So from Huayna, I extorted for peace, in priority order, Mathematics, 90 gold, and Fishing as a throw-in.
Why the 90 gold and Mathematics? Well, my economy is now at -24 gold even at 100% cash. This patient's in critical condition! I'm racing against time to stabilize the economy before a strike, and that 90 gold buys me more time to stanch the bleeding. Workers are madly cottaging every available tile around Delhi and Bangalore.
And my desperate immediate tech goal is now Currency. Simply getting to that tech will add about 15 commerce per turn in trade routes. And markets are exactly what I need both to generate cash and raise the happy cap (we have both fur and ivory.)
Incidentally, I'm now missing Slavery dearly. Delhi has ridiculous amounts of food and would LOVE to whip its library, then run the old 2 scientists to pop an Academy. But instead it must work forests rather than cottaged flood plains for 14 turns.
Also incidentally, why does Tiwanaku have a bunch of riverside desert tiles that are NOT flood plains? And why does the river at our capital have so many screwy branches? It's apparent that both rivers were hand-drawn. I hate to speak ill of our wonderful tournament organizer, but dubious map details like that do intrude on the gameplay.
Anyway, during the 10 turns of the peace treaty with Huayna, my swords cleaned up that barb city in the west while my home cities built mostly workers and libraries. Precisely as the peace treaty expired, I had stacks of swords positioned and healed and ready to move against two more Incan cities.
Those city razes, plus another barb city raze, brought me back up to 300 gold in the treasury. That was enough to pull this off: slam research to 100% on Currency for three turns, putting myself really on the verge of bankruptcy!
But I knew the piņata would cough up another piece of candy.
Judging by Huayna's willingness to concede cheaper techs, I could work out that my self-research on Currency would blunt the trade cost enough to get it in concession. With Currency, the extra trade route was enough to stabilize my economy at no deficit. Everybody started marketplaces, which would eventually finally get me back into the positive.
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