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The Final Countdown

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Anyway, now I had to decide finally whether to keep pushing for a military win, or to simply tech up to space. The victory options screen showed that I'd still have to *double* my current land area for domination, so never mind on that. Diplomacy seemed difficult, as I'd need the votes of at least one other civ, but Washington wasn't too happy with me and Hatty would be my opponent.

So I went back to a builder phase, researching most techs in this timeframe in about 5 or 6 turns at 70% research. I researched to Railroad to give my workers something to do (mostly automated by Build Trade Network), then beelined up Physics - Electricity - Radio - Computers, building the wonders along the way. I fired off a Golden Age in 1848 AD while researching Computers.

Awhile later, I finally popped my first Great Prophet, and he built an extremely belated shrine in Persepolis, which was still good for an extra +30 cash/turn after multipliers and thus an extra 10% on the science slider. A couple cities with nothing in particular to do trained some Jewish Missionaries to spread the true faith to the far continent, picking me up some more pennies.

Somehow Hatty and Washington then both became friends with me, with positives from trade relations, open borders, and years of peace. Washington considered Hatty his worst enemy, so I had a small minus with him, but Hatty considered Montezuma her worst enemy, so I was fine with her.

I skipped all the non-essential techs for space; Egypt actually got the Kremlin. Washington eventually researched to Democracy, and I felt I had to finally follow suit. In Representation for the whole game, the Statue of Liberty probably could've come sooner, but I just never felt the urge. So was time to finally revolt to Emancipation, and I also took the opportunity to get out of Environmentalism. With hospitals built now and my friends trading me resources, I had plenty of health anyway, and Genetics would come soon too. 'Twas a tough choice between Mercantilism and Free Market, but I browsed through the cities and saw that Kyoto had 8+7+7 commerce coming in from three foreign trade routes, so I went for the latter (and also built Wall Street in this city and ran Merchant specialists.) Is it normal that coastal cities make five or more times as much money from trade routes as inland cities do?

That was in 1900 AD, and here's the overhead screenshot. Susa is my Iron Works city for eventually doing the heavy-duty lifting on the Apollo Program and Space Elevator.

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I was still running a Representation specialist economy, and here's a shot of one such city:

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This was before researching Assembly Line; the city would shelve the wonder to build a factory and nuclear plant first. Actually, this was the only city where the specialist economy was really successful; I'd never really farmed the others for enough food. I'd read that a cottage economy is considered generally superior to running specialists (thanks to Universal Suffrage, Free Speech, and Emancipation), but I wanted to try the latter for myself.

And yes, my terrain improvements are still somewhat haphazard; there's two towns there at a city that isn't trying to be a commerce producer at all. I'm learning. :)

So nothing much happened as I teched and built up towards space. All the late-game techs took me between 4 and 6 turns to research -- is that a normal rate of progress? I took a rather unoptimal approach towards researching the techs, going to Genetics first for the health before Rocketry for the Apollo Program. That left me with the spaceship production having to play catch-up to the tech; I hadn't known that the ship requires an order of magnitude more production than in Civ 3. Fortunately, I did pop a Great Engineer to build half of the Space Elevator, and also settled the GEng from Fusion in a city to shave one turn off the last part build. The last two parts completed on the same turn, six turns after finishing the last tech, thanks to worker gangs throwing down some workshops despite putting the cities into food shortage.

Great People came on schedule, with the last one at the 2000-point mark. Most were Scientists that settled back into Persepolis. For a long time, I hadn't realized that an Academy could be built in more than one city (thinking too much like the religious shrines), but even so, an academy in another city would've been worth fewer total beakers than settling a scientist in Persepolis with the multipliers from Oxford and the existing academy.

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Space Race Victory in 1960 AD, and now I know how to properly run a space race for when it comes up on a higher difficulty sometime. :)

According to the demographics screen, Washington had twice my GNP, which couldn't possibly be right; my empire is twice the size of his, with four times the population, and dozens of Representation-boosted specialists. Washington did OK on teching; he made it to Rocketry and Plastics before I won, my lead holding steady at 10 techs.

Montezuma was fairly backward, lacking Education and Astronomy. Egypt, despite having an empire significantly larger than America, was still five or so techs behind him and fifteen behind me.

Well, that was fun and very educational, if not particularly challenging in the end. Onward to realms Beyond...