Of course, the next question is, what's on my holiday wishlist?
The city center tile gets stone, omgduhobviously for the Pyramids.
The best economic tile is one that produces 7 food. That gives more economy per tile via specialists and GPP than any commerce resource or town. There are two ways of getting to a 7F 1H tile: corn/wheat with Biology and levee, or freshwater lake fish with lighthouse and Moai. I'll discuss which in a moment.
In fact, any tile other than 7 food represents a long-term productivity loss for shorter term gain. Every happy resource goes obsolete at the Globe Theater, and health at the National Park. Metal and horses go obsolete with Gunpowder and related techs. Hammer tiles are not a consideration; food tiles outproduce hammer tiles via whip after Globe Theater, or just hiring engineers or Angkor Wat priests also converts food:hammers at 1:1. And anyway this OCC should get all the hammers it needs from chopping and settled super specialists times Bureaucracy.
So really, the question is whether to throw in other resources in order to more quickly reach Drama and Biology, at the cost of lowered productivity afterwards. A similar question is whether to make the city coastal, giving up two 7-food tiles in favor of 6F fish, but gaining health.
In the end, I decided to go with exactly one carefully selected non-food tile: plains hill forest IVORY. This packs the biggest number of boons into one tile that I can possibly think of:
- It's an early happy resource, of course.
- It's the only happy resource with a hammer boost.
- 4 hammer tile from turn 0 for work boats.
- 5 hammer tile early with a camp since that does not remove forest, unlike a gold mine.
- 6 hammer tile post Railroad, convert the camp to a mine.
- Elephants should be a Good Enough unit for the medieval era, freeing any need for copper or iron tiles.
- I feel like we want exactly one hammer tile for early wonders (Pyramids and Moai) and this serves that purpose.
(I briefly considered putting the ivory on the city center instead, but decided stone was too big a cost to lose. Putting stone outside the city didn't seem a good idea, it's too weak a tile to actually work. And the quarry is slower/later than a camp.)
The other 19 tiles will all go for max food. Now let me come back to the turf or surf question.
Freshwater fish lake gets to 7-1-2 super fast, with just Moai Statues and lighthouse, instead of Biology and levee. There are some costs to this approach, though. One, we need to sacrifice two tiles to saltwater for coastal lighthouse access. Two, we can only fit 11 lake tiles, which creates a conflict come corporation time: either Sid's Sushi or Cereal Mills will only have 11-13 resources rather than 18-20. Three, water tiles can't have choppable forest.
Still, I'm pretty sure the fish approach is stronger. I considered a rule disallowing freshwater seafood, but decided against the weight. Let's leave the game wide open with options. To rein in the fish approach just a little bit, I did intentionally draw the coastline to allow only a limited number of lake tiles given the proximity of saltwater ocean. (I can see 11 lakes. 12 inland water tiles is possible only as one continuous water mass, which becomes an inland saltwater sea. I can't figure out any way to get two separate lakes of 12 tiles total without editing beyond the city radius or giving up coastal access.)
So here's my final official start. The land food should mix corn and wheat for trading. I put in one crab for extra health, which actually was stupid compared to putting in one rice, which gives its health sooner (granary instead of harbor) and also contributes to Sushi. (Crab not clam because Shaka has multiple clams and might trade me one.) No other happy resources, I intend to get that Globe Theater up post-haste. It took a bit of finagling with the rivers to get every tile riverside, but this worked.
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