- 1st place ATEX - 131 turns- Menelix II of Ethiopia
- 2nd place Bangau - 143 turns - Matthias of Hungary (june 2021)
- 3rd place always_early - 143 turns - Jayavarman of Khmer (august 2021)
- 4th place: Bangau - 144 turns - Peter of Russia (apr 2021)
- 5th place: whacker - 173 turns - Qin Shi Huang of China
- 6th place: The Highwayman - 178 turns - Yayavarman of Khmer (may 2021)
- 7th place: Victoria - 191 turns - Kupe of Aoteoroa
- 8th place: kirrbbb - 195 turns - Matthias Corvinus of Hungary
- 9th place: Ceydezed - 216 turns - Pericles of Greece
- 10th place: Bangau - 236 turns - Pachacuti of the Inca
Just finished a turn 143 peaceful victory w/ Khmer. Unlocked Offworld mission turn 139 I think, could have been a little faster (141?) with more than 6 spaceports, got a little lazy towards the end. New to the forum; l played Civ 4 way back when and made a big mistake installing 6 last year, have put a disturbing number of hours into this game in 2021. Sort of stumbled into a T180ish win with Khmer on a Tsingy start last weekend, my best by about 20 turns (conquered France around T70 and picked up some great wonders) and got inspired to try a speedrun. Messed around with some of the suggestions on here (Alex breaking one-tech limit is doable but so, so, so tedious; Teddy so tough to balance production/chopping with keeping science/culture) but went back to my guy Jay. Do not know how to get the save file or really even use these forums, but tried to attach screenshots and learnings from the week.
Map: Large, wetlands, legendary, abundant, new, wet, cold start.
Modes: dramatic ages, barbs, heroes, ss, monopolies.
Wetlands obvious choice as Khmer, the rest I think self-explanatory? Not sure new age is ideal for Khmer more generally, but worked out fantastic. Went with cold since Tundra obviously has more woods than for chop cities than desert and doesn't spawn rainforest, plus Khmer can make Tundra work pretty well with their food bonuses. This sort of backfired as I didn't have a Petra city or a place to put Pyramids early.
CS: max Science, max Faith, max Culture minus Vilnius, for gold I picked Hunza, Zanzibar, and Muscat. Industrial obviously Hong Kong but I also picked Johannesburg for potential early production, and Buenos Aires / Mexico City for amenities. Trying to keep cities happy especially if I shunned River Goddess.
2 AIs: Gilgamesh and Mansa Musa. I was tinkering around with settings and this was supposed to be a test run. Thinking was that I could ally Gilgamesh early, trade with him, maybe get some dramatic age cities since Khmer golden age pressure is fantastic. Mali I planned to spy on and steal gold.
Natural wonders: Yosemite, Roirama, Torres, Paititi, Matterhorn, Tsingy.
Still thought I was in the testing phase; when I rolled the start though, it ended up being the start from heaven. Torres, completely surrounded by plains hills.
Spawned southwest corner of the wonder and immediately discovered Himiko; needed a river so I moved east. I ended up doing a turn 3 settle, which is very unusual for me, for 2 reasons: +3 reef campus / +4 harbor southwest, and guarantee a holy site and aqueduct on the river in first ring. Ended up I probably could have stayed in place as the harbor city didn't have an aqueduct or holy site location and ended up being kind of useless.
Production was off the charts, so in lieu of scouts my strategy was to go monument=>Himiko, suz and levy a city state by turn 12 and use the warriors to scout. Went mining first since my holy site location had woods on it; ended up not mattering. Normally I'd go Pingala cap, scout out a settler chopping city, but for this one I decided without grassland in the capital that I'd double-Magnus and try to get my gov plaza up ASAP. Worked like a charm. Met Mohenjo Daro turn 4, which was perfect. Same turn my warrior popped a hut with craftsmanship and found a new continent. I found ~10 city states and ~10 tribal villages with Himiko and the warriors and no AIs on my continent. I think I finished the ancient era with something like 73 era score. Hidden bonus of the Himiko/suz strategy was that I had pretty much my entire continent revealed by the time I had ancestral hall / monumentality and got to do a nice long pinfest.
From there it was pretty smooth sailing. Didn't love the tundra region so I went with River Goddess. Delayed religion longer than I expected (T52, just had so much stuff to do), picked Work Ethic and colonization. No woods near holy site in my capital and didn't know if or when I'd get Mahaboudi. Had to grab Sinbad in order to find the AI, which took a minute. When I did I met Mali across the ocean and he paid 93 gpt for my diplo stash which I think was around 400 favor at that point. Initially was hoping to friend Gilgamesh soon and steal Musa's gold, but didn't actually meet Sumeria until after I needed the Inspiration for diplomatic service so ended up allying Mali (he loved my gold income...) and using Grand Master's Chapel to hit the military eurekas.
What could have gone better:
- The big one: world didn't enter classical era until turn 51, which delayed Chorus.
- Very few bonus resources on the map. Not 100% sure I remembered to select abundant (though there were plenty of strategics, and Taruga never spawned). Only one science CS on my continent and 3 industrial. Johannesburg can be great early-game on abundant resources, but this map had far fewer bonus resources than I would have expected and it ended up being useless. Likewise Buenos Aires and Caguana did nothing for me.
- Horses spawned on the only flat coastal tile in capital. I almost cried, since I had to chop Sinbad in what ended up being my Kilwa city.
- Geneva and Bologna didn't spawn until very late and I think both were actually behind the ice shelf at the bottom of the map not even sure I found them before earth satellite.
- Went Holy Site => Gov Plaza => Theater Square in the cap, and made a huge mistake going for IZ as fourth district when I hit pop 10 (you can see the lonely campus pin at turn 102). With no grassland or farms I didn't get to 13 until Wisselbanken got my food up on the CS trade routes.
- Missed Hypatia, still not really sure how.
- Nearest flat desert tile was on the complete other side of the continent. Nobody built Pyramids though so I got it around T90 or so.
- Eventually added Gurdwaras, but never felt the time was right to pick a fourth belief instead of another builder, settler, or military eureka. Should have probably grabbed tithe at some point or cross-cultural dialogue, though I did the math and I was so far ahead in science that it never would have given me more than ~3% lift. If I had grabbed vatican city earlier I would have had more CS converted and more followers.
- I didn't always grab great library (AI really prioritizes it) in my test games, but it's really quite something. I left CS warriors standing next to tribal villages before it completed, and had the classical/medieval eureka scientist Aryabhata (missed hypatia).
- Mali is a great AI for gold farming in trades, pillaging, or spying, but damn if he doesn't take a lot of great merchants. I think I made one corporation? Not sure how big a deal that was, in a wide-but-tall game you're not getting a ton out of one-city benefits.
- With a Moksha, grandmaster's chapel and Valetta you can get all your military eurekas and your strategic stockpiles with faith. Very powerful. As mentioned above, my initial plan was to use intelligence agency and steal from Mali but if I tried again I think I'd plan on GMC.
- Have always thought Bi Sheng was a useless great engineer, but having to recruit since I had to take them all I learned that the Kumasi combo is fantastic. Ended up with 4 extra culture on each trade route, 5.2 with the Kilwa/Pingala bonus. This alone was 5% of my total culture at one point.
- Theocracy 15% faith discount is super powerful. I switched to democracy at one point to buy my chop tiles but honestly don't think it was worth it. Just generating and spending so much more faith than gold, probably would have shaved a turn or two if I'd ignored tier 4 and gone straight to optimization imperative.
- High aluminum stockpile is important for getting the most out of Magnus, as you just can't power an empty city that fast. I think I chopped 11 space projects in two turns in my Magnus city -- 7 off aluminum and 4 off of power, with the builders from the first turn putting down solar panels / wind farms on the second turn. Aerospace contractors is a fantastic card for a multi-spaceport setup and got me an extra lagrange project.
- I almost always build gov plaza in second city, but built in cap this time to get AH and GMC as fast as possible. This was very key for getting a campus up next to flat tiles for GL/Oxford as well as quick double GPP on Pingala given the Magnus start in cap.
- Very possible that this map (tons of plains hills) would have been better with Jesuit Education. I built holy site first in every city, but probably should have done some campus-only cities once my gold was good enough to buy the library, but there were plenty of +5 holy sites to be had and bootstrapping cities to 10 food / 10 production in 3 turns is too tempting. Honestly didn't even need the full ~2000 faith per turn I was getting towards the end.
- You can never have enough spaceport chop cities. On a wet map with Mohenjo Daro you can almost always settle a 3 chop city to get your first district. With Khmer/Work Ethic, this is enough to build a productive, well-fed city so you can save Hercules classical charges for Spaceports towards the end of the Medieval Era. Grabbing Hercules at the very end of the Ancient Era ensures he's available for maximum impact. I used him for recorded history boost and early +6 holy sites in cities then basically sat on the charges for Spaceports. I ended at 25 LY/turn, but could have shaved a turn off with another two Spaceport cities and ended the game with Moksha not in a Spaceport city and an extra Hercules charge.
- Not only are research labs useless -- by the time they're available, you should be at or near globalization -- they're counterproductive, since they drain power from your cities. It didn't end up mattering, but I accidentally took one city out of the space race for a turn.
- I think it best to use the Oxford / Nalanda free techs around the time you start one-teching and every near-term tech is on your tree.
- Armagh more powerful than I remembered. Before Civil Engineering I had all plains and/or tundra hills in next to an aqueduct and a city center, and spamming 3 faith tiles was super helpful.
- Late-game tribal village hunting is fantastic. Two Eurekas in Atomic/Information are really clutch for getting overflow. I almost stopped one teching once or twice before globalization.
- I sort of decided it was a peaceful game at some point, but Gilgamesh and Mansa fought most of the game and I'm sure I could have levied a CS on the other side of the map, picked up a city and some Domreys to take out Mali and grab commercial hubs and Etemenanki.
- One thing from an earlier game -- Fez might be one way to get around one tech per turn, when you have the ~720 techs.