Now SALADIN DECLARED WAR on me again. (Somehow I forgot a screenshot.) I'd checked every few turns and he hadn't shown WHEOOH, so it caught me a bit by surprise, but I knew it was coming eventually.
But check out THIS deal:
This is the best moment of timing ever! Elizabeth JUST reached Friendly this turn (with no particular effort on my part, thanks to that mutual Zulu war.) And she just researched Rifling this turn -- and now traded the monopoly to me!
Well, take the usual emergency measures: turn off research and upgrade all the warm bodies to the latest model, rifles.
Here's Saladin's stack. It had been massing in Ansar for a while. Do not ask me why it marched south, instead of diagonally onto a hill and towards the target city. It would actually march back and forth between Boston and the next city east, unable to decide on a target. Meanwhile, a couple Airships that I'd built for fun harassed the stack, causing first a couple units and then the entire stack to go home for healing.
Actually, during this whole war, those few Airships proved extremely helpful! 20% damage is a lot more than it sounds. That's as good as knocking the victim unit back a generation, grenadier to the strength of a musket or infantry to rifle. Here, softening a fortified CG grenadier from 12 to 9 health really helped, shifting my infantry's odds from ~60% to 80% and saving significantly on casualties. And the other cool thing about airships is any city can build them anywhere - there's no need to concentrate them in frontline cities since they can fly and rebase themselves.
Navally, I poked around with some privateers and frigates, and as I killed off a few triremes and caravels, it occurred to me that that was an invasion, so I must now dub Arabia my BLOOD ENEMY. Let's get this invasion started for real. I can manage this conquest before the modern age for that extra 5% scoring.
So I researched Assembly Line, and then again shut off research to upgrade everything to infantry. Yes, it seems odd to stop just short of Industrialism for an industrial age conquest, especially when that tech bears my UU, but it's a question of speed. If I wait until everything's just right, it'll take forever. A mass upgrade to Infantry will be very timely and good-enough; infantry do beat fortified grenadiers (though they might have to wait for siege against the tougher nuts.) (Also, I don't think I actually have Oil until Combustion, despite having forted an oil resource? Did they finally fix that? Yes.)
Actually, it took only two turns of cash to upgrade everything, then it was back to the Navy SEAL races. Units going obsolete before they reach the front lines? Literally so here. 6 turns to research Industrialism but more than 6 turns for my infantry to even get to the war trenches.
And that hill at Washington, that I was convinced had copper, then iron, then coal, FINALLY turned up to have aluminum. Knew there _had_ to be a resource there.
I really should be in some warring civics - PS / Nationhood / Theocracy and/or Vassalage, but I'm still irrationally terrified of anarchy. I'm even waiting patiently for Cristo Redentor to get out of Slavery / State Property. I just can't make myself forfeit 2000 economy and 1000 hammers to swap civics.
So I finally mustered a stack of infantry up next to Saladin's megastack, and knocked off a dozen units.
Then on the interturn, that stack finally attacked mine -- handing me a kill ratio of 30 to 1 on defense!
With Saladin's primary army finally liquidated, I finally got to start capturing enemy cities.
I also even went for Fascism, both for the extra GG and for Mount Rushmore which I already needed to combat war weariness. This is really fun, I'm getting to play a really complete game here. A good Industrial war with some units I've never really used before; also use of Explorers on the far continent; diversions to techs like Communism and Fascism that usually fall by the wayside in the space rush. And I'm simultaneously playing a game of conquest, tech building, culture building in my border cities, and Colonization/Terra gameplay on my piece of the far continent. Plus I'm playing some neat city specialization games - Heroic Epic in a city with 16 combined hills, watermills, lumbermills, and workshops; Iron Works in the capital with even more hammers; Wall Street in a 19-town commerce city; and my 17-preserve National Park who's got a really interesting build order - the most important buildings are the specialist enablers so it's not working 17 Citizens. And at the same time I have to manage war weariness with temples and even jails. And navy - frigates then destroyers to bombard coastal cities (way faster than land siege even if it doesn't entirely make sense) and a few amphibious SEALs to speed it up.
And even espionage got into the act. A trick: I was worried about Mining Inc with Hammurabi researching Railroad and having birthed a Great Engineer some time ago in the log. I cranked espionage on him for a couple turns to get City Visibility to see that the GE wasn't still around so no rush.
And I'm still nowhere near done with all these simultaneous threads. Haven't even gotten any corporations started yet. I'm in overtime with regards to Mining Inc and Creative Constructions. I have two Engineers in pocket, but can't found a corp while still in State Property. As a backup plan to get out of SP, I can fire the 3-man GA if I need it, but only by burning a valuable Engineer. Presently, London birthed a Great Prophet for Elizabeth - nice, no corporate competition there.
The idea of a mad Kremlin-fueled whip frenzy never really materialized; better was just to let the cities grow and use the State Property workshops and watermills for hammers. Whipping did help bootstrap the new cities on the far continent, though. Quite nice is whip yield of 60 hammers per pop point from 30 + 25% (Org Rel) + 10% (SP) x 1.5 (Kremlin). And once Sid's Sushi entered the picture, there was plenty of fuel for whipping.
As for my other two neighbors, Hammurabi was still Pleased where he won't attack, but presently Sitting Bull dropped to Cautious. I did now have a solid lead in power, though, so he shouldn't bother me. (Why won't either of them adopt Free Religion? Both average 2+ religions per city, mostly Hammy's Judaism and my Christianity.)
Meanwhile, the Zulu finally bit the dust on the far continent. That's OK, but if anyone else besides them and Arabia get eliminated, that'll hurt my score.
Back to the war, the battle for Mecca was probably the biggest single city battle I've ever had. Sixteen infantry marched up to the city -- and fell short because Mecca boasted over 25 units on defense. Then they had to spend a turn healing, then had to wait another turn after my second revolt-inciting spy got caught for a third to get in place.
Elizabeth researched Physics, Electricity, then started Radio, so now my race was to finish off Saladin before having to finally get Radio and enter the modern era. (My supposed Radio "beeline" has now been interrupted by Rep Parts, Biology, Assembly Line, Fascism, and Railroad.)
Finally in 1814 AD, I reached Combustion which turned on my oil, and the trench warfare against Arabia started turning into a rout. Infantry and SEALs crawling along roads were replaced by tanks hurtling along railroads. Turn off research yet again to cash-rush tanks. (I still have my Heroic Epic city of New York flinging out a tank every turn. At 13 experience.)
In 1818 AD, Mecca and Medina both fell, and that finally broke Saladin's back for military. Now my limiting factor is mobility. Elizabeth is 8 turns from Radio, and I definitely can't risk missing the Radio wonders. So I'm simultaneously coordinating all sorts of attacks. My main siege stack went through Kufah and is now at Basra. A second infantry stack went through Mecca to Damascus, and a third lesser stack (6 units) went up the west coast to Medina and Yamama. Also, there's a galleon with a couple SEALs that nailed Fustat and is now moving to Mansura with destroyer support. Finally, there's tanks coming to finish off the interior cities as soon as possible.
(Yes, that's a Trireme under construction in Merw. What does an AI do when it's losing the naval war? Build the best available offensive ship. Maybe Blake should teach the AI about lost causes sometime. )
I claim 5% bonus for Eliminating Blood Enemy in the Industrial Age.
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