Part Seven - Diplomacy, War, and the Iron Fist 1350 Anno Domini -- The game resumes. Don't let the title fool you, there's still plenty of war going on during Part Seven. But diplomacy will be taking on a more important and precarious role during these times as well. In addition, Greece will have to wield an iron fist to establish her rule for good. Fortunately the iron first will not be dealt in the form of changing the government to Despotism! If you recall from the last post, Greece is currently fighting a two-front war, and their crazy leader is quite excited about it. On one front, the Greeks fight the French, and are currently laying siege to Orleans. On the other front, Greece is allied with the Romans and Celts against world superpower and score leader India. The French front has been going quite well; while Greece itself has made headway on the Indian front, its Roman allies are still working to recover lost territory. Greece has a bit more leeway in the war with India than its allies thanks to a Portuguese buffer zone. The next target for Greece will be the Indian city of Dacca. Dacca was built on the island of Java following the destruction of the Dutch city there by the Russians. It is located on a hill, and, depending on the technological means of the defenders, could be quite difficult to crack. Right next to the city, on a mountain, are gems. This gem of a city isn't going to be Indian much longer. 1355 - The first Greek troops land on Java. Only spearmen defend it. With luck, this battle will be short. During the AI's turn, I witness a War Elephant befall a Pikeman defending Gergovia and a Celtic Knight fail to defeat a pikeman invading Celtic territory, though a Celtic Longbowman succeeds. Augustodurum's primary guard is a 5-of-6 HP Elite War Elephant. India's UU is helping quite a bit. 1360 AD - I break with siege on Orleans and launch an attack. Starving out a city takes a LONG time. I lose 1 Medieval Infantry but take out both Pikemen who are defending. Without any iron, France is now in somewhat dire defensive straits. Update on the city of Middelburg, location Kyushu. A worker has been trained, and is working to build mines. City improvements are to follow. 1365 AD - Some very bad news recently. Very bad indeed. Deserving of a sad smilie. Let's start with the first news. Terrible news came to us via a Celtic envoy today. The Celtic front has suffered a grievous loss. The city of Gergovia, population 820,000, has fallen to the enemy. An Ancient Cavalry defeated the only pikeman stationed there, and the last Spearman, though fighting heroically, eventually succumbed to an Elite War Elephant. The Holy Land is lost. The Celts ask for a reaffirmation of Greek commitment to the war, to which I do not hesitate to agree. The current situation in the Eastern Mediterranean looks as follows: The other major event is the defection of Paris back to the French. We are, to say the least, devastated. We lose not only the city itself, but the nearby wines, a few French workers, and, still very important, The Oracle. Happiness plummets across the Empire as the bonus content face for temples is lost. The wines had not been connected to the main empire yet, but the newly taken territories in Australia become less happy. On the other side of the equation, Orleans is now down to size 6. We'll finish it off and then hurry back to retake the City of Light. Indeed, Orleans now falls quickly. Paris is the next objective. 1370 AD - REALLY bad luck lately. Really bad. Now Kolhapur has defected to India. They aren't getting off as easy as the Parisians, though. I have three Knights and a Medieval Infantry right outside the gates. We're going to raze this city and set an example for any more cities thinking of doing this. As promised, the first order of business is a full and merciless charge on Kolhapur. They have a Regular Musketman to defend it, with size 8 city, but we don't care if their technology is better. A medieval infantry falls dead, but an Elite Knight finishes off the musketmen and then finishes off the rest of the town. Fires rage for weeks afterwards. Vengeance is ours. Take that, revolters! The citizens of Paris shudder at the news. They're lucky they have the Oracle to offer us. Eindhoven will complete a Settler next turn to repopulate the area of Kolhapur with. Slightly placated thus far, it nonetheless pleases me that we have the perfect opportunity to wreak even more havoc on India. And thus, without further ado, my troops lunge forth at Dacca. Though on a hill, it falls. I'm tempted to give it the torch as well, but do not. I really don't need Russia colonizing Java. My troops and ships now head north, to give at the mainland of India. One other note worth mentioning. A Roman Galley has appeared from the west near Groningen. This indicates the Indian navy is weak. Good news there. 1375 AD - I complete my 50-turn research on Engineering. Looking at my scientific options, I notice that Printing Press is the technology required to trade communications. Oh, no. I've been offered communications in trading for I-don't-even-know how long. We're seriously behind in this tech race thing. I tell my guys to invent Invention within 11 turns. That'll put us at a 32 GPT defecit, but with 711 gold I'm OK with that. With some serious luck, we can hurry Leonardo's Workshop with a thus-far-unborn Great Leader. The Mongols offer me contact with the Americans. I tell them to quit showing off their technological superiority. 1380 AD - Pyrrhus retakes Paris easily, and a nearby Hoplite recaptures some French workers I had unfortunately left unguarded outside Marseilles, only to have captured after Paris was lost. By Marseilles, the same Spearman that captured the workers is threatening to destroy a gem mine. My only options are to destroy France this turn or make peace; no way I'm trying to destroy a spearman on a mountain with a Hoplite. The last French city, Rheims, has too many spearmen to destroy this turn, though I take down one. I decide to bite the bullet and say goodbye to the gems. My people will suffer, but survive. In the past three turns our happiness has shot from 52% and 23rd overall to 79% and first overall, so what's a bit more fluctuation? India is the first civ to reach a score of 666. We will not surrender. The bloody Celts surrendered and made peace with India! All because they have a score of 666! OK, that's probably not the only reason, but it's just not cool to make peace with someone with a score of 666! We'll deal with this later; right now all my foreign advisor will let me do is click the "O" button. I'd rather march over to the Celts and ask them what in the world they're thinking bailing out on Rome and I. The French ask for mercy. I do not grant it. We must conquer. In retribution, their spearman destroys the gem mine. Hmph. I don't really care. Russia offers me Theology for Chivalry and 210 gold. I'd look really smart taking that deal. Give my next-door-neighbor Knights and cancel out the content bonus from the Oracle at the same time. I don't think so, Catherine. Then Russia lands a Spearman and Settler right next to Amsterdam. I'm thinking, "What???" Time to go say, "Your forces are within our territory. They MUST be withdrawn NOW!" At the same time, I can't help but think they're trying to get us to declare war, so I'm going to tread carefully to make sure I don't fall into their trap. What are they thinking? 1385 - Sparta completes the Heroic Epic. During the events of the AI's previous turn, I noticed Persian ships ferrying troops to the Holy Land. Previously I'd seen an Immortal land near Constantinople, and thought they might be fighting the Byzantines, but my foreign advisor told me otherwise. I decide to establish an embassy and get to the bottom of this. Persepolis is well-developed, well-defended, and...suffering war weariness! Just as I'd suspected. I check with my foreign advisor and...yes! Just as I suspected, Persia is at war with India! I send an envoy to Persepolis immediately. A map of Persia is provided below to give a sense of where they are. At the negotiating table, Xerxes refers to me as "backwards", but I don't mind much. Instead, I propose an Alliance versus the Indians and a Right of Passage. My foreign advisor warns me that Xerxes has betrayed the Zulu, but they're so far away they'd have a hard time seriously hurting me even if they did break the treaty. It turns out they want me to stay in the war quite a bit, and are willing to introduce me to the Chinese, Hittites, Inca, Ottomans, and Sumerians if I sign the alliance. We shake hands and walk away, both happy. I send envoys to meet the new acquaintances. I won't bore you with the long version, but it's worth mentioning that the Hittites are fairly powerful, the Chinese languish in the Ancient Age, and the rest are somewhere in between but in the Middle Ages. Okay, enough diplomacy for now. I head back to the battlefield, and attack Rheims. It's a quick change from diplomatic niceties to the harshness of war. Two quick battles later, France is defeated. Frankly, they weren't that challenging of a fight. We quit sending reinforcements more than a hundred years ago. Oh well, at least the Parisians had enough of a spirit to revolt. Now it's up to us to rebuild France to withstand a Russian attack that may come sooner rather than later. My settler from Eindhoven builds a city, Herakleia, on the site of Kolhapur. The Portuguese were half a step too late in building a city. 1390 AD - The Russians spearman-settler combo has decided to camp out by Amsterdam. It's my turn. Do I demand they leave? Well, I could. But I'm betting it's a trick to get me to declare war. And I don't want another war in the Land Down Under right now, even if I'm up by Knights. I'll let the blokes keep on camping by Amsterdam for now. The Celts want 520 gold to go to war with India again. I have 523 and am losing 13 per turn. Considering that, as my advisor says, "Brennus is a known liar and cheat", I decide to wait and see. The Indians are still fighting Rome and Persia. Still, it looks like they gained another victory awhile back on Madagascar. I'm pretty sure the central city of Frankfurt used to be a Roman settlement. 1395 - Persia captures Augustodorum! I didn't even know they were my allies until two turns ago! The situation in the Eastern Mediterranean is shaping up much more nicely now: 1400 AD - Only a few turns now before the invasion of India. My plan is to strike at the very heart of their empire - Delhi itself. I plan to land ten troops at the initial landing and reinforce quickly after that. Needless to say, Rome ought to notice a sudden lack of Indian troops heading west after my landing The battle plan is below. Purple indicates galleys coming in to aid in the transport, blue indicates the transport route, and orange indicates land troop movements. Just as the battle lines are being formed, however, Part Seven ends. By now Greece has reached first in the world in manufacturing, and approval is an amazing 86%, thanks to Gems being hooked up near Herakleia (formerly Kolhapur). Our score is still not even in the top half, but our power is imposing. I attribute this feat more to number of cities than brute military force, but I nevertheless am impressed to be this powerful already. Equally important is that India's power seems to be in steady decline. Finally, although there is no World Map in this post (it hasn't changed that much), there is this fine map of Australia. Along with the images above of Augustodurum and Kolhapur/Herakleia, it pretty well sums up the changes.