So here's the starting setup:
Obviously, initial priority #1 is to get some workers out ASAP. The first order of business is to set all four size-5 cities to max possible food configuration so that each is permitted to build a worker. And I take one archer from Barcelona to reinforce Cordoba against the barbarian city over there. And I disband two unpromoted warriors; they're going to be useless in any actual fights and we won't have the cash to upgrade them like ever.
I'll start by selecting some city specialization roles. Salamanca and Toledo, which are both shield-heavy and can't build workers soon, go for barracks to be military producers. Cordoba gets picked to be my future GP farm, as it's got a *lot* of food potential in the long run. The four other cities will all be commerce centers, though their build orders are tough to pick as each city will have only a few turns to build before it starts on the worker. Most pick libraries, though I let two half-completed Jewish Temples finish because it's going to be some time until there's actually any commerce coming from the land for a library to matter.
Sirian has dropped our GNP to zero, but has left us 109 gold in the treasury, so we're not economically paralyzed. We actually could research Mining in two turns without going bankrupt. I do so, because we need to get to Bronze Working pretty soon; archers won't hold our borders for long.
How about the religion situation? We haven't founded any, and have no state religion, but do have Judaism in some cities including the capital. I decide to let that continue awhile; we aren't in immediate need of happiness thanks to Hereditary Rule, and I don't want to make enemies too early, especially with Egypt who shares a long border with us and is Buddhist.
So here's the situation after the application of some Highly Detailed Wrath.
So over the next few turns, there isn't much to do while watching the cities grow to size 6 and build workers. I even fell asleep at the wheel and let Seville grow to *7* before ordering up the worker there.
Several civs come asking for Open Borders, and I accept them all. There'll be time later to figure out who my friends are.
So I realize that even with workers coming out and improving all the important food tiles, the stagnation situation is actually going to get worse before it gets better. The workers themselves cost maintenance, and with the cities working food and hammers for worker production rather than commerce, our economy actually ends up at -7 gold per turn! I disband *all* the rest of my warriors, and get some cottages up fast (though not ahead of the important food tiles). The worker count went up to about 10 total before moving back to library construction.
Presently, Hatshepsut presents me with a tough choice:
Aargh. Either one of these civs could put a serious hurting on me. Ultimately I decide I have to refuse Hatty. Since I've got Judaism but not Buddhism available, it's more likely that I'll be friends with Saladin.
So here's my empire at 600 AD, several turns into this exercise. Look at all the roads Saladin built for me on the western side, trying to connect his city in the north. :)
You can see Taoism and Buddhism have both spread into my lands, which would prove quite helpful shortly.
The economy was still stuck in neutral, but hope was arising. Basically, the workers had to build cottages on literally every single available tile except bonus resources and mineable hills. Finally, by 800 AD, I'd gotten libraries up in Madrid and Barcelona along with several cottages up to hamlet status, and could run 100% research on Bronze Working with 100 gold in the bank. I could have turned on research sooner, but it produced more total economy overall to wait on research until the libraries were built, since we'd first run unmultiplied cash then multiplied science, rather than unmultiplied hybrid and then half-multiplied hybrid. (Yes, it's "Binary Research", which I think is a perfectly valid set of strategic choices. Has been since Civ 1.)
Yes, yes, I know.
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