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Epic Sixteen: Something Fishy

This is the story of my game of Civilization IV Epic Sixteen from Realms Beyond Civilization.

So, what am I doing playing a five month old Epics game? Well, I wasn't in the mood to get back into Civilization when Something Fishy came out in December, but it intrigued me all the same. I've always been a builder player at heart, and I'm fascinated by the math and execution of the growth curve in Civ games. I really wanted to see how the game would play out with massive extra piles of food and culture from turn one. If corporations are such a great addition to Civ 4, let's go all the way and try one right from the beginning, rather than as a "win-more" industrial age feature.

I didn't pay much attention to the reports or the scoreboard for the competition on this game, so I'm playing it essentially unspoiled.

Before we start, however, I made one important change to the game. I saved the game in Worldbuilder, and started a new game from the scenario on Normal speed rather than Epic. I play Civ very deliberately, always checking and double-checking everything before ending a turn. Playing on Epic speed rather than Normal adds 50% to the real-world time and effort investment, with nearly zero payoff in added strategic value. This is simply a sanity saving move for a shadow game months after the fact. It actually works against me in a couple ways: units move relatively slower on Normal as compared to the game clock (important for an archipelago colonization game), and also 1500 AD comes five turns sooner on Normal speed (it's turn 210, which is the equivalent of Epic turn 315 which is 1475 AD.)

Anyway, here's the report.