Holy crap, that just barely worked! Holy crap, EVERYTHING I did to this point was necessary to land that. Moai at the capital for enough Research power. And I had almost no turns to spare on when I had captured the barbarian cities, just enough time to get the gems and spices plantation online at Goth.
Okay, now what do I DO with Liberalism? For the prize I thought about Astronomy, which is actually about 50% more expensive than Nationalism because Astro gets no prereq bonuses and Nat gets two. But no, Nationalism means a good shot at the Taj Mahal.
Also on that very same turn the religion game finally finally finally broke my way. Four civilizations were sharing Judaism, but I had never gotten access to it until now. And it would finally enable Organized Religion. (I'd adopted OR for free in a double-switch with Bureaucracy.) Done, especially for the Taj Mahal building boost.
And the Taj Mahal meant another race. Only two civs had marble. One was Lincoln who was now researching Astronomy for several turns. The other was Pericles, who just got the Economics Great Merchant so he wasn't on Nationalism right at the moment. I ran another 80 EP on Pericles to get his research, which was something else for a couple turns. Then Nationalism. So let another race begin.
Nuts, lost it by four turns! Even with marble, Pericles shouldn't have been able to get the wonder THAT fast...
There it is... wait, why is Athens only size 11? Did he whip it? I loaded the previous autosave to peek...
Hah, he whipped EIGHT POPULATION for the wonder!!! Okay, if that was the cost, he can have it.
So actually it turned out that Liberalism wasn't much of a prize after all. I got no trades for it, since the other AIs unusually researched it pretty fast (or Lincoln traded it to them). Nationalism did trade for Guilds and Music, but that wasn't really a big haul either. I have indeed previously won Liberalism on Deity but then gone on to lose the game, so this is not at all a conclusion.
My research continued to Constitution, keeping up the trading leverage by getting Gunpowder and Banking. Then to Democracy. Several AIs were on their way there. I'd need Emancipation, and wanted a shot at the Statue of Liberty.
Unfortunately, I had now reached top three on the scoreboard. That meant the WFYABTA door now slammed shut. I couldn't find a trade for Printing Press and had to research it myself, which ultimately set back Democracy enough that I lost the race for Statue of Liberty. At least my second Great Person was due presently, perfectly timed for a Golden Age to change civics into Emancipation, Free Market, and Uni Suffrage.
Here's a global overview. I had now expanded out to a ring of fringe cities, planted anywhere there was at least one seafood resource. War was never any kind of danger, since all the AIs were chosen for not declaring war at Pleased which covered my neighbors Charlemagne and Asoka. Pericles or Brennus could have, but the armies would literally go obsolete in the centuries of walking to get from their homes to my door. I did keep an eye out for the whee-horn but it never sounded.
I'll add some more comments on the AIs and the fates dealt them by the map layout. Brennus is broken. His Celtia (top right) is crammed in to just three cities, thanks to England being right next door and immediately blocking any place for him to expand. England isn't doing a whole lot better.
India is cramped too, but doing very well even on that low city count. All those cities are pretty close by walking distance, and had no trouble with access to food resources. America is also in decent shape. Charlemagne has more cities but is trailing in tech; I think he has been happy constrained.
The leader is Pericles. Like I mentioned in the game setup for our Dutch player, Pericles too has benefited from being next to the "international date line", with a larger area to expand without competition. He swiped the Taj Mahal from me, and presently leads by a couple techs, having hit Scientific Method just now.
But I'm right on his tail. The added cities have given me the lead in food and production. I'm not quite sure how Pericles' GNP is nearly double mine, but I should catch up in time.
As for AI difficulties with the map, here we go. London is only size 10 and still has an unimproved food resource in 1100 AD! The city of Angle was barbarian until very recently, so England could never walk a worker to the cow. Also, the corn south of London is about 40 tiles away by walking and through American territory, meaning it could not have been improved until about turn 80 after Open Borders and then the long walk.
And Pericles also has a resource that's simultaneously within his capital and a hundred tiles away from it. Look at those workers! They've been building a globe-spanning road to that iron -- must have been at that for about four thousand years!
I got two trades for Democracy, but then hit the WFYABTA limit for real. No more trades unless someone got to Friendly. Now what?
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