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techs-two-civs.jpg 379x471And then there were two, with me over 50% land area now. Since Qin has Chemistry while Cyrus lacks Gunpowder, it's clear that Persian cities will be the priority to finish this up, though I'd also go after convenient outlying Chinese cities.qin-cyrus-friendly.jpg 361x341
And the two remaining civs are the closest buddy-buddy pair of AIs that I've ever seen, at +19 relations!

military.jpg 349x449Well, without further ado:

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I even pushed as far as capturing the Persian capital before domination kicked in.

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Domination Victory in 1734 AD. First time I've seen the domination victory movie. Wow, it's damn cool.

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It's satisfying to have a military victory for once that was actually a military victory, rather than a tech victory in disguise. The bulk of my land combat was knights against longbowmen and pikemen and some elephants, so that's basically fair fights. Well, it starts as fair fights, but once the knights get up to Combat IV + an assortment of Shock/Pinch/Formation, they do kind of roll over anything short of grenadiers.

Cavalry did speed things up later, but they didn't do anything for me that a few more knights couldn't have done. For land units, my overall kill ratio was 133 to 20, which is good but not insane. (I only killed 133 enemy units? Weekend OCC #2 took over 500 kills! The AIs really do have a hard time putting together good hammer production on archipelago maps.)

Well, the nautical side of things was mostly a tech victory in disguise. I beelined both components of Frigates (Astronomy and Chemistry) -- even before Code of Laws -- and owned the seas with them. Discounting early galleys lost to enemy caravels before Optics, my naval kill ratio was 41 to 3.

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I think the biggest single key point in the whole game was getting the Heroic Epic done as soon as possible, at the highest-hammer location on the starting continent. That's where my power starts taking off in the graph, right where Russia's power starts to wilt. I'd estimate that three-fourths or more of my military came from that one city of Ning-hsia. The Heroic Epic says it doubles one city's military production, but its real effect operates on a grander scale. If you have just that one city producing military, the Heroic Epic doubles your entire civ's military production. Think about that. Same deal goes for the Bureaucracy-Academy combination; if your one city is producing nearly all of your civ's economy, the slingshot doubles your entire civ's economic output.

The little hitch in the power graph around 1600 AD was when Ning-hsia paused to build West Point instead of more cavalry. That was a mistake; the extra XP never mattered.

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And the final GNP graph:

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Isn't that the most absurd Golden Age spike you've ever seen? More to say in a bit.

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Wow, #1 on my Hall of Fame with a bullet! I confess I really have no understanding of that "normalized" game scoring system. Well, I know it's a multiplicative factor applied to the accumulated in-game score, which is itself essentially multiplicative regarding city count times city size. So the way to max out that score is to go conquering and keep all the cities, then punch through to a victory condition (probably domination) as soon as possible.

So I guess this is what the Civ 3 game of Horse Feathers was supposed to be. Four years later, but we finally got a game where it was indeed about conquering an archipelago world with horses. Glad we could finally put that right by Sirian's vision. :D

That wraps up the game report, but I've still got a lot to say about that GNP graph.

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