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Adventure Forty: The Illuminati

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So here's the 1 AD overview, as the Illuminati anti-science cabal takes over. I've got a nice comfortable seven cities. Rome and Antium are clearly strong Legends in the making. Legendary #3 could be either Ravenna or Arretium. I assigned Ravenna as the Heroic Epic since it's better located to produce units, leaving Arretium as a legend. Cumae, Neapolis, and Mediolanum are all simply resource grabs.

Let me talk about the Great Library. Usually it's best to avoid in culture games - you'd rather not have the scientists consuming Great Person Points away from producing Artists. But with the Illuminati in charge, we do want four or five Great Scientists in order to lightbulb up to Liberalism. So what I want is a way to make the GL work for a little while, then sort of shut down. The best way to do that is to split the GL and National Epic into two different cities, so once I've gotten enough scientists, I can turn on artists at Rome and swamp Arretium's scientists. Plus the wonder culture helps Arretium to legendary.

Statue of Zeus in Antium is entirely for the culture and Great Artist points. Neapolis is building Shwedagon Paya, but I thought better of that (we'll bulb Philo for Pacifism soon enough anyway) and put it on Research. My beeline to Music didn't quite work out; it's 1 AD and I haven't even finished Mathematics yet. Without Repyresentation, building Research is the best way to research at the moment.

I crashed my economy pretty nicely anyway, ending up at zero gold at 0% research. Shortly after that picture, I had four cities building Research, which finished Music in 16 turns total at 450 AD.

After Music, I had to research Calendar myself. The AIs are researching very slowly, plus they usually won't trade it until the Mausoleum goes out of play, which will take forever. Also you do need to knock Calendar out of the way in order to be able to GSci bulb Liberalism.

On the economic front, I eventually recovered to needing only 80% cash to break even, and directed the surplus to espionage. It was against Babylon as the most credible researcher around. Also, my relationship with Babylon can handle a few caught spies; we have monstrous +7 shared faith bonuses and Hammurabi won't declare war at Pleased.

I kind of underestimated the distance to Liberalism, though. Five Great Scientists can bulb Philo, Paper, Education, and Liberalism; but it takes a chain of prereqs to get there. Civil Service and Code of Laws are direct prerequisites, plus Calendar, Compass, and Metal Casting must all be knocked off the Great Scientist preference list.

My EP against Babylon eventually added up to a steal of Drama. Drama is easily my #1 most stolen tech across all sorts of games. It's often delayable until extremely late and makes a good way to cash out a few hundred surplus EP. And it's typical that one AI gets it early but the rest ignore it for a long time, so the one AI doesn't want to trade it. Drama provided gateway to Philosophy and I immediately bulbed into Taoism and Pacifism.

On the diplomatic front, little was happening. Judaism was the only religion on my continent. Babylon founded it, and both Stalin and Gandhi got it too, so I naturally adopted it. And I used one Praetorian to wail on a barbarian city until he qualified for the Heroic Epic.

Stalin attacked Gandhi and stayed at war for quite a long time. That was followed by a short Genghis-Gandhi war, then Genghis declared on HAMMURABI from all the way across the continent! Fine with me!

So I researched Currency, via building Research and the Great Lib scientists.

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Well, this is annoying. I'd intended to maintain parity by trading off my lightbulb bounty. That's certainly fulfilled - I've got monopolies on Music and Philosophy to trade around - but doesn't work against pissy tech misers. Two civs have Currency, two have Metal Casting, two have Code of Laws, two have Horseback Riding, FOUR have Construction - and they're ALL "Not Willing To Trade Away This Technology Just Yet".

civil-service.jpg - 14kbAnyway, I stole Metal Casting from Babylon. Traded for Code of Laws and Construction when they finally came available. Researched Compass via building Research and the Great Lib scientists. Then stole Civil Service from Babylon. I hadn't set out at all to do an espionage economy, and hadn't tried anything special to favor it (no Great Spies/Scotland Yards, or religious discounts) but it just worked anyway.

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Bureaucracy was totally not worth anarchy, with commerce mostly useless, and Rome configured for GPP and low hammers. Then I bulbed Paper and Education as planned; my Great Library city had now put out four scientists total and was working on a fifth for Liberalism.

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Liberalism in 1340 AD. Not super-fast by CFC standards, but still quite good given the Illuminati restriction.

I toyed with slinging Divine Right for the first time ever. I have only two religions (Judaism and Taoism), and little sign of getting any more. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism are all not on my continent. Christianity is, but Babylon has shown no desire to spread it.

But I changed my mind back in favor of Nationalism. The reason is the Hermitage: +100% culture at far less hammer cost than +150% from three Islamic Mosques (and nine Temples and eight Missionaries.) Plus the Taj Mahal is always helpful and lets me save the anarchy in going to Free Speech / Caste System. If the Divine Right wonders had any use, I might go there, but both are just minimal cash for no real help.

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