Round 5: 5 BC to 460 AD I tried to switch to Caste System at the start of the round, but I had just recently changed civics, so I had to wait one turn. Meanwhile, I figured I'd do a little whipping: I also whipped a Granary in Prague. On the very next turn, I was able to change civics: No, I wasn't able to run many merchant specialists, but I did run 1-2 in Barcelona for most of the round and that helped buoy up my research to a great extent. So Currency took 16 turns to finish, counting from the start of the round: The economy started its turnaround right away; I was able to raise the slider from 20% to 40% almost immediately, and gold from Liz and Pacal (my Buddhist bosom buddies--for now) allowed me to research at a deficit. I next started researching Compass. Why Compass? Well, from what everyone said in the pre-game thread, I gather one key to the Apostolic Palace win is to bee-line to Optics, get your Missionaries out to the other civs (at least one city, perhaps only that) and then have the diplomatic win vote. Besides, it didn't look like any of the other civs were going to go after Compass, so it would probably be good tech-trading fodder as well. My wandering Woodsman II Warrior spotted a barb city to the far southwest. Since several of my city-raiding units had nothing better to do, I sent them down there. Along the way, look what they spotted in the jungle: A barb spearman--yes, they do exist! This is the first time I've seen one. Looks like Elizabeth's Chariot was high-tailing it away from the thing. I didn't trade Currency for anything right away. I'm sharing the continent with two Financial civs, so I didn't want to help them out unless it was worthwhile. As it turned out, Pacal researched a couple of worthwhile techs, so I first traded him Currency for Maths: That, I reasoned, would help the chopping I was doing around Aachen to help build the Apostolic Palace. It also opened up the next tech I was able to obtain from Pacal, which you'll see shortly. That mini-stack of city raiders took out the barb city: It took them several turns to get there and back, but for 87 gold, a couple of XPs, and a free Worker, I figured it was worth it. I razed the city rather than keeping it. I was tempted, what with the gold, the corn, and the pigs, but it's just too far away for my beleaguered economy right now. No doubt Pacal will re-settle in the area. C'est la vie. Meanwhile, I got my next Great Prophet and sent him to Aachen to help with the economy: At round's end, it was pulling in 9 GPT, not great, but not bad. I can always spread Buddhism around later on. What should I use the next Great Prophet for? I figure there's really two possibilities--either the Church of the Nativity, or to help research Divine Right. Remember I said that Pacal researched another worthwhile tech? There, now I can build War Elephants! Not that I have yet. I'd like to get Horseback Riding for Stables first, but my power rating is dropping so that may take too long. Later in the round, the Apostolic Palace was finally 1 turn away from completion. It was time to change religions: So on the next turn... Now, I've spread Christianity to 3 out of my 5 cities. Pacal has it in one of his. Should I spread it to more of his cities, or leave it for now? As you can see, in spite of the religious change, he only dropped from "Friendly" to "Pleased": Liz dropped from "Pleased" to "Cautious"--a negative random event didn't help. Sitting Bull remained the same, of course, though it's interesting that he converted to Judaism. That means he's in contact with the Jewish civ(s). I sent a Galley to explore his land mass in hopes of finding everybody. The result of the AP election was an anti-climax: And while all that was going on, my intrepid little Galley did indeed find another civ, though not the founder of Judaism: So Brennus was distinctly unfriendly from the get-go. Worst of all, he wouldn't open his borders, so my Galley had to turn around and head all the way back to explore the continent in the other direction. Sheesh! Some people. If Brennus remains unfriendly, I'll have to use the gift-a-Caravel-with-a-Missionary trick with him, possibly more than once. The founder of Judaism remains a mystery for now. I finished Compass in 445 AD, just before I ended the round: No one wants to trade anything, period, so I'm holding onto it for now. Here is a look at the map of Spain as of the end of this round: No, no new cities, not even a Settler, though as you can see I'm building one in Barcelona, and I have an Archer fog-busting down near the horse/fish/ivory site. A state of the world post will follow.