On the technology front, it was quite the guessing game as to whether I was ahead or behind. I had beelined Astronomy, Chemistry (via Guilds-Gunpowder), and Military Tradition in that order, while skipping Paper. Since Paper blocks a lot of other things, I had no idea how far ahead the AIs were on that branch. Some clues came from Gandhi getting the Liberalism slingshot a little while back, and also his switching to Free Market. So I'm quite behind on that branch, but on the other hand I know I got Nationalism and Military Tradition ahead of anyone else. And Cyrus still lacks Gunpowder while I'm at Chemistry.
Yeah, that's what I would call a bottlenecked research path.
Here's the current GNP graph:
Yeah. Check out that incredible nosedive by my Mongols there. No way could they be competitive in tech, right? Wrong. I'm still researching in the black at 40%, plus a now-massive beaker output from the Mercantilism + Representation package. In homage to Diablo 2, I christen this the Lying GNP Screen. I'll have more to say at the end of this report.
And here's an overview shot of everything as the Taj Mahal kicked off my Golden Age.
I'm at 44.80% land area, two-thirds of the way to domination. Should just be a cruise on home from here. Enemy riflemen might slow me down (again, I have no idea where my opponents are on that branch of the tech tree) but won't stop me. For domination, I don't have to conquer the entire Chinese/Persian home continent; just taking all the outlying islands should be enough. That present number doesn't include most of the Indian homeland, which is still in resistance.
Incidentally, Karakorum built the Taj Mahal for 1050 hammers exactly in 21 turns at exactly 50 hammers/turn the whole way. I thought that was pretty neat; shades of precise Civ 3 micromanagement.
This shot also shows the large collection of resources I've amassed. With up to 14 happy faces and 13 health from resources, my cities hardly had any growth problems except when war weariness got severe. I did need to run 10% culture most of the time for the extra bit of happiness.
More Taj Mahal humor: Those crazy engineers built it ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN next to Karakorum!
Oooh, that looks like a juicy target. Just what I need to keep maintenance costs in control down the home stretch here...
I'm sure this is India's last city. Hopefully it's their last units too; I haven't seen any Indian boats floating around lately. C'mon baby...
Bingo, India's eliminated. "Require Complete Kills" turned out not to really matter in my game. I'm sure somebody got tripped up by a rogue caravel or galleon drifting around in solitude, but such a problem didn't befall me.
Say what? Gandhi already got that! Well, Cyrus took Sci Method with it, so it's no military danger. (Yes, this is a known bug, fixed in Warlords. The check for a civ being the first to discover Liberalism doesn't include dead civs.)
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