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Cultural Conquest in BTS

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by dualdoc, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. dualdoc

    dualdoc Chieftain

    Dec 12, 2007
    After my Diety Always War OCC game, http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=254455, I thought of another good challenge. This one is inspired by a succession game last year in Vanilla, RB29 - Cultural Extermination. Four teams tried it, but only one succeeded, team d, http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=210325.
    This was one of the most fascinating games I've read, so I was keen to try it is BTS. Many rule changes make it play quite differently.

    The rules of the challenge are:

    1) All victory conditions are enabled except Cultural and Domination. However, to win the game, you must control every land tile on the map when the game ends. That means that you must win by conquest.

    2) Normal units are not allowed to enter enemy territory (i.e., lands and waters of nations you are at war with).

    a) This does not apply to units the enemy cannot detect as yours. Thus, spies and privateers are allowed to act with impunity.

    b) Aircraft can overfly enemy territory for recon or to attack enemy units or cities, but may not pillage. Thus, aircraft are only allowed to do things ground units could do.

    c) Your units can attack enemy units in their territory from yours, but only if your unit would stay where it is after a successful attack and not cross into enemy territory.

    3) Cities can be acquired by any means other than military capture. The most likely is culture flipping, but there are other options for getting them.

    4) Vassals are allowed, but note rule 1). If you have any vassals at the end of the game, you lose since you won't own every tile. You can take vassals as long as you wipe them out before the end of the game. The AIs are allowed to vassalize each other, which can make the game more difficult for you.

    5) You may not entice any AI to enter a war (your own vassals excepted). This was a key tactic of RB29d, getting the AIs to raze each other's cities. It was very effective, but I don't think it fits the spirit of the variant. Note that this forbids using the trade screen or AP, but defensive pacts are allowed (which can indirectly draw an AI into a war).

    The settings are

    Note that if an AI takes one of your cities, you can reflip it, but are forbidden to recapture it. This is a departure from RB29.

    You are Catherine, just as in RB29, but since Russia's UB is poor for this variant, I picked China.

    The opponents are handpicked (as in RB29):

    Shaka of Zululand, Genghis of Mongolia
    Bismark of Germany, Julius of Rome
    Joao of Portugal, Mao of Russia

    Since Catherine took China, it seems only fair to give Russia to Mao.

    I regened the start until I got a non-coastal one:

    The save game for the start:

    View attachment mwilliam BC-4000.CivBeyondSwordSave

    I'll give a walkthough of my game. I won in 1898. The BTS changes make this somewhat easier than in Vanilla (RB29d was won in 2031). In retrospect, I should have chosen Monarch difficulty for a really challenging game. Still, it required a lot of careful planning to win. I would recommend trying it for a very different kind of game.
  2. dualdoc

    dualdoc Chieftain

    Dec 12, 2007
    The key to this type of game is grabbing as much space as possible early, getting next to the AI cities and pumping culture into them. Don't settle in open spaces and let the AIs place their cities nearby, because they will settle 5 tiles away, making it hard to flip. You want to react to them and settle 3 tiles away whenever possible. That is my plan, to get settlers out fast (exploiting imperialistic) and found cities next to the nearest AI capitals before their second border pop.

    None of the AIs in the game start with Mysticism (but neither does China). Moreover, none of them are religiously oriented. It is possible to found all seven religions for the culture potential, and I plan to do so. I don't want any founded in my capital (that's a waste of culture) and want to put them in my border towns only. I'll avoid a state religion until the AP and Sistene are built, to get the full 5 culture per turn (CPT) for each holy city.

    There are key techs to beeline (besides the religious techs):

    1) Drama for the pavilion.
    2) Liberalism for free speech.
    3) Radio for the Eiffel Tower and Cristo Redentor.
    4) Advanced Flight for gunships, which can clear the last defender of a city without taking the city. Defenders reduce the city revolt probability, so this is very useful.

    Before proceeding, it is important to note the changes in BTS that make this challenge easier or harder than in Vanilla.

    1) Culture bombing with great works is now worthless. See http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=257062. Great artists just aren't very useful, so I want to avoid spawning them (except for one to found Civilized Jewelers). Other great people are more useful.
    2) The valuable gunship has moved back from Rocketry to Advanced Flight, a much costlier beeline.

    1) Corporations! This alone makes the variant much easier in BTS. Creative Constructions, Sid's Sushi, and Civilized Jewelers can provide a disgusting amount of culture in every city.
    2) Sistene Chapel gives +5 CPT to each state religion building.
    3) Apostolic Palace allows you to demand cities from the AIs if you have a cultural majority. This is a peaceful way to get heavily garrisoned cities. 2) and 3) together make a state religion actually desirable in the second half of the game.
    4) Espionage. This is potentially a two-edged sword, but you will eventually generate huge EPs by virtue of having a large empire, so you can dish out a lot more pain than you get. The spread culture mission seems to give peanuts, but several other missions are helpful.
  3. dualdoc

    dualdoc Chieftain

    Dec 12, 2007
    Looking at the starting position, I am drawn to the stone plains hill. I can't resist those (3 hammers) so I move my settler onto it and found Beijing in 3975. I immediately start a settler, generating 9 hammers per turn (3 for the city tile, 3 for the forested plains hill, +50% for Imperialistic). I can build a settler in 17 turns, fast enough to found a city far away before I get Meditation, which is my first research target (following Mysticism).

    My warrior pops the nearby hut for 45 gold and in 3875, pops the Wheel from another hut.

    In 3550, the settler is done and heads toward the NW, where Mao's scout came from. In 3450, he founds Shanghai 3 tiles east of Moscow.

    There are 2 gold tiles, and 2 corns that can be stolen from Moscow eventually. It is arguably a better location than the capital, once the corn is taken (6 visible resources). Until then, I'll work the riverside gold tile and get no population growth. I'm building a worker for the gold, then I'll construct two monasteries for more culture.

    In 3375, Meditation is in, so I start Polytheism. Buddhism is founded in Shanghai.

    In 3000, Polytheism is in, so I start BW. Hinduism is founded in Shanghai. Now I'm getting serious culture to steal Mao's corn. It isn't easy given that the corn is closer to Moscow than Shanghai. Mao is earning the 20 point inner ring culture bonus each turn. I need to get Shanghai to a larger culture size to offset that and steal the tiles.

    Meanwhile, Beijing starts a second settler to go east.

    In 2750, I pop Masonry from a hut and finish BW that turn. In 2725, I revolt to Slavery.

    In 2650 I get Hunting, in 2500 Animal Husbandry, and in 2375 Pottery.

    My second settler is built in 2600 and heads east looking for another capital. He finds Lisbon and settles 3 tiles to the west, creating Guangzhou in 2350. At this point, maintenance is brutal but such aggressive settlement will make things easier in the long run.

    Meanwhile, thanks to settling on stone and popping Masonry from a hut, I build Stonehenge in Beijing (mainly to deny a huge culture building to the AIs), finishing it in 2375.

    That same turn I start researching Monotheism, getting it in 2175, founding Judaism in Guangzhou.


    The pigs and corn will soon be mine.


    The corns will flip soon. Very bad news for Mao. That will finally let Shanghai grow and work the two gold tiles.

    The world map:

    You can seen just how far apart my three cities are. I started a long way from all of the AIs besides Mao. If I can prevent the AIs from settling the gaps, I'll have a huge early empire.

    I only have three warriors as my military, and Shaka is east of me with nothing between us. That is potential cause for concern. Each of my cities is so isolated, it will have to fend for itself.

    The save game:

    View attachment mwilliam BC-2175.CivBeyondSwordSave
  4. Killroyan

    Killroyan Chieftain

    Apr 10, 2006
    Ah revival of the most intriguing game ever. I will be following this with interest. And straight on to the battle with the capitals. Too bad culture bombing has been nerfed so much. That explains why my culture bomb did so little in my other game (the city still had about 5 results although it was pumping out between 100-200 culture per turn :s)
  5. Quotey

    Quotey Chieftain

    Jul 24, 2006
    Caeser is pretty close. Did you choose Joaoaoaoa because he rexes?
  6. Gr8scott

    Gr8scott Chieftain

    May 31, 2006
    I've subscribed and will be watching with interest to learn some tactics. Any interest in doing a game from the beginning in the ALC type style? I find I learn a lot from all of the discussion concerning the "what to do next" question. Knowing that it ends up a victory also takes away a little bit of the suspense :)

  7. dualdoc

    dualdoc Chieftain

    Dec 12, 2007
    You're right. Julius is closer than Joao. In retrospect, he might have been a better choice. At the time my settler was built, I had a very limited sense of the map. I only knew where Bismark's and Mao's capitals were. I knew Shaka and Julius were somewhere up north, but that was all. I basically decided to use the settler as a scout, sending him east until he found a good spot. I could do that because of the no barb rule.

    I might do a game ALC style. I suppose my reason for playing the game out first, then posting, is so I won't be embarrassed if I fall on my face. Of course, that prospect would make it more entertaining. Some of the variants I try are so far out, I can't be sure I'll be able to succeed (I tried always war diety OCC with an open capital several times with no success before thinking about using a walled-in valley to make it feasible). One disadvantage of my approach is trying to reconstruct what I did at each stage of the game. It was such a long game (unlike my OCC game), that it took weeks to play out, and I didn't keep meticulous notes on it (or, well, any notes). Fortunately, I have a lot of saved games and the in-game log.
  8. dualdoc

    dualdoc Chieftain

    Dec 12, 2007
    I set research for Fishing/Sailing for trade connections. Then I get Writing. It comes in 1700, and I open borders to everyone.

    Meanwhile, I turn Beijing into a settler pump to grab as much territory as possible.

    In 1625, Nanjing is founded to block Bismark:

    It is 3 tiles from both Munich and Cumae, for an easy attack on both. The city spread is starting to take a toll on the economy, as research is down to 60%.

    Notice that the Great Wall is nearing completion in Shanghai. It is finished in 1450. My intention is to build every wonder possible in my border cities fro the culture benefit. Notice that the corn is down to 52% Russian. It is very close to flipping. Meanwhile, Shanghai is stuck at size 1.

    The settler pump continues. In 1350, Chengdu and Xian are founded in the north and northeast. Xian violates my cardinal rule to settle next to foreign cities. I want the eastern marble so settle next to it, despite there being no nearby cities.

    In 1250, I finish Alphabet. The tech screen at the time:

    I'm clearly in the lead, thanks to my gold mines. I promptly trade with Genghis, who is the most distant AI, so the least threat:

    A generous deal for him, but thanks to no tech brokering, I'm not worried he'll trade these techs around. A few turns later, I trade for Archery.

    With iron working, I can chop the jungles near Shanghai, Nanjing, and Chengdu. I do have iron, but next to lonely Guangzhou, which is not connected to the rest of my empire yet:

    The AIs have started spreading out. The most annoying is Julius who has decided that my direction is the best place to go. In 1225, he settles Neapolis in the heart of my empire:

    He'll pay for that.

    In 900, I finish Mathematics. Thanks to Stonehenge, I get a Great Prophet the same turn in Beijing. He goes to Shanghai to found the Buddhist shrine:

    As you can see, the corn finally flipped, and Shanghai's population has skyrocketed. It is building the Pyramids, stopping on occasion to whip other buildings and dump the overflow into the Mids.

    On the same turn, Hangzhou is founded just southeast of the capital. This is not to put cultural pressure on anyone, but to take advantage of the gold deposit and flood plains to generate commerce to pay for my far-flung empire.

    In 700, the first of many revolts to come:

    In 550, Currency is in, so I start trading off my cheap religious techs to the AIs whenever I can get 50+ gold. That allows high-speed research for a while. I got Priesthood in just 1 turn. Then in 440 pick up Code of Laws.

    Nanjing becomes the holy city of Confucianism. Courthouses are cued up across the empire.

    Next turn, Tianjin is founded in the far east to seal off Joao. At this point, my borders are largely fixed, so I need some city flips to expand. In 350, Macau is settled next to Hangzhou as another rear-area commerce city.

    That same turn, the Mids are finished, so I revolt to Representation, mostly for the happiness, but eventually for the beakers.

    In 305, Metal Casting is done, so I switch to Aesthetics on the way to Lit, Drama, and Music.

    Meanwhile Nanjing has been building the Oracle. It is done in 275. I take Civil Service (as usual) and revolt to Bureaucracy. At the same time, Munich has its second revolt and flips to me. I raze it to clear room for my planned cities:

    The western city will attack Rostov. The northern one will attack Bismark's cities, including Berlin. Of course, I'll have to flip the tile, but thanks to the Oracle, Nanjing is getting 20 CPT now, so it won't take too long. The eastern one is to attack Rome's cities (including Rome). It seems to be legal, but I'll need to scout the area to be sure. I've sent the free archer from Munich to scout Germany and Rome.

    The picture also shows that Cumae is down to 54% Roman. It will be vulnerable to revolt very soon. But notice the garrison. I can't handle that (and all the Praets that are no doubt in Rome itself). I hope Julius stays friendly.

    My empire in three parts:

    The tech screen. Shaka has Construction, which is not good for my cities.

    GNP. I'm blowing everyone away.


    I'm not worried about Genghis. He's blocked by Shaka. I am worried about Shaka, whom I'm beating, and Julius who I can't see. While my power rating is solid, it is an illusion. It is based on techs and empire size. My army is modest and spread out over a huge area. I just hope the AIs are intimidated by the power number and don't attack.

    The save game:

    View attachment mwilliam BC-0275.CivBeyondSwordSave
  9. Refar

    Refar Chieftain

    Apr 10, 2005
    Interesting game :D
    I gave up trying for the Oracle->CS slingshot a while ago, as it allways is built somewhere else if i do... Never seen it fall later than turn 110 on epic in my games (And somewhere around 75 on Normal, which i play more), which is just not enought time to tech Math and CoL... Now turn 155 here...
  10. dualdoc

    dualdoc Chieftain

    Dec 12, 2007
    I would have built it sooner if necessary, but I knew nobody had Priesthood, so it was safe to wait. I'll acknowledge that, as in RB29, I chose AIs that are not religiously oriented, which made it possible to wait. Also, it is Prince difficulty. I'm sure not accustomed to being able to wait so long.
  11. dualdoc

    dualdoc Chieftain

    Dec 12, 2007
    In 215BC, The Temple of Artemis is done in Guangzhou. I start Shwedagon Paya with the intent of choosing Free Religion since I don't want a state religion for awhile.

    In 185, Aesthetics is done, followed by Drama in 125. I cue up lots of pavilions for a major culture boost on my borders. The next tech is Calender in 35BC as I have several plantation resources.

    Next turns sees Shandong founded on the spot west of Nanjing which is open thanks to Munich's razing.

    Things are going smoothly, but Julius has other ideas. He DOWs in 25AD, sending the following stack:

    My two archers and axeman in Chengdu prove to be enough to fend them off, as Julius loses the whole stack while inflicting no casualties. Julius does sneak a spear onto my pigs near Guangzhou (it must have been scouting) and pillages them. My axe eats the spear, which thanks to Imperialistic and Great Wall is enough to give me a Great General. I settle him in Beijing, which is my best production city and will get the Heroic Epic eventually.

    Despite losing the pigs, this is a good turn for Guangzhou as Christianity is founded there:

    Julius gives up the fight. I resume expansion, settling Kaifeng on the coast west of Beijing to pick up seafood for health and give me a shot at depriving the AIs of the Colossus.

    I research Literature in 100AD and Music in 190. I send the Great Artist to Shandong to settle him and put more pressure on Rostov. The Shwedagon Paya is done in 160, but I forget to revolt to Free Religion. It does give me a nice chunk of culture. I'm starting to swamp Lisbon.

    Unfortunately, Shaka won't let me continue in peace. He DOWs in 175 and sends this small stack:

    Small it is, but one archer in Xian won't fend it off. I send all my spare units to Xian, but they take many turns to get there. I decide to research Machinery at last for maces and chokonus. Luckily, Shaka brought one catapult and couldn't resist wasting many turns chipping away at Xian's wall, while my reinforcements trickle in.

    Meanwhile, a Great Prophet in born in Shanghai and promptly founds the Hindu shrine. The Statue of Zeus is finished in Tianjin in 280 just in time for Shaka's attack. Machinery is done in 295 and Beijing is ready to start pumping out chos. Well, it would if not for a very untimely slave revolt:

    While Shaka diddles in the neighborhood of Xian, Chengdu finishes the Hanging Gardens and Xian builds a settler that goes south to found Ningbo as a third rear area commerce city. Paper is done in 370.

    Finally in 460, having let me bring a large force to Xian, Shaka attacks fruitlessly. Only one unit survives, which is smashed by a chokonu in 475. Shaka makes peace.

    With good timing, Shanghai finishes the Chicken in 565, exactly as Eduction is finished. It builds a university followed by Oxford (as many other cities whip universities in short order, if only for the culture). Shanghai has two gold mines and a lot of cottagable terrain, with two corns and a banana tile for food. It will also get Wall Street since it has two shrines and eventually will have three corporate headquarters.

    Next turn, the Great Library is completed in Nanjing (I know I should have built it in Shanghai; not sure what I was thinking). Completing the science theme, I get a Great Scientist in Guangzhou that builds an academy in Beijing (the highest science city ATM).

    Next turn, Guangzhou finishes the Parthenon while Baoding is founded between Chengdu and Xian to put pressure on Antium. Then, Yangzhou is founded north of Nanjing to attack Berlin (I've been waiting to flip this tile since Munich fell). In 625, Philosophy is in, and Baoding gets Taoism.

    In 670, Joao gets Feudalism and is willing to trade it:

    I make a major decision at this point that I still wonder about. I really want Liberalism for the 100% culture boost of Free Speech, but I get distracted by the $$$ techs and go for Guilds, Banking, and Economics. One thought is that I want to wait for a golden age to do a whole bunch of civics changes at once. Meanwhile, the $$$ techs let me boost the science rate to nearly 100%. Given my vast empire, I start pumping out techs at high speed, so maybe I'm not delaying Free Speech that much.

    The world gets violent again as Shaka and Mao DOW Genghis in 700. Genghis asks for my help with Shaka. Why not? I'm so close to earning another GG and close to getting 10XP to unlock the Heroic Epic for Beijing. My maces and chos in Xian and Tianjin are more than a match for anything Shaka might send. Besides, I want Genghis to win and start tearing up Shaka's cities, so any distraction I offer should help out.

    In fact, Shaka seems to have the better success of the two (Mao is irrelevant to the war) taking two of Genghis' cities. He sends a war elephant into my territory. I lose a mace attacking it, but my cho finishes it off to earn its tenth XP and spawn a GG. I settle the GG in Beijing and immediately start the Heroic Epic there. And that is the extent of my involvement in the war. Eventually, Shaka agrees to peace.

    My courthouses have been generating a lot of EPs, so I decide to put them to use. In 820, I steal Construction from Shaka; in 890, I take HBR from Julius. I would have traded for them, but their owners were not agreeable, so they get nothing.

    Meanwhile, the wonder parade in Shanghai continues with the Mausoleum in 860, setting me up for a golden age in the near future. That same year, Cumae becomes the second city to revolt :

    I settle Haerbin north of Xian to attack Antium, Arretium, and kwaDukuza, all of which are in Haerbin's 4th culture ring.

    In 910, Economics is done, giving me a Great Merchant that I settle in Shanghai (+12 gold, +9 beakers, +1 food after multipliers is too good to pass up). Next is Divine Right in 960, putting Islam in Haerbin, followed by Nationalism in 1040.

    Meanwhile, a Great Engineer is born in Shanghai and sent to Tianjin, which desperately needs a culture boost. The timing is great, as he gets to Tianjin in time to rush the Taj Mahal as soon as Nationalism is in. Unfortunately, he doesn't build the whole thing, so several turns of construction are needed in the small city.

    Around 900, I start giving away Theology to the AIs for massive discounts. Hagia Sofia is almost done (finished in 970 in Chengdu). What I want is for somebody to build the AP. I can't, since I don't have a state religion. I'll be delighted for any AI to invest their own hammers in it. Whatever religion is chosen, I founded it, so I can readily adopt it and spam missionaries to all my cities. Clearly, I'll be able to vote myself to be the pope. One advantage of having someone else build the AP is that it won't obsolete when I get Mass Media, unless I flip the AP's home city.

    The "winner" is Portugal in Oporto, 1090 AD. Judaism is the AP religion. I would have preferred Buddhism or Hinduism since I have those shrines, but what can I do? I start churning out Jewish missionaries in anticipation of its ascendancy.

    Cumae flips in 930 and I raze it. I found Loyang and Chongqing in the area to attack Rome, Antium, and Cologne. Then Kunming is founded north of Tianjin in 1100 to strike deep into Shaka's territory. Taipai goes on the coast south of Kaifeng in 1110.

    In 1070, I get a Great Scientist for an Academy in Shanghai. In 1100, Printing Press gives my economy another boost. Then, in 1120, the Taj is done, triggering a 15 turn golden age. I promptly adopt Free Religion, Serfdom, and Free Market.

    In 1130, Guangzhou completes the Sistene Chapel. Now I have both wonders in place that make a state religion desirable (and both Sankore and Spiral Minaret are coming soon). In 1150, another Great Scientist comes, which builds an academy in Nanjing, while Constitution is finished, setting everything up for my ultimate tech, Liberalism. It comes in 1180, and I take pricey Democracy as the free tech. I revolt to Organized Religion, Slavery, Free Speech, and Universal Suffrage (for a little cash rushing), and adopt Judaism. I set research for Corporation.

    Culture is way up in several border cities now (I have 19 cities total):

    Shanghai is already at level 5, while Guangzhou is just 4 turns away. Moscow and Lisbon are in for bad times.

    My power rating has improved, while the war with Shaka has clearly taken a toll on poor Genghis:

    Shaka would be a fool to attack me now. Not that this fact would deter him.

    The tech situation:

    I'm way ahead, but I would like to get Engineering from Mao. Maybe theft is in order.

    The world view:

    The northeast is the only direction I need to make serious progress. I'm not even adjacent to Genghis yet. Mao, Joao, and Bizzy are all pinned against their coastlines and are basically doomed.

    The western frontier:

    Moscow is at 55% Chinese so is vulnerable to flipping already.

    The east:

    Lisbon is at 42% Chinese and should be flippable very shortly.

    The north:

    The save game at this point:

    View attachment mwilliam AD-1180.CivBeyondSwordSave

    At this point, I'm well set up for victory. But there is still a long ways to go.
  12. ConanKND

    ConanKND Chieftain

    Apr 3, 2007
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Cool game, and a very fun read! I like this idea, maybe I'll try it on an easier level.
  13. dualdoc

    dualdoc Chieftain

    Dec 12, 2007
    I drop the slider to 0% for a while to do some cash rushing on the frontier. I also build Jewish missionaries as fast as possible (I hate the 3 unit cap, it is just stupid).

    In 1200, The University of Sankore is done in Chengdu. In 1285, Guangzhou completes the Spiral Minaret. Jewish buildings are seriously strong at this point.

    In 1230, I steal Compass from Bismark. I pump up the EPs on Mao to possibly steal Engineering (but I change my mind). At least briefly, I get a glimpse at Mao's cities. It is not encouraging:

    That he's building Notre Dame and I can't, isn't a big deal. He has little production. The big thing is the 0% chance of revolt! This is true in Moscow as well. I have the culture majority both places, but he has so many troops, it doesn't matter. I need to boost my military and attack him. But I'm not ready yet.

    Same turn, the AP has a vote to end the Shaka-Genghis war. I vote yes since Genghis is an ally and he's losing. This is a big mistake on my part.

    1250 sees Shenyang founded south of Beijing. I use the last turn of US to buy a granary there:

    Look at all the forests. You know what I'm planning for Shenyang, don't you? Hint: I haven't built the National Epic yet.

    1255 sees the last of my golden age. After some final whipping and cash rushing, I revolt to Representation, Emancipation, and Mercantilism. I pump the science slider back up.

    Corporation is done in 1270, followed by Replaceable Parts, Gunpowder, and Chemistry (done in 1315).

    Meanwhile, more people get Engineering, so I trade for it in 1290:

    Joao finishes Optics in 1300, and the same turn he does a Jewish wedding boosts him to Friendly relations. I can thus persuade him to trade his monopoly tech for Civil Service (otherwise I would have needed to gift him a free tech).

    That enables me to research Astronomy, which is done in 1340. I lose the monuments, but that is really small potatoes at this point. Losing the Colossus is almost worse.

    1285 saw a Great Scientist born and settled in Shanghai. It is starting to become a very strong science and gold city.

    The AP helps Genghis again in 1310, giving him back Beshbalik from Shaka. I guess Shaka was mad at me for voting against him, as he DOWs me in 1345:

    Now that's the kind of stack I expect from Shaka. Only, I obviously wasn't, because Tianjin has only 3 defenders. I thought my high power rating would deter aggression, but I forgot who I was dealing with. I race every spare unit to Tianjin to hold it. Fortunately, 85% culture defense will force Shaka to waste time knocking it down.

    Meanwhile, Scientific Method comes in 1355 on the way to my goal of Radio. Losing access to monasteries is like a punch to the gut in this variant, especially the super-charged Jewish ones. Not to mention the GL and Parthenon. I hate this tech. Are oil (which you can't drill yet) and forest preserves fair compensation for so much obsolescence?

    Back at Tianjin, my garrison doubles the turn after Shaka declares:

    You can see my rag-tag group of six defenders, which are seriously outnumbered. To the west of the city, you can see my group of four knights coming to reinforce. And in the southeast, you'll see that Lisbon has just revolted. It comes out of revolt in three turns and immediately re-revolts, giving me the city, my first capital conquest. I decide to keep it and get an unpleasant surprise:

    Moai Statues in a city with just 5 water tiles? Really, Joao? Of course, now I can't build them in a better location. I really, really hate that rule. You should get a choice of whether you want to keep national wonders when you take a city since the idiot AIs never put them anywhere good. This isn't the only time I get burned this game. It will happen with a very important national wonder later.

    Shaka attacks in typical piecemeal fashion over multiple turns (why does it do that?). In 1360, he loses 3 cats but kills a longbow and tears up my other troops. Desperate, I shift a chokonu from Kunming to Tianjin. I'd rather lose the former than the latter. In 1365, 3 more dead cats in exchange for an axe and mace of mine. After promoting the knight in Tianjin, this is what I've got:

    Not very pretty, but Shaka's attack forces are in no better shape. The wounded knight attacks and kills both a horse archer and a treb (flanking). My question is where did Shaka's two war elephants go? He never attacked with them and they seem to have just vanished. They could have been the difference in the fight.

    All this fighting gets me another GG, Timur, who waits for an explorer to be built to give me a medic 3 / morale unit.

    Shaka settles for a consolation prize and takes understaffed Kunming in 1375. I wipe out the remnants of Shaka's troops in my territory and lay siege to Kunming, killing all but one of the defenders. The war reaches a stalemate at this point.

    Physics is done in 1385; the Great Scientist settles in Shanghai. At the same time, Wall Street is completed there.

    The AP once again gives Genghis a city back, Old Serai. Julius decides to pile on Shaka now that I've worn him down. My role in the war is just to kill stray units that move into Kunming or kwaDukuza.

    Tianjin finishes Notre Dame in 1405; Shandong completes Angkor Wat in 1410. I love this wonder. I'm going to build a lot of temples, so the high-power priests are valuable.

    Two more cities are founded in the vicinity of Guangzhou, Taiyan to the west and Tainan to the south. 1430 sees a Great Prophet born in Guangzhou, where he immediately builds the Jewish shrine. Now I can run science at 90% with positive cash flow.

    Electricity in 1420, then Radio in 1460. I cue up the Eiffel Tower in Beijing. I hate to use my Heroic Epic city building a wonder, but it is my highest production city, and this is a critical wonder to my variant.

    1460 also sees an end to the war. I kill one last unit to earn a GG (settled in Beijing) then demand Kunming in exchange for peace.

    My major cities:

    I've spread Judaism to all of my cities. I'm slowly spreading the rest of them as well.

    The northwest frontier:

    Moscow, Rostov, and St. Pete's are all Chinese majority but can't flip due to excess troops. Now that I've made peace with Shaka, I can move my army west and DOW Mao.

    The southwest:

    Shenyang will finish the National Epic just as Biology is done, so the National Park comes next. My workers are putting down forest preserves in the area. Eventually, all the empty tiles in the BFC will be forests.

    The east in two parts:

    Guangzhou will build Cristo Redentor when the worker is done. I need to be able to switch out of Mercantilism temporarily when I found corporations (that is an annoying bug). I also want to be able to go in and out of US for heavy cash rushing in new border towns.

    The power graph shows Shaka's losses in my territory:

    He's still fighting Julius. That seems to be an even match.

    The save game:

    View attachment mwilliam AD-1460.CivBeyondSwordSave
  14. Killroyan

    Killroyan Chieftain

    Apr 10, 2006
    Haha, this is great. Now beeline towards gunships and lets get going. I don't know if the northern ice tiles are already settled but if they are not I guess you should settle there too just to be sure that the AI doesn't settle there since it is hard to flip those cities later on.
  15. iamnleth

    iamnleth Chieftain

    Dec 25, 2005
    United States
    This game is really interesting.

    Can someone clear something up for me: I thought the flanking promotion (withdrawal chance in particular) only worked when attacking?
  16. dualdoc

    dualdoc Chieftain

    Dec 12, 2007
    There are no land tiles in the north that aren't already settled. There is space in the south, but the AIs would have to travel through my territory to get there.

    My discussion of flanking above related to the special attack that most mounted troops do to siege weapons. This requires no promotions. I attacked and killed a horse archer with my knight and did flanking damage to four siege units, killing a trebuchet. In any case, it is true that both types of flanking only occur when you attack with a mounted unit.
  17. iamnleth

    iamnleth Chieftain

    Dec 25, 2005
    United States
    Meaning you cannot withdraw from battle when defending? (I don't see how you would be able to, since you would have nowhere to withdraw to)
  18. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Chieftain

    Jun 13, 2006
    Both types of flanking only work when attacking. Think about it, where would a defending unit retreat to if flanking did work for defenders?
  19. iamnleth

    iamnleth Chieftain

    Dec 25, 2005
    United States
    That's what I was saying, and it makes sense. Thanks for the reply.
  20. Turinturambar

    Turinturambar Chieftain

    Dec 19, 2005
    I gave it a try and while the concept is interesting, it doesn´t make for a very interesting game. You are basically completely dominating the poor AIs and the only challenge is not getting bored to tears with your huge empire ;) .

    Anyway played until 1800 with Caesar and Mao already gone and newly founded cities producing 500 culture/turn with the three culture corps and free speech + pavillon bonus. So it shouldn´t take that much longer. Score is at 9k already. Oh and I got every wonder except for the great wall, great lighthouse and the colossus, which I didn´t pursue.

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