I do know there's likely enough buffer space to go worker first, but I'm going to play warrior first, since that's how most players will do it.
Should I try to research anything? Nah. Just go 100% gold. I'll figure out what to do with the cash later. Probably warrior upgrades.
Heh, popped Pottery from a hut. That fails to help on so many levels. :)
My first warrior found Thebes down this way. I could have the warrior hang around and choke, but won't since I'm playtesting. The tactic is fair game for anyone else to try, though. I believe Aggressive AI is better at breaking a choke, so hopefully somebody will try and be surprised.
A turn later that warrior also contacted Kublai Khan. The Internet kicked in, starting with the A's: Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Archery. :)
Kyoto went warrior - warrior - worker at size 3. Then it did two archers - we need to be prepared on defense.
A bunch of animals appeared around, and now I realize that feels pretty unusual for an Always War game. I do think we've always had barbs off for AW before. But hey, it's something different to try, and makes for even MORE maximum action. Also I think animals and barbs will actually work to the player's benefit, by making it slower for any AI units to reach the player. Animals are not too threatening with Aggressive warriors and the +20% bonus on Monarch.
Amusingly - I hadn't expected this to happen - but those first two exploring warriors met on the far side of the world in only 3000 BC. Apparently there is no circumnavigation on this land map type though.
Oho. Then one of the warriors found China's capital and a juicy opportunity. Free worker. It was one tile north when my warrior moved to the forest hill. So the poor AI dutifully tried to retreat the worker to safety in the city. Never mind that the intermediate tile is endangered too.
So I attacked the worker. There were two archers in Beijing. I knew the AI wouldn't attack with both, so at worst even if one attacked, my warrior had a fair chance of winning on defense at 2.7 strength vs 3. But Mao did not attack at all! And my ninja warrior slipped quietly away into the forest with his prey.
It took him quite a while to get home - he got ambushed in a forest by a sequence of three animals while he was trying to heal. That got him Woodsman II, so I was excited that now he could move two tiles along with the worker - except that the worker can't move two tiles through jungle. :)
There's my first kill.
Where is Bronze Working? Shouldn't some AIs have it by now? I am patiently waiting to whip Kyoto's granary and start chopping things. Kublai is in Slavery. I had to pause Kyoto's growth just below the happy cap by building a second worker (third counting the steal.)
Finally on turn 78 2050 BC, a unit of Justinian's contacted me, and Bronze came in. Finally I whipped a settler and completed the granary by overflow. Kyoto continued to alternate whipping settlers and overflowing into military.
First emergency - this Byzantine archer. It could have caused me trouble on the ivory, but instead moved as shown. I thought it was going for the corn, but then it skipped that too, and moved into the forest next to Kyoto. But that was just in time as I got the copper connected and upgraded two axemen. One died at 64% but the second killed the archer.
A bit later I lost another axe attacking another archer. It had the Shock promotion. Then I realized that my Tokugawa is Aggressive and should be building barracks!
My next plan was to build the Oracle. Whyever would I do that with the Internet? Religion. You can't get a foreign religion in Always War. (The corner case where you can is to unfog a trade path to a holy city without contacting that civ. That is tough and rare, and anyway I've already contacted everybody now.) 225 hammers sounds expensive in the early game - but really this eventually adds up to +1 happy in every city plus either +25% building production or +2 experience plus shrine cash from the eventual Prophet. That is big and worth the hammers.
So I aimed the Oracle squarely for Confucianism. Except...
Missed it by three turns! Dang! Could have whipped it, too!
That hurts! Also Tokyo and Osaka have to build monuments now, instead of getting the Confucian holy city culture and free missionary.
It also hurts regarding those Gems. I don't plan to cram another city in there and was counting on Kyoto reaching level 4 culture from the Oracle to claim them. Now that will take forever.
Anyway, the overview shows good progress to this point. Four cities, all relatively safe. You can see my total of no cottages everywhere - the cities are all dedicated to working hammer tiles. This military is playing front-line defense for the most part, killing units in the field beyond Satsuma and letting units suicide against Osaka on the hill. Tokyo is on the back lines but not completely safe - barbarians trickle in occasionally from the north.
Next plan: the Pyramids. Running 100% cash for the whole game, I had ended up with over 1500 gold now. Universal Suffrage can convert that 1500 gold back into twice the hammers that the Pyramids costs with stone. But then I changed my mind. I need to playtest fairly. Not everybody will manage the Pyramids. Still not sure how winnable Always War is on Monarch. I saved here, and might try another play again later with the Pyramids.
Oh, and popped one. :)
But the RNG giveth and the RNG taketh away.
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