So here we go again, I'm resuming after about a month layoff. Now I realize how idiotic it is to try to conquer a Protective civ in rifle-on-rifle combat. I took a couple more turns to take Arabia's capital (importantly, the Hindu holy city), then made peace. Mecca would never produce anything of importance for me; it spent as much time in revolt as not. But controlling the Hindu holy city for the espionage discount was vital. I had founded Taoism, but never wanted to invest the hammers to spread it.
Right after that, I declared war on Sitting Bull and began an invasion over there. Twenty redcoats and a nearby civ without Gunpowder, it would be a crime not to use them. Conquered cities will definitely be positive economic contributors before a space launch. I'm already at the max number-of-cities maintenance so more really won't hurt. So with surprisingly few losses (I think one single redcoat and about 10 suicide cats), I conquered the core of Native America, going as far as his capital and razing a couple fringe cities. That gave me 4-6 Sushi resources, silver for happy, and wheat for health.
Here's the tech picture. Louis is becoming a serious runaway. Peter and Hammurabi are ahead of me too. I took trades when offered for Divine Right and Military Tradition, to knock them off the list and encourage more serious tech proposals.
I researched up to Medicine (getting it first) to found Sid's Sushi in 1742 AD. Then I went pure espionage economy for a while. Not only is that more favorable on the discounts, EE multipliers are cheaper. Now the first economic building after the basics (granary, forge, courthouse) is the Jail. +50% for 120 hammers is the best economy/hammer ratio of all buildings, and the Intelligence Agency also beats everything, tied with the library on multiplier efficiency but also producing +8 base EP. Finally, Nationhood's +25% EP is the best economic multiplier of any civic.
So I started stealing. First was Steam Power, then Steel, Railroad. Democracy would have been my first steal, but suddenly Peter offered it to me in trade for Medicine! Sold. And Hammurabi also offered me Physics for Medicine a bit later.
I was also really stuck as far as civics. Still in HR / Nationhood / Slavery / Decentralization. A single change was 3 turns of anarchy and out of the question. But I had no good Great Person power anywhere - very few wonders, never built the National Epic, never had a city that seemed worthwhile to. The best I could do was hire three merchants in one seafood city, then later more with Sushi, and slowly push out GP #4 for an eternally belated Golden Age for Emancipation/US/Free Market.
Got enough vassals around? Just a bit confusing.
I STILL have some serious happy cap problems, though. Just not enough happy resources available. I am not sure that Sullla realized in the scenario setup that the AIs don't come offering resource trades?
And I still had two dozen redcoats, and a steady stream of new ones with Coventry finally being a solid draft camp, drafting every two or three turns. So I declared war on Ragnar, a vassal of Sitting Bull, to take his sugar and seafood. Conquering him was cake, but spawned side problems. War weariness against his master Sitting Bull kicked back in. And Bull bought Montezuma against me which was further annoying. Monty can't threaten me with drafted redcoats available, but I have to gain enough naval superiority to threaten him to get peace.
So I stole Combustion (Babylon researched it just at the perfect time, plus I had pre-Forted some oil) and started cash rushing Destroyers. I reached and razed one island Native American city which made Bull talk for peace. The destroyers escorted my remaining galleons with a load of redcoats (and, amusingly, still a few catapults) towards Aztec land, and upon landing them next to a city, Montezuma signed peace. Despite the annoyances, I do think this annexation was profitable in the long run.
My espionage economy continued to storm back amazingly quickly. I stole Electricity and Assembly Line, just about catching up, behind by only Radio. And my developing cities had now built science multipliers, so I could take the reins myself on researching Industrialism myself (nobody had it yet) and Plastics for the Dam. About 1800 AD I reached the top of the scoreboard, surpassing France. A bit later I stole Radio and Artillery.
For once, Superconductors first was NOT the right spaceship beeline. All my cities are still very immature, most don't even have observatories and universities yet, so no need for Labs just yet. And health is usually a big constraint, warranting the run through Refrigeration and Genetics, but here instead happy was the major cap. More of a priority was to push up to Industrialism for tanks.
Louis declared war on Sitting Bull and his vassals -- good, distract him from keeping units in his culture city. Meanwhile, I constructed my Frenchy-killing stack as follows:
- Combustion first, and London built 8 transports (with Navigation II thanks to Drydock and four GGs)
- Pump my Globe Theater up to 24 population with Sushi, then draft Infantry every turn after Assembly Line
- Research Industrialism and build Tanks from London while coastal cities put out supporting battleships.
But I still had plenty of time before plunging the dagger. And with some military built up, I decided to take care of another problem. All my conquered Native American cities still had major "yearn for motherland" unhappiness, and the only way to stop that was to go kill him for good. So for the third time I declared war on Sitting Bull, and wiped him out with tanks and drafted infantry still against longbows (he still never got Gunpowder.)
Man, happy is STILL a really bad problem. It's usually never a problem this late in the game. But I can't import happy resources, and I missed the Hit wonders and Eiffel. I have a 2-man Golden Age coming up soon; isn't there anything on the civics board that can help?
Free Religion can help some.
Representation will come too (with Sushi population, it's now better than US) to help a few cities.
Emancipation doesn't create happy, just avoids unhappy, and I'm already in it.
Nothing in the Economics column.
Legal civics - I have been in Nationhood forever. Wait a minute, BARRACKS GIVE HAPPY. I am an IDIOT. Now I ordered up barracks in nearly every city.
Also, Free Religion is tricky to use - the problem is I have no monasteries. I must build missionaries while still in Org Rel right now and spread religions before switching.
A plan about 300 turns old now came to fruition. York had built the Hanging Gardens long ago, and the eternally slow trickle of GPP (helped recently by the factory and industrial park) finally produced a Great Engineer for Mining Inc. +10 hammers is just what Financial coastal cities need to fully develop.
Louis built the United Nations. A sequence of about six elections all went inconclusive. Don't see that often. Louis and I were the candidates, but Babylon, Arabia, Russia, and Bull and his vassals all abstained. A long time later, I'd grown enough population with Sushi that I could vote myself as secretary, picking up a vote from one minor AI.
France is now at 42000 culture in the third city, making 500/turn. So that's still 50 turns available. And I was now running fast enough that I had time to reach Robotics! I like that idea, not only to have some mechs on offense, but also to have drafted mechs available anywhere on defense.
But now a different disaster happened.
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