Nice set of map tradeoffs here, Ruff. We all love a 3-hammer city center tile by settling on marble, but that loses all three sea resources to gain no land food.
Moving NW seems like the natural location to settle. Trading clams for river sheep is a positive, and whales are junk until Optics. The net trade appears to be clams, whales, and 3 coast for sheep, grass hill, and 3 grassland including 3 river tiles.
Also, moving inland boosts the possibility of finding a strategic resource within the capital's radius. Sumeria is an appropriate civ for this variant: the Vulture is a good all-around melee unit and helps reduce the impact of de-facto disallowing spearmen and swordsmen. I doubt Ruff would set us up with such a UU and no copper. Vultures are also very good at rushing the AI who underbuilds axes, and on an overcrowded map, a good speedy rush might be a very good idea.
Anyway, the natural first move was to pick up the hut. I'm hoping for a map or scout to see farther inland, but what I get is 35 gold...
and contact with Korea, just four tiles away. Wonderful, a Protective civ right next door.
Although that takes the sheep out of play (Korea will own it), I still moved northwest anyway. The key is the circled tile there, which I'm hoping might have our copper, and also the circled forest hill, which will be useful to control for an attack on Seoul.
Then ANOTHER border appeared up on the tile I was considering. Oh dear. Well, my suspected copper tile is out of play. Even as a Creative civ, you can't steal a tile in first-ring from an enemy capital, at least not quickly.
Dammit, the right place is back on the original starting tile after all. The marble is still tempting but not worth losing two seafood. Losing another turn back to the plains hill does sting, but the extra hammer makes up for the move before the worker is even finished.
The civ to the north is Russia, and the Byzantines are also right here.
Damn, we need a lot of worker techs right away. Fishing, Animal Husbandry, and Mining are all needed for tile improvements, plus Bronze Working for copper and vultures. I guess the right order is Fishing first, pausing the worker for work boats, then Mining, then Animal H, then Bronze.
The $64,000 question: is the AI smart enough to attack out of its city with an archer to kill my warrior?
It is not!
I moved the warrior to the forested hill to continue to choke Stalin, plus make a contact on the other side.
Also notice that Animal Husbandry has revealed horses here at the start. That's good, but that occupies one of the exactly two possible tiles for copper. Anyway, the stolen worker started roading the gold and horses while waiting for Mining.
Build order was worker (paused after Fishing) work boat - work boat - archer (for police) - worker (completing the earlier build to avoid hammer decay) - barracks.
Bronze Working arrived in 2840 BC. Copper: none by me, but one at Moscow. Nice call by me on the choke!
The next move is obvious: a Horse Archer rush on Moscow. I have a tight time limit for this. Moscow is currently at 20% culture. Its archers defend at strength 3 + 95% = 5.85 strength, JUST less than that of a horse archer. Moscow will hit 40% culture on turn 50 and get the combat advantage, tipping my HAs from 65% odds to 35% odds.
Stalin then got the mojo to kill my warrior out of the choke. At frickin 26.7% odds.
Horseback Riding came in, and I whipped the stable, overflowed into one HA, chopped a second, whipped a third, and overflowed into a fourth. Researched Writing in the meantime to get some open borders going.
Stalin helped by moving one archer to my gold tile, letting a HA kill it in the open rather than city combat. That left only 2 archers in the city, and I charged in with my 3 HAs, not waiting for the fourth.
Russia eliminated in 2080 BC. Awesome! It cost me one HA (who lost at odds of 74% + 5% retreat). Just before the deadline of Moscow expanding to 40% culture.
Well, that was some quick action alright. But now what?
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