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Epic Fifteen: Colonization

That cow in the southeast made it tempting to settle on the ivory and claim all the resources. But I trusted that there would be another food resource in the fog (two clams is not enough food for the start-picker), and there was indeed another cow.

Now, this is a plan I don't typically do, but this is an awesome *hammer* capital. Five hills, more than enough food to work them all, three extra hammer resources, and acres of forest. This is a great setup for the scenario; this will be a spectacular settler and worker pump. I plan to not build a single cottage at this capital and get commerce from the other cities.

The opening tech path seems natural, Hunting into Animal Husbandry. The opening build is much less so, though - a worker or a work boat? I go with the worker; better to delay growth until we have better tiles to work. And we can get the Expansive 25% worker bonus by working the 3-hammer plains forest hill after the culture expands. That bonus hammer is as good as an extra city size.

The hut popped The Wheel on turn 8, as it should do for everyone who settles on the starting square and doesn't pop it with the warrior.

After the worker, I actually calculated several turns ahead to determine which tile to work while building the work boat. The goal was to put out the work boat and grow to size 2 on the same turn, since neither is really useful without the other. The answer turned out to be a 2/1 forest tile, then (as is intuitive) the camped ivory once the improvement finished. The work boat and city size 2 came together in 3075 BC.

The initial research order was Hunting - AH - Bronze Working - Mysticism. Stonehenge would be a big prize on this map; without the culture crutch of Creative or Spiritual religion, it would save a lot of headache for expanding borders at island cities. And the initial build order to support that was worker - work boat - work boat - work boat (to explore, while growing to size 6) - second worker (to chop for Stonehenge)

My warrior explored the island, killed a lion, then made a second lap taking care to step on every perimeter square in order to see any seafood, then returned home for police duty. I started Stonehenge, chopped a couple forests, and got it as planned.

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Next I expanded with two settlers, pausing to whip a lighthouse (2x) and library (3x) after researching to Writing. Next order of business was to sign a pair of Open Borders with Spain and Ottomans. Check out what the Open Borders did to my GNP:

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2 extra commerce in each of my three cities is +6 or over 50% of my entire research total. This definitely settled that I was going for the Great Lighthouse next, and started research on Masonry.

Here's an overview as that happened.

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Yeah, I've neglected the northern part of my island for the moment. Reason is that the area is choked in jungle until I get Iron Working, and the best way to do that is to trade Alphabet for it.

A couple more forest chops brought in the wonder by 1000 BC.

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Oporto ran two scientists with its library, in order to pop a Great Scientist before Lisbon's Oracle popped a Prophet. Unfortunately I overlooked that Lisbon's Great Lighthouse would increase its GPP rate enough to spawn the first GP, and I got my Prophet anyway. With no shrine in my plans, no useful lightbulb in Meditation or Theology, and not enough scope for a Golden Age, he just settled.

I got Alphabet, and my rivals proved farther behind than I'd thought - no Iron Working, and they lacked even Writing. I flipped the latter to each of them for Poly and then Monotheism. Next stop Monarchy for HR (I prebuilt police warriors even before getting the civic), and Metal Casting for the Colossus, but I was too late and that wonder fell in 425 BC before I got there. I traded Monarchy to Isabella to get Iron Working. We do have iron on the home island.partytime.gif 41x36

Judaism (Suleiman's religion) spread to me, and I adopted it. This cemented me on Suleiman's side rather than Isabella's. Sulei is easy to please; his favorite civic of HR is a natural to adopt for a long time in most games. He got to Friendly real quickly after that.

barb-galley.jpg 663x326In an amusing interlude, Isabella sent a work boat exploring around my homeland, and a barbarian galley spawned just one space behind it. That galley chased the work boat all the way around my island, counterclockwise from the capital's location, until I built that galley of my own at Oporto for it to suicide against.

With Alphabet to stay on top of the trading game, I was now beelining research straight to Optics, through Iron Working and Compass presently. (I apologize for the sparse details in this part of the report, but the early bit of this scenario just wasn't very deep strategically. After the two obvious wonders, let's skip ahead to the good stuff.)

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And an overview look at the calendar change.

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