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Adventure Forty-five: Hannibal's Muse

OK, this map script is kind of awkward to take decent overview screenshots. I expect the report day threads to be some of the widest we've ever seen. lol.gif - 1kb

(This Adventure is so awesome it should be in wiiiiidescreen!)

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This map is decently fertile, with food and grassland. But one constraint is the coastline, which makes it hard to find Legendary sites with any more than about 8 or so cottages. I spent about half an hour poring over the map until picking Hadrumetum and Kerkouane as the legendarys. Kerkouane will have two sugars cottaged (same productivity as a flood plain.)

For my speedy culture victory, I'm trying a few points that I've read about but haven't really done before. One, I'm having a separate city farm my Great Artists, Utica. It's got the biggest food of any city besides Carthage. Two, I will have helper cities (Hippo and the "C" by Kerkouane) overlapping with the legendarys in order to work and grow cottages for them. Three, we will talk about a bit later.

You can also see everybody's research on that scoreboard there. That's all thanks to that first settled Great Spy. That's not a bad gig actually. Even if he doesn't produce much concrete benefits, the spy information is very useful. Reminds me of the Empath Guild in SMAC granting infiltration. And it does translate into tangible benefits, by allowing me to continually sell the AIs techs just before they finished researching themselves. Gets me cash, diplo credit ("You have shared your technological discoveries"), and pushes the AIs into WFYABTA with each other.

The biggest limiting factor right now is worker labor, especially after I had Carthage whip out two more settlers before and overflowing onto the Hanging Gardens. I aggressively whipped workers in other cities too, often double-whipping one and completing a second with overflow.

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Another limiting factor was barbarian activity around Kerkouane, which was handled (slowly) by overflowing a couple whips into chariots. Ha, never seen a barbarian city spawn with Axemen. Really fun for chariots!

chariot-axeman.gif - 27kbExcept that I pulled a Betty Hur, neglecting to realize that axemen can counterattack chariots, but then had the chariots win on defense anyway. lol.gif - 1kb Then the barb city actually built a spearman which stopped that.

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Anyway, eventually I captured the city. The location pained me, one tile away from claiming seafood in either direction, and all those hills that couldn't be worked for food. But I had to keep it - needed the copper Right Now to build the Colossus. And hey, it saves me a settler, and that's a 3 hammer city tile.

The southern barb city flipped, being within 3rd-ring of Kerkouane.

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Yeah, Kremlin is broken. Overflow to nearly complete a wonder in one turn?

I had research running far ahead of where I could keep up with building. I went to Currency for the free income, Calendar, Drama way before theaters were ready, and Literature. Music in 450 BC. eek.gif - 2kb And remember this is with only one of the big research wonders; what in the world did the Oxford+GL folks manage?

My next scheme was to research Theology myself, and GIFT it to Ramesses to let him build the Apostolic Palace for me. He actually started research on Theology himself, but then changed away when I founded the religion. Don't think I've seen the AI do that. Anyway, that worked, giving me +4 Apostolic hammers per city for free.

Ramesses easily hit Friendly sharing both religion and civics.

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Ho yeah. Ramesses and I just shot up the tech chart together. He very helpfully traded me monopolies on Construction and Metal Casting and Machinery and Engineering and even Divine Right (getting me Spiral Minaret.) I continued research to Philosophy (founding Taoism), Paper, Education, Printing Press.

Rome and Greece both went hands-full. They later both attacked Mansa, who eventually vassalized to Rome.

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Now the pool of Great People was a mess. #2 came out as a Spy again, at 30% odds. This one I held for a golden age -- but he could do something very useful in the meantime, he could go scout out the entire ring map!

#3 was a Merchant, best thing seemed to be to settle (with gold:beaker skew over 1:2 thanks to Oxford, plus Representation, this is over 15 beakers.) GP #4 yet another Spy at even lower odds, save for another golden age I guess.

Then I got my Great Artist farm up and running, though Carthage's pile of wonders would keep pace with it. #5 was a artist from Utica, settled. #6 was a Merchant from Carthage, save for GA. #7 was artist from Utica, settled. #8 was Merchant from Carthage, best thing to do was a trade mission to fuel cash rushing. #9 artist from Utica settled. #10 artist from Utica saved for a great work. #11 engineer from Carthage, and the best use was to clock Versailles just for the culture. (Engineers can often do a very convincing Artist impersonation.)

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Liberalism - Democracy in 680 AD. I expect that to be a popular play overall; we know it's very good for space. I really anticipate comparing this Oxford-driven Liberalism time to the other research options, like Great Library alone, Library/Oxford, Library/Pyramids, Statue/Pyramids, or some Great Lighthouse combination.

Now it's time for Phase Two of my speedy culture plan.

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