Yes, I'm already seeing the pitfalls of economic expansion in Civ 4. Edo was probably a mistake to hold this early -- thanks to the extra economic drain, I can't even sustain 50% research right now. Well, it's on Noble difficulty so I'm probably allowed at least a few mistakes. Still, I'm keeping pace with my two rivals here. They haven't got Alphabet, while I've got Literature.
Now I decide to take another look at city specialization for this game. I know of Great Person specialist farms (thanks to Sullla's Civ 4 walkthrough), but I really don't think I can do one here as there as there just isn't any spot around with enough food to do it. Persepolis is going to have to pull double duty as both my commerce city and my Great Person farm, so it builds the National Epic.
Pasargadae is a well-entrenched military factory, especially with the Heroic Epic forthcoming there. Arbela would become another commerce city with that river and gold, though my tile improvements came rather haphazardly and left it hurting for food.
I don't know what to do with Susa; it was supposed to be a second military factory but then I decided that wasn't necessary after handily winning that war with Japan. It was then supposed to be another commerce center but it ran out of food at size 8 (!) since apparently you're not allowed to chain-irrigate in Civ 4?
No, you can, at Civil Service. Isn't that pretty far down the tree? Actually no, just two techs away. I stop research on Construction to go for Code of Laws and then Civil Service, and did a lot of chain-irrigating at every city besides the capital to pump up their populations. Even so, both Edo and Susa wound up with a haphazard mix of tile improvements. I'd been holding off on clearing jungle for Edo to prioritize other worker tasks, but now I find out that jungle only takes 4 worker turns to clear?! Not 24?! Wonderful bit of game design improvement there!
In hindsight, either Arbela or Susa probably could've served the role of Great Person farm pretty well. They've each got several grasslands plus the rice tile that could go to either city. But I overlooked them as I was trying to find a godly food-production site which just didn't exist on this map. Anyway, Persepolis did well enough over time in the role of GP producer.
Here's an amusing moment: my work boat went exploring, then Monty's borders expanded to get the boat stuck. I put it on auto-explore just to see what it would do (answer: nothing), intending to disband it but then forgot about it. I was *very* surprised later on during a war with Monty when a boat under my control suddenly appeared out of the southwest.
I got the Great Library, and started on the National Epic in my capital. I also took a flyer on the Hanging Gardens (cheap with stone) in Arbela and got it. My first Great Engineer popped out; the tech available was Metal Casting but I wasn't in a rush for that and there weren't any wonders worth building, so I merged him in as a super specialist.
Then Montezuma declares war! Argh. Well, research goes back to Construction to get catapults and war elephants going. Monty manages to pillage a half-dozen tiles, but poses no real threat to my cities. With Pasargadae cranking out a swordsman per turn, the tide turns quite quickly. I reached and razed an Aztec city.
After Construction, I finished research on Civil Service and went to Bureaucracy, then Metal Casting. A great scientist popped in Persepolis to build the Academy. This got my capital up over 100 beaker production, at only 60% science rate. My next research was Paper, in hopes of using the next Great Scientist to research the very expensive Education to build universities and Oxford. That happened as planned, though I didn't realize Oxford needed 5 universities. Four were easy with my four old core cities, but Edo would have to be the fifth which would take quite some time...
In the middle of that planning, though, Tokugawa up and declared war on me too. Sigh, this is getting really annoying. Well, time to make peace with Monty; I'd been slowly skirmishing and advancing against him, but was still quite far away from attacking any more of his cities. He gives me 80 gold and Sailing.
This time, Tokugawa brought a stack of NINE horse archers against me! Ack! Into Edo this turn I can get one sword, one elephant, and whip a spear on defense. The stack valiantly kills five attackers before falling, but that was enough so that I can recapture it easily.
With Tokugawa's SoD decimated, I've got enough elephants, swords, and catapults to go stomping through Japanese lands. I kept all the cities, which may or may not have been a good idea. Kyoto was surprisingly underdefended when I got there -- I think Japan had just sailed out several units by ship.
He wouldn't talk yet, but after another turn and another back-and-forth recapture of Edo, he will. He's down to one city but all my units are hurt and I've got war weariness, so I take his techs for peace. 10 turns later, I came back to finish off the city of Tokyo, but Tokugawa surprisingly wasn't eliminated. Must have gotten a settler off-continent somewhere... so it's time to research to Optics to send some boats out finally. Eventually I would trade for somebody's world map which showed India with one city down in the south of our continent, which really wasn't worth my time to do anything about.
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