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Huge Map Marathon Domination

For any venture of this magnitude, it was worth spending a couple hours to reroll maps and starts until finding a good one. A few times I played even up to 100 turns or so until deciding I didn't like the layout or resources or something. This try began with a solid but not spectacular start. Two freshwater corn, but not much else. Still, there was a plains hill within view, so I moved the settler just to have a look, ready to click Regenerate Map...

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Gold is very nice. Not a perfect start (VirusMonster said he always restarted until he got two gems), but worth playing a little bit to see what we find. Worker takes 24 turns, Agriculture takes 34 turns, warrior takes 10 turns, no reason not to do a warrior first.

What did we find?

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A free worker steal on turn 15! (There's another reason for Immortal difficulty - steal the AI starting workers!) Here we go!

Then I got very lucky when a scout of Washington's bumped into an exploring warrior of mine down south in the tundra. I killed the scout, which forced the Washington AI to think it was losing the war, and sign peace with me. Usually I found in my play attempts that an AI would not sign peace after a worker steal. But this paid off bigtime some more turns later:

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Stole two workers almost before I could even have built one myself. By now I was properly ahead of Washington in power, and he signed peace quickly. That meant it was child's play to dip from that same well again...

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and again...

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and again...

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and again.

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Hey George, did you know your name is next to "gullible" in the dictionary?

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Awww. Rats. He finally got smart. But SEVEN stolen workers before 2000 BC is about as explosive a start as you can get.

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Besides all that fun, I was developing at home. I don't remember the tech and build order but it wasn't anything spectacular. Just get to Bronze Working, where seven stolen workers start chopping settlers at breakneck speed. The Wheel for roads, then Iron Working. I popped a tech or two from huts but nothing big, Fishing I think. And I got some scouts out to explore this pangaea and contact everyone.

At the very early date of 2110 BC, Sitting Bull somehow learned Alphabet. I gifted him Mining in order to trade Bronze for AH, except that he deemed me his worst enemy! A while later he cooled off and I did trade him Iron Working for AH.

Iron Working arrived in 2050 BC. I had a settler ready to run for iron wherever it might be... and it appeared right next to Rome! So here we go...

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In 1920 BC, I moved in to attack my neighbor Korea with 5 praetorians and more coming. I ran the numbers on Combat 1 versus City Raider 1, and surprisingly CR1 does come out slightly ahead. CR2 is clearly superior then, so the Praets did go with City Raider. Three attacks on Wonsan and three wins. However I should have thought far enough ahead to have one C1 Praet attack and win, for enough experience to promote to Medic. I did on the next city.

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So I cracked an AI capital in 1860 BC, and killed off Korea at that last city P'yongyang in 1830 BC. (Quite lucky that the Protective civ didn't found cities on any hills.) I killed 11 Korean archers to 3 Praetorian losses, just about in line with my average attack odds of 72%.

I continued to conquer Brennus of the Celts over east of Korea right afterward, which went quick and bloodlessly enough that I didn't even bother to take screenshots. The Oracle fell somewhere in 1750 BC, I think Gilgamesh because he jumped to the top of the scoreboard. Here's an overview just after that. I've taken control of my little starting peninsula, and next swept the Praetorians up towards Washington. Gilgamesh is across that little gulf to the northeast, and Egypt is visible in the far west.

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Now I was trying to get to Currency to rescue the economy of course, but kept getting sidetracked. Had to research Mysticism for monuments and a border pop in my captured cities. Had to research Hunting to get some ivory online for happy. Had to research Meditation to spread my one religion, Buddhism that came from Seoul. That paid off though when I finally landed a decent trade, Sailing and Polytheism from Pericles giving up Meditation and Iron Working.

Back to warring, conquering America was a non-event to kill a civ crippled by 7 worker steals. (Marathon speed makes offensive war absurdly powerful, and about equivalent to dropping two difficulty levels.)

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And I continued on to Egypt, the Praetorian legions now 12 units strong including a GG medic, many up to the godly City Raider 3. Ramesses tried to throw me a speed bump by buying Ragnar and Churchill as allies, but of course they were a million miles away. I razed two Egyptian cities, but then wow - four axemen on defense!

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So I skipped the city and diverted towards Egypt's capital, my real goal anyway. I basically forked Memphis and Thebes, although the AI isn't smart enough to pull units on zone defense.

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Hey, maybe it is! Except... the tactical execution gets it killed anyway. Now the axemen are out in the open, not behind culture defense and fortify bonus. Here, the praetorians do beat them (I'd been smart enough to promote a couple with Combat + Shock rather than CR.) Then I shuffled back to Memphis, beat three defenders at the cost of one Praet, then back over to Thebes and razed it with two. Nice - that captured Stonehenge! And it comes with a settled Great Prophet.

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I ate Egypt down to one city - actually losing a few praetorians now against defending axemen. Then finally finally finally accepted Alphabet for peace. (For the longest time, he had been offering Masonry + Priesthood for peace, but not Alphabet.) The conquer cash rode me through to Mathematics at 100% research.

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I next attacked Pericles over this way, slaughtering through one city then his capital. He broke and gave me exactly what I wanted: Masonry. The conquer cash also rode me to Monotheism for Org Rel.

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