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Well, we know what happens when riflemen attack longbowmen, though I even started the war a few turns before Rifling actually came in, since grenadiers would be sufficient to knock off that first city.

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Canterbury was razed, as was York, and London falls in short order too.

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Question is whether to keep it; it's got no wonders but probably does have some infrastructure. I decide yes, and it comes with a nice selection of granary, aqueduct, lighthouse, market, and an academy (!).

I also razed Nottingham. There was no chance of salvaging that location for myself with Baghdad's culture in the way. York was replaced by a city that was a bit of a tight fit between Djenne and London, but it seemed worthwhile to have three spices tiles plus five cottageable grasslands.

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I'd sent a detachment of one rifle, one grenadier, and one leftover CR3 axeman to Hastings in the south there, but they failed thanks to the grenadier losing against a longbow at 80%. The other two units won battles but needed to heal, so I declared a cease fire while those units healed and received reinforcements. But then I realized another problem: Roosevelt considered England a friend, so another war declaration would cost me a -1 "you declared on our friend" penalty with Roosevelt. So I left Hastings alone.

Finally, after using London's surplus angry population to whip a forge, I switch to Serfdom again to help the workers improve the new territory faster.

So here's an interesting call:

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This looks like the perfect time to establish a bit of "rogue state" diplomatic advantage. In my push for a diplomatic victory, I've got Rome and America both at about +8 relations, but I haven't been able to get them over the top. This will do it, as I sign both of them to alliances.

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The war would be entirely phony save for a couple naval skirmishes, but it was valuable to keep my allies busy and friendly. BTW, I'm giving away Astronomy and Economics while researching Radio -- that's where my tech lead is now.

So I beelined research to Mass Media, with Kumbi Saleh (still my best hammer producer) ready to build the United Nations. Next research plan was Steam Power - Assembly Line, with the intent of using Infantry to conquer some of Arabia for extra diplomatic votes if necessary. Roosevelt helpfully came up with Steel to swap me for Steam Power. And in the meantime, I had two cities working on Broadway and the Eiffel Tower.

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Yeowch -- Roosevelt comes asking for Biology, which is a pretty expensive tech, that is a flashpoint for civ growth, and that I still have at monopoly. But I have to pay up, since now the diplomatic win is everything.

Kumbi Saleh now surprises me by accumulating enough GPP to spawn a Prophet. I didn't have any shrines to build, obviously wasn't going to lightbulb Divine Right, and wasn't going to find two more spare GPs for another golden age. So all that was left was to settle him in Kumbi, with Wall Street boosting the cash and the hammers going towards the UN.

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The computers did get Democracy, and so I had to trade for it and get into Emancipation.

choptheun.jpg 321x413And since the UN victory is now everything, there's nothing to lose by cashing in all the forests to speed it up.

secretary.jpg 409x505The secrenatorial election came in, and I easily won with both my buddies on my side.

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However, my team totaled 335 votes, and the victory condition screen said 356 would be necesssary for the victory. Well, that means I need to capture a bit of territory from Arabia as I'd planned.

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infantry-cr3.jpg 237x79So I shut off research to get cash for upgrades - yes, 888 gold per turn - and started marching towards Arabian cities. Infantry can beat rifles pretty easily, and now I was upgrading all the obsolete garrison military I'd had around (remember I was in Hereditary Rule the whole game and heavily relying on garrisons for happiness). So the actual conquest of Arabia presented very little difficulty -- especially with two City Raider 3 infantry that were upgraded from axemen.deadhead.gif 43x15

election-1782.jpg 384x254I couldn't get to the first Arabian city in time for the first election, so I didn't quite win that one.

medina.jpg 522x333Capuring Medina wasn't enough for the second election attempt either.

baghdad.jpg 555x411I timed my capture of the next city, Baghdad to come right before the third election...

election-1798.jpg 395x266but still fell three freakin votes short.

The fourth election was a secretarial re-election instead of a victory attempt. Can I have my freaking triumph already?

And finally, with vote attempt #5, after one more city capture of Mecca...

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we win.

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Diplomatic Victory in 1813 AD. I think that's pretty fast just in general, though I could have counted the votes ahead of time and done that conquering before actually building the UN. In a scored game, I probably would've, but here I was just concerned with getting it over with before my buddies Roosevelt and Caesar discovered Free Religion and lowered our diplomatic relations.

Speaking of diplomatic relations, here's how it turned out in the end:

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I've tried diplomacy before, and been disappointed when civs at +6 relations wouldn't vote for me. Now I know better, and had both of those leaders locked in as friends for good.

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And here's my GNP in the end.

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The broad peak is my double-length Golden Age, with the dip in the middle of that being the expiring of the Colossus. The late-game conquering slowed my economy enough that Roosevelt and Hatty passed my GNP, but I still held a lead of six techs and was well poised for space if the diplomacy had somehow fallen apart.

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26760 points, second in my Hall of Fame. Well, good game, and I look forward to comparing this against other Mali players that settled for the default subpar capital starting position...