare war (Pleased for Peter, Cautious for Hammi), but their fave civic Bureaucracy gets them back where I need them. For once, I'm playing a game that does NOT need to overheat the economic vector. I'll have plenty and plenty of time to get the United Nations. Rather, I can actually afford 100/turn (!) in civic upkeep just for a few diplomatic points!
I also swiped a silver resource from Ragnar, in what can only be described as a complete geographic impossibility. (I'm guessing that silver was popped and not there on the original map?)
This has never happened to me before, though: I actually lost a city to cultural flip. Didn't realize Nottingham was within Tarsus's border, or it would've been razed of course. I assigned 10 leftover units as anti-flip garrison but that wasn't enough. I ran afoul of the state-religion flip factor: since the attacker's state religion (Buddhism) was present but the defender's was not (I'm in Free Religion), the flip chance doubles, which outweighed all the garrison units.
So I continued to play follow-and-outrun-the-leader, getting to Democracy ahead of Willem, then the same for Physics. Another war occurred, with Ragnar attacking Willem. And I got my Cereal Mills, at +10 food, helpful though not dominating.
The 3-man Golden Age (4th total, all Mausoleummed) now came to adopt Environmentalism. Yes. Corporate costs aren't the issue. Max food is. And I also built Windmills over most of the mined hills. Since it's all about population, that's the way to go, and also the Windmills will actually give me a fair bit of commerce.
I also flipped to Org Rel and Confucianism. Peter was now Free Religious. The only theists remaining were Hammi and Ragnar, both Confucian, and Cyrus my designated election villain, a Buddhist. Go for it, especially since Org Rel's bonus is multiplicative with the Kremlin. Levees and Kremwhips got all my buildings done.
I defensive pacted with Peter, then realized that doesn't help for diplomacy. Peter gives me +1 but all the rivals give -1.
Ragnar built a zillion units and came to the verge of eliminating Holland, then asked me for help in the war. I had to accept for the diplo credit, and also bought Peter into the war too.
And of course more AI Tactics Theater. That is the last Holland city. Ragnar's stack is more than enough to blow that away. But Ragnar's stack has a single lone trebuchet, and the AI dutifully sat there for a dozen turns bombarding the city's defense.
(And what's with all the Flanking II knights? Flanking II gives immunity to first strikes, which knights already have.)
Back domestically, I started to spread Cereal Mills to raise Hammi and Ragnar's populations, but it wasn't worth the effort. +4 food for them doesn't grow much population, and none at all when there's no cap space, or when the AI just hires specialists.
Researched to Refrigeration, Medicine, then to Mass Media, and Genetics for health and Combustion for Public Transportations. I built no laboratories or factories. No stinky pollution here!
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