So that's two AI capitals down, but now I needed a bit of time to consolidate. Especially with Construction finally coming in from the internet. Elepults and cataphants will really swing things my way, but it'll take some time to build them and walk to the front lines.
In domestic news, I was still questing for a religion. I'd had one city (Tokyo at the north pigs/fish) pop a Great Scientist with intent to bulb Philosophy. But now my capture of Mutal got access to Hinduism, plus a lucky spread of it to a core city.
That made a Golden Age from the scientist a wonderful move. Feudalism also came in. So that saves three turns of anarchy on adopting Hinduism, Vassalage, and a religious civic. The religious civic will be Org Rel for the duration of the golden age, to spread missionaries and build forges, then Theocracy on the last turn.
Are you serious, Isabella? Seven chariots is an attack stack? I am starting to see why dedicated multiplayer warmongers have no interest in playing against AIs.
Also I hadn't seen any army from Egypt in a while, so there had to be one coming. And there it is, helpfully timed just as Mauryan finished an elephant. It had to dry-whip a longbow, but that and an archer on a wall hill will not lose to that.
My Mutal-killing stack, as usual, healed for a while and fended off incoming isolated units. Eventually when Mutal came out of resistance, I whipped its population into an elephant and catapult to bolster my stack, then advanced on the last Maya city. First enemy civ eliminated in 640 AD.
There is, however, an impending disaster visible in that screen. The situation had been masked by the Golden Age but now became dire. Look at the economy. -62 gold per turn! And I'm almost out of the cash I saved up in the early game. And that's with the trade route freebies already in place; I have Currency and captured the Great Lighthouse. Unit costs aren't even the problem, with Vassalage it's only 16/turn. It's city upkeep.
I bought a few extra turns by pillaging Lakamha's cottages, but needed a more drastic solution. Cottages aren't nearly enough quick enough. If only there were a way to bump fifteen or twenty tiles to 3 commerce all at the same time.
Hey, look at that.(I am not sure, in Always War, with whom exactly ocean tiles represent trading or more of whom the Colossus attracts, but that's neither here nor there.)
So the coastal cities (Mutal, Kagoshima, and Tokyo) worked Colossus coast to keep me out of economic disaster. They also built Markets, which are pretty worthwhile when you're pegged at 100% cash for eternity. It does so happen that the map even has all four Market happy resources. Fur, ivory, silk, whale. And finally the next ingredient for city growth was Calendar also coming in via internet for the happy resources.
Still, I'm in enough economic trouble that keeping Lakamha was a mistake. Got a solution though. Let a barbarian sword take it, then burn it on the recapture.
Back to the action, here's some at Beijing. Counterattacking was sometimes difficult, but not this time - note that there is absolutely nothing in Justinian's stack to defend against elephants.
And about time for another overview.
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