I forgot the Noble's Club also had a Brennus game. That map
and that start is a slice of heaven compared to what I got!
Justinian did not attack Darius but other annoying things can happen. I never had anything to bribe anyone to do anything. I had little control over how the game unfolded.
Round 5: Conquest of China (1050AD - 1520AD)
Recap: 860AD, Genghis, bottom score, declared on Justinian, top score and clear leader. The predictable result was a round of group-retaliation (PG forum sorry) by both Qin of China and Zara Yaqob of Ethiopia. 3v1 and its the Khan's own doing.
Trust me when I say I am not pleased to see this development at all!
By 1170AD, the gang also "requested" that I join in. No because I wanted to maintain all the foreign trade routes.
On the contrary, I (basically) gifted whatever I had just to hope that he holds out for longer.
1180AD, Military tradition is in and I traded it around.
I know we're supposed to go cannons but my economy is so weak and backwards I need to try something else. That secret sauce is... free market! I think I got, like, a 60 raw-commerce boost immediately, and I'm being conservative.
An important diplomatic decision to make in 1210AD
Well... the Babylonians gifted us the secrets of currency remember? How can I refuse their simple request? Although it does mean I have now aligned myself with the Hindu bloc, against the Confucian bloc. It's not optimal because the Apostolic Palace is Confucian.
Since I went military tradition, I drafted and whipped and sailed to China by 1240AD:
Strategy: Beijing is on a hill and loaded with units because China is at war with Mongolia. My order of attack is Shanghai - - > Guangzhou - - > Beijing. Once I land, units will be drawn out from Beijing to try to fight me. Obviously I prefer fighting enemies in the field. It also eases some pressure off Mongolia (thank goodness they signed peace with Ethiopia shortly before).
The key to this is... wait for this... the dun! Well okay I only build one in the capital but still that's a couple of muskets with guerilla II for stack protection. More importantly, as I throw muskets against cities, and being charismatic, survivors can gain the guerilla II promotion.
This detail is important. Look at the map carefully. After Shanghai, my surviving muskets can keep up with the curaissers. Is the Dun good? No. But striking with the whole stack one turn sooner is not nothing because it's one turn sooner _ _ per city _ _.
Trebuchets have no role in this. They move too slowly, are useless against castles, and frankly I don't have the production. Gunpowder ignore castle defense so I am "only" fighting CGIII longbows with 60% defense.
1260AD more trading, this time also for an important tech:
1320AD, after taking the three cities, I declare a peace treaty. For me it was the same thing as a ceasefire because I needed 10 turns to prepare the next attack anyway.
Stingy AI personality. Even later on, right before I finish them off, they still didn't offer anything besides capitulation.
1360AD: Justinian summons the AP to give me trouble. My cold dead hands.
1420AD: the second campaign begins, and I faced more determined and advanced resistance. This defending stack would normally cost me at least a dozen muskets and several curaissers. But this time I had cannons and the kill-death ratio was a turnaround from the first campaign.
Another use for the guerilla II promotion: pillaging strategic resources on hills. I saw ironclad, ship of the line, cannons, frigates, and other nonsense. Real shame if I pillaged the only source of iron.
1520AD tech situation when China fell:
Outline of current situation
- Ethiopia and Babylon, the Hindu brothers, signed a defensive pact long ago. I am friendly with Babylon.
- During 1440AD, near the beginning of my second campaign to conquer China, the Mongols capitulated to Byzantine. Mongolia was no longer at war with China and no cities were lost. This is the capitulation I least wanted to see - - when the vassal's lands are completely intact!
- Byzantine is worst enemies of Babylon and Persia. Persia is worst enemies of Byzantine. (Mongolia is worst enemies of Ethiopia but I don't think Zara Yaqob is dumb enough to... )
- Babylon just asked me to stop trading with them. Stop trading with the leading faction is good idea but, logistically, I needed access to Byzantine lands to attack Persia. I am not sure what to do.
- Beijing had two settled great generals and many workshops so I build the heroic epic there. Around two (2) cannons every three (3) turns. I can aimlessly crank cannons.
- I have no galleons left. (Former) China invested heavily in combat navy and sunk everything. In fact, had it not been circumnavigation bonus, the game would have ended before it began.