Take 3: Turn 267 Nothing flash about the starting position but thought I’d play a few turns and see what happens. Seems like the starting dirt only determines how good the capital is but it’s the surrounding dirt that determines the Empire. And the neighbours. Aside from the Barbarian Scout, we meet Pericles around turn 10. He’s really quite close and seems to have a high and mighty opinion of himself. Let’s build some slingers. Three, to be precise. Around turn 20 or so we meet another neighbour - Hojo. He’s also met Pericles and has a warrior standing outside my soon to be Expo - Athens. Barbarian Scout, meet sling stone and say helloooo archery. Upgrade and quick march. Pericles mustn’t be the trusting sort - he’s got a few warriors and a couple of scouts out and about but only a minor delay. Turn 39 and we meet *another* neighbour - Trajan. He hasn’t met Pericles yet. And nor will he. Turn 40 and Athens is ours. Not sure what to call it so we’ll let the name stick. Pericles’ carcass is quietly taken away. Before he left us, Pericles was kind enough to build us a couple of quarries, a Campus, a settler and a builder. We must have had four Eurekas and an inspiration off that capture alone. Troops, about face. Let’s go find Hojo! He’s north of us a little. As is Trajan. Trajan is closer but wants to be besties - why not? He doesn’t really know us yet. Hojo knows us and he’s a little sad. Turn 50 and he’s sadder without his little Kyoto. We negotiated peace - only because we have no idea where the little bastard is hiding in some place called Fukuoka. Still, lots of GPT and Silk Texts as a part of the deal will tide us over until we find him. I’ve sent the boys out to go look for him and they practically tripped over China. He’s not happy with us for a few unknown reasons and won’t even take a delegation. I guess that makes him next. Japan can live on a little longer - maybe even a lot longer if they’re far enough away. Trajan and Hojo are happy to purchase my excess marble so the coffers are filling nicely - 19.6 GPT. In the meantime, the population has been busy revelling in our victories. Patna (5), Hyderabad (4), Mumbai (2), Agra (1) and Srinagar (1) have all been established. Patna has a campus up (with three mountains nearby) and Kyoto’s, Mumbai’s and Hyderabad’s are underway. At turn 80, things are looking promising. *** Turn 109 and we’ve added Chengdu and Xian to the Empire. In breaking news, we think we’ve found Fukuoka. If correct, it’s where we thought Rome was for the last 80 turns. Germany is to our East. (We’re in the bottom left corner of the world). Germany has met Trajan but not China or Japan. Trajan has just denounced Japan so we might peace out with China - they only have Beijing left - and try for a joint war with Japan assuming we’ve correctly identified Fukuoka. *** Turn 115 and China has been consigned to history. Warmonger score has increased with Trajan so I doubt he’ll want to be mates when our current friendship expires. Time to deal with Japan now. I have a newly trained catapult and an archer close by. *** Japan was dealt with pretty quickly. Friendship expired with Trajan and denouncement followed. From there, it was fairly peaceful while I built out a few more cities. Trajan declared war so I took a city and added another in the peace deal. He and Freddy hated me for the rest of the game. After a bit of scouting I met Spain and Sumeria on the other side of the map quietly trying to kill each other. Sumeria invited me to joint war with Spain but I declined. Peace ensued until around turn 240 when Trajan decided I hadn’t upgraded my military or built enough units and declared war along with Spain. By this point, I was bored trying to build the last parts - almost every city was on industrial or campus projects and I had 3,500 in the bank. Upgraded two archers to machine guns and a spearman to an AT Crew - more than enough to put Trajan out of the game. It was only right at the end I realised I’d neglected faith - 7,500 accrued I could have spent on an earlier Carl Sagan to bring it home 10 - 15 turns earlier.