The tactical problem is Constantinople. It is the Buddhist holy city and easily dominating culture in the area. It will swamp Moscow and I will not have that copper for a long time. Constantinople is at 300 culture now and will reach 500 before Moscow even reaches 100, staying ahead of Moscow's accumulation on the copper. And Constantinople is going to make 500 culture for 60% defense before I can attack it.
I want to take it out, but that will need at least six horse archers to be sure of it, and I've already blown my load of forests and the whip anger clock.
My practical voice says, stop building inefficient military, you've got your 10 XP unit and marble, get on up to the Heroic Epic and double your military production. My gambling voice says to do that by way of Oracling for Aesthetics.
A couple turns more exploration revealed that Justinian just had too much military. He has three archers, two axes, and my bane, a spearman. Ok, wait.
So my horses started traveling north to make more contacts...
and found another unbelievable opportunity! Just ONE ARCHER on defense in Sitting Bull's capital, and not even at full fortify!
But this was too good to be true. My first horse archer had only 36% odds on attack and did zero damage, though did retreat. I couldn't risk my not-yet-healed 10 XP horse archer at 50% odds, so waited a turn. In that turn, Bull moved in a spearman and archer, so scratch that plan.
Also I got a bad break when Moscow suffered a Byzantine revolt on the second turn after resistance.
Anyway, I brought the HAs back down towards Seoul for a shot at that. Four HAs against two Protective archers...
and the RNG decided to stick it up my butt. I won at 63% but then lost at 70%, 74%, and retreated at 77%. Argh. Then Wang whipped out two archers in two turns and I couldn't close the deal. Worse, Moscow also decided to go revolt to the Byzantines. So I'm back down to just my capital. When did I get so bad at this game?
Well, OK. Enough stupidity. Time to retrench back to what should have been the right plan all along. Get my butt on up to Literature and the Heroic Epic, while researching to Construction, and do this the right way. The right way was Oracle to Aesthetics, trading that for Alphabet and a bunch of techs.
And my still-opponent Sitting Bull trickled a few units at me, which my surviving horse archers cleaned up to pop my Great General. Wonderful, that will get my catapults to 5 XP.
Much better. THIS is the right way to build an army. While doing that, research to Drama and Music.
I took a temporary peace with Wang Kon (if only to avoid stupiding myself into suiciding more horse archers), then declared war again.
Wang had four archers, but two were wandering around outside the city. Rather than give them a chance to return to the city, I blitzed Seoul with horse archers right away. This time the RNG smiled and I lost no units at 75%, 60% (retreat) and 99%.
Justinian is next, but first a brief pause since I just realized I can do this:
Four turns of that equals four vultures (one upgraded from warrior, I actually broke the variant rule for a couple turns until I realized he was still sitting in the capital.)
My first Great Person spawned as an artist, defying the odds from the Heroic Epic. He pulled the old bulb-Music-to-replace-himself. That made it safe to trade Drama and Literature to Justinian to get Monarchy before declaring war on him.
So that war started (my fifth war in BC times!). I advanced my catapults, and saw Justinian make a grave tactical error.
His two spearmen, the units I fear most, tried to make a move on Seoul. That put them right next to my catapults, which shredded them with collateral. I even benefitted from Barrage II promotion giving +10% vs melee.
And I captured Constantinople with the loss of just one catapult (the RNG throwing me kind retreats at 30% and 50%.) Justinian even kindly built the Buddhist shrine for me just before!
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