I often say that my favorite moments of Civilization game play are weaving disparate threads together into a coherent strategy. That happened here. Along with research to Banking, I timed the Mausoleum of Mausollos and my third Great Person all together. After a quick research to Music for the artist, I launched the Maus-enhanced 2-man Golden Age and revolted to Mercantilism-Caste-Vassalage. Then a little ways into that Golden Age, Bureaucracy arrived, plus my fourth Great Person came as a Scientist for the multiplicatively enhanced Academy in Persepolis.
(A caste of merchants running the bureaucracy of a representative government? Isn't that exactly what that Occupy Wall Street kerfuffle is all about? Hint: it happens in the real world because it WORKS. But I digress.)
What did all that do for GNP?
Doubled it. For free, not for 4200 hammers worth of universities and Oxford.
This was also the perfect time to spend a while in Caste System. A Golden Age means VERTICAL growth. Don't whip away population working Golden Age boosted tiles, especially juicy 5-commerce coast! Island cities took quite a while to become productive, but as long as I stayed off the whip hand, they surely would. Also getting core cities to 15 population helped, so that island cities got 3-commerce trade routes to them.
I had to research Engineering myself, but Ramesses conveniently went to Compass and Optics for me. Nice, saves a few turns - Optics is required for Medicine.
I also did the Hanging Gardens around this time, and once the Golden Age was over, started expanding more out into the islands. About time for a humongous overview.
Yeah, there's a mess of English cities in there that I never conquered. I'd wiped out the rest of Portugal and France (though Qin declared war too and took Rheims), but Victoria somehow got to Feudalism and longbows, which weren't worth cracking. Besides, I couldn't take any more territory on the mainland anyway for fear of domination. (I don't know why Paris is building a trebuchet. I never used it.) In fact, I already planned to give away most of the southern cities, everything from Oporto southwards, to stay under domination.
I finally came to my senses and started the Forbidden Palace in Lisbon. I'd been waiting for some good island location to present itself, but that didn't happen. Just can't ever find an island city with enough hammers to build the FP quickly. Moai Statues take too long. Lisbon just did the FP now, better to get it up soon. I'll think about relocating the Palace later. The FP saved a good 80/turn in distance maintenance now plus inflation - should have done that way sooner.
And yes, I'm building Angkor Wat. The pieces all fit together. Angkor itself gives three priest slots, which at 2 hammers goes a fair distance towards Washington itself continuing to build wonders while still farming Great People. With the Apostolic Palace and Sankore, Buddhist temples are worthwhile for island cities -- and provide a very nice specialist slot for Mercantilism at cheaper cost than whipping the forge.
And so we just kept building. The first item after the granary was always the Organized courthouse. Forges and universities and Oxford and banks followed; the latter important because we'd need to get Wall Street started soon. I built the Globe Theater at Bibracte, my highest food city, and whipped settlers out of it about every seven turns to settle the islands while other cities were growing vertically.
This city of Gordium had an interesting life. From the beginning I planned to find a site centrally located in the islands with three or more food resources. Such a site would build Moai Statues, to serve as a powerhouse to crank ships and settlers and executives on the other side of the world from the home cities. But Gordium did not build the Forbidden Palace; I wanted its second national wonder slot for the Heroic Epic in order to easily build the vast armada of galleys and caravels that would be needed to populate all the islands. But that didn't happen. Gordium needed a ton of infrastructure to get up to full size: courthouse, happy (forge and market), health (harbor and grocer), and by then I'd gotten my 30 galleys from other cities by building them on demand when needed.
But Gordium later found another calling of great importance. India researched Divine Right and I had the EP to steal it. So Gordium built Versailles! This wonder rarely works out well. It's very expensive (800 hammers on normal, 2400 on marathon), and any city far enough away to be worthwhile hardly ever has the strength to build it quickly. You can't wait for a youngling distant city to build it because an AI will stupidly build it sooner in a core city of theirs. But this worked out perfectly here, even though I hadn't planned it. Versailles saved over 200/turn distance maintenance right away, and something like 1000 by the end of the game.
Grr, Gandhi got a Great Engineer and swiped Notre Dame. And grrr. Frederick peacetime-vassaled to Gandhi! I'd planned to come back and wipe out Germany eventually, but not if I have to fight a big dog to do it.
Anyway, all that economic activity got some serious research going. Naturally my targets were Biology, then Corporation, and Liberalism to Medicine. Standard stuff. Sid's Sushi was established in 280 AD, and here we go.
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