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Bold but not Beautiful

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Here's an overview. That is my entire land grab, six cities worth, and Calakmul is a pretty weak filler. I'm on track for the Merchant - Civil Service lightbulb. One hitch was the inability to whip the market without Bronze Working. But just working some mines will get it done.

I fail to see what Sullla's vision was for this game. It seems like a completely garden variety setup, nothing special at all about it. "Fortune favors the bold"? Exactly what bold plan would do anything here? An elephant rush? I don't think that works on Deity, the AIs get to longbows too quickly.

The religion map has broken quite badly for me. My two neighbors, Mehmed and Mansa, each have a minority religion. The large group of buddies is Jewish, but they're all far away and no immediate threats. I have to stay neutral for the moment. If there's any saving grace here, its religious collision between Mehmed and Ragnar, and between Mansa and Huayna.

Mansa went to Aesthetics - Literature quickly. And he's got Marble. So there goes any chance of the Sistine Chapel towards culture. Meanwhile, Rome Oracled Metal Casting.

I got Code of Laws second, behind only Augustus, and parleyed it into a nice trade haul of Calendar, Aesthetics, Horseback Riding, and a 360 gold payout from Asoka that must have been a wonder refund.

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Well, here we go, although it wasn't really particularly fast. Four AIs beat me to CS, and I got only one trade out of it. That probably wasn't worth it. Better to have just cranked scientists for an Academy (starting much earlier at the library instead of waiting for the market) and I could've researched there just as fast. Particularly considering that the Merchant was only worth about 75% of the Deity level cost of the tech.

CS to Asoka for MC + cash, then MC to Asoka for IW + cash. Whoo, Mehmed had gone into WFYABTA, but then he came OUT of it! We hit the rule that there is no WFYABTA between civs in the bottom half of the scoreboard. Mehmed swapped me Feudalism for CS!

events-mansa.gif - 12kbWhoa. Good news: Mansa is keeping himself busy. Bad news: he's on the rampage.

But on another note entirely...

mehmed-univ-suff.gif - 4kbOh, my neighbor got the Pyramids? Where, I don't see them in Istanbul?
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WAIT, are you serious? Talk about your apples of temptation!

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And a wandering scout of mine found Mehmed's stack. It's over on the far side of his territory, and composed mostly of swords and axes. Elephants beat both, and so do macemen, far from which I'm not.

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What's fun and rhymes with nylon? PILE ON!

If there's going to be any way to win a Deity game, here it is. I'm going to snatch the Pyramids from my neighbor undergoing a three-civ dogpile. (No, I hadn't quite figured out exactly what to DO with the Pyramids. Representation is nice, but as Financial and not Philosophical, I've got no truck in pushing Rep specialists over cottages. I just wanted to conquer them because they're the Pyramids, and to make a statement here on Deity.) And once I crack the border city, it shouldn't be hard to conquer on to the Ottoman capital and acquire a strong land base to compete on Deity.

And remember how I had avoided Bronze Working for a long time in order to bulb CS? Well, that meant that several dozen forests were still around, and a good bunch of them could even multiply by the Bureaucracy hammer bonus. So I chopped out a decent size army pretty quickly.

I stopped taking pictures for a while to concentrate on the war. I moved in with a stack of about five catapults, defended by elephants and spears. While the catapults bombarded, I researched Machinery and added a few city-buster macemen to the stack.

Unfortunately, Mehmed landed Engineering and built a castle right away. And all my catapults could do no better than 3 XP, meaning no Accuracy. (No tech for Theology, and Bureaucracy was too important to take Vassalage.) So my catapults sat there bombarding, and bombarding, and bombarding, for approximately forever.

And... this whole plan failed. Mehmed kept reinforcing his city faster than I could bring more units myself. Once my forests dried up, I could add maybe one unit per turn, while Mehmed had far more. And Mehmed kept reinforcing Ankara against me despite LOSING CITIES on his far side to Ragnar!

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Eventually I threw everything I had against Ankara, but fell short by about four units. Then the next turn, Mehmed got Guilds, and had another reinforcement stack from nowhere, including of course instantly about six knights. There went my stack.

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And to add insult, that war left me at 29/30 on the Great General bar. And I got no 10 XP unit so needed a GG to get the Heroic Epic. Mehmed surprisingly didn't invade me, and when I looked his stack was gone from Ankara. It was actually _safer_ to stay at phony war with him, since then he can't build up to sneak attack. And if he did invade, he would not be in "refuse to talk" and I could just take peace.

Fortune certainly did NOT favor the bold.

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