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The Bold Shall Be Meek

Mansa now has three vassals and Ragnar has one. I have one sole shot in this game, and that's to get Mansa and Ragnar fighting.

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OK, I lied, there is one more tech I want. Steam Power's Levees will help my culture cities bigtime and that's only two techs away. This was dumb from an economic standpoint, though. It cost 5600 base commerce (times libraries and prereq discount), and there's no way the levees paid back over 15,000 culture. But it was not dumb when it traded for Round Two of the AI titans fighting after they made peace.

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Also Steam Power traded for Corporation (+1 trade route); hey, every little bit helps.

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OK, I complained about the random events, but this one could be a game-saver! (But seriously, 40 food is worth more favor than multiple millennia of providing resources or sharing civic ideology?)

buddhism.gif - 3kbHey, thanks. Hey, that's also the AP religion for a few hammers.

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Here we go...

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I've saved 6000 gold which should be enough to get me pretty close to the end of the game. And now that all the culture multipliers are up, here we go.

Mansa appears to be halfheartedly trying culture. Those cities must have several cathedrals, but they're only picking up 200 per turn, indicating Mansa isn't running the culture slider.

great-scientist.jpg - 71kbUm, thanks? Can I trade him in for an artist?

Here's an overview, not that anything's changed.

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united-nations.jpg - 36kbWait huh? I'm eligible for the UN vote?

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I guess I am the highest population after Mansa. Somehow. What is wrong with Augustus's and Ragnar's cities? Sizes 7 and 8 all over the place this late?

Well, since Mansa's vassals will easily elect him anyway, I voted for Mansa too for the diplo credit.

Anyway... this is not to be.

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Mansa has turned on his culture slider and each of those cities is picking up over 700/turn. I'm aware of the trick of sending spies to perpetually revolt a culture threat, but revolt costs over 2000 in his city and I can't make even half of that on the espionage slider. Might have a ghost of a chance if I'd researched early enough to Communism to get all the espionage buildings up. But I didn't do that.

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Cultural Loss in 1790 AD.

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I did turn in a good showing, getting 60% of the way to the goal and within 40 turns of winning.

This game was definitely possible to win, with better planning on the culture sites and a Great Artist pump, more luck on the religion distribution, not wasting 1000 hammers on a failed war, and perhaps spy revolts. I am not sure if I want to see somebody pull that off or if I would rather not feel so inadequate. :)

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But I beat Dan Quayle. And since Dan Quayle beats Augustus Caesar, therefore transitively I am still on top of the score chart. :)

Now, writing this report a couple weeks after playing the game, I have no idea what the hell I thought I was doing. Deity requires PERFECT play. Not weird junk like my CS non-slingshot, or trying to attack a Deity defender at catapults vs castles, or wasting research to do barely nothing towards my win condition. Frankly, I didn't even deserve to get as close to winning as I did; that only happened because Ragnar let me bribe him against Mansa to slow and distract the latter.

It's like I wasn't even trying to win. I KNOW what the right moves are: bulb Philosophy to trade for CS; spy revolt against castle defenses; attack at drafted rifles and cannons. And don't half-ass towards a win condition: culture must commit to good city sites, beeline Music, slam the slider right after Liberalism, and has no business attacking anywhere at all.

Sirian found himself in a similar mood once upon a time, just not being interested in the optimal moves and running off in his own direction instead. That mood presaged a lengthy absence on our grandmaster's part; I can't say if the same goes for me but we will see.

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