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Adventure Fifty-three: Mansa's Muse

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Technology had continued racing ahead through all those wars. Almost all the units came from my Heroic Epic city (as always, if only the HE is producing military, the HE doubles your entire civ's military production) while the rest kept building science stuff.

My technology target was Refrigeration for Cereal Mills, which would be worth more food per city than Sushi. (I intentionally designed the map with low resource counts for both food corporations.) It was worthwhile to bounce to Slavery briefly to kickstart executives by whipping. I had plateaued on the cottage curve, with most core cities up to towns but the Byzantine cities still in resistance, so could afford a few turns out of Emancipation. And whipping the executives didn't hurt because it was just war-weary population that got killed anyway.

I also finally researched Liberalism at this time, because its civics would pay back its research cost by the end of the game. Free Speech is supposed to overtake Bureaucracy for productivity, although it takes a surprising amount of land and time for that to be true. Here I had about forty towns empire-wide so assumed Free Speech would be a slam dunk... and it turned out to improve my research from 1560 beakers to 1564. I guess I picked it at precisely the right time.

Free Religion was also worthwhile for the same reason that academies had been, being worth comparatively more than competing options with the science slider at 100%. (Although I always hate how that civic doesn't work right for happiness, since only Org Rel and not Free Rel lets you build missionaries to spread the extra religions. Sci Method had long come and gone, no monasteries available here.)

Refrigeration is just one tech from Superconductors, the usual space race beeline. So I did, although it took quite a while to actually get any labs up. Cities were too busy with executives and missionaries to get the labs up quickly. And I was trying to rely on Universal Suffrage for hammer production, but that never works as well as you'd expect either.

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I took my leftover Byzantine units over to conquer Egypt too. Talk about fast teching: The war began with cannons and grenadiers as my main units, and then a couple TANKS arrived to mop up the last city. That brought me somewhere over 50% land area. Yeah, the easier exit from here would be domination, but 1600 AD won't be at all competitive for fastest conquering. I've been set up for space all the way and to space we shall go.

I had saved a couple Great Scientists for Academies in Egypt's cities, but then realized they'd produce more by simply lightbulbing. I triggered the 2-man Golden Age right now, and the 3-man came with the engineer at Fusion.

I actually adopted Environmentalism shortly before the end. Forgot about it earlier since Free Market is always mandatory with corporations, but not here. The health helped a lot, and the commerce from wind/watermills was all good too. Hey, this might be just about the first game ever where I used all of the bottom-row civics; usually I'm in Representation/Free Market thanks to corps and corp-fed specialists.

I finished the spaceship tech tree in a mere 14 turns! from that picture above, which included Radio - Satellites - Composites - Fission - Computers - Fiber Optics - Fusion - Medicine - Genetics - Ecology. That's better than 1.5 turns per tech here in the endgame. That's why I designed and played this game; I had to see that endgame tech racing at over 5000 beakers. But it really didn't last very long and wasn't much of a payoff for slogging through all those wars. Kind of odd that I didn't enjoy my own sponsored game so much, but hopefully others had less rotten luck in the war department.

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Anyway, Space Victory in 1740 AD. Nothing worth commenting on the spaceship end-game; it went as usual. That was still pretty darn quick; even despite that midgame war trouble, I did ramp up to a truly massive economy at the end. So there is a comparison point for anyone else that went to space. As often happens, I partially hope that I win with the best performance (as a spoiled shadow game), but also hope that result might be beaten by an even better performance. We'll see on report day.