Discussion of HOF power plays

Very cool Aeson! I think Iroquois would be quite powerful for this. As well as flipping government periodically, the cheaper temples could help when you need to add cultural aquisition. It is great to be able to rush temples with just one shield of production plus one citizen. Hmm, I bet a similar approach could be used to get a very early cultural victory. Temples in BC in hundreds of towns? Get the 1000 year bonus on them all some time later and whoosh. Wouldn't be nearly as early a date or as good a score as your domination approach of course, just an amusing thought.
I forgot to mention in previous note, are you going for Pyramids? It is so long since I've gone for an early wonder that I'm not sure how much effort is necessary to get them. :) I'm wondering, if you could sacrifice something like say 1/4 or less of your early production, dedicating something like your 4th town to Pyramids, might that result in a faster boom later which would more than compensate?
I was hoping the French would win the Pyramid race, which is why I geared up for a short war. The Persians ended up beating the French to the Pyramids. I don't know how much the Pyramids would have helped my expansion, but it certainly made the Persians fill up their peninsula fast. Keeping it out of the AI's hands would help keep more open territory.

One of the problems with trying to build the Pyramids is that it takes a main production city out of the Settler rotation for ~50 turns (buildup in size, then ~30 turns of production). The way this "flood" works is that one city becomes 2, 2 becomes 4... and it keeps doubling every ~25 turns. A good core city can produce a Settler every 15 turns. A totally corrupt city takes 30 turns. Say the Pyramid's opportunity cost is 4 Settlers.

I figure to get to the Domination limit would take ~400 cities when built in this ICS style. If the number of cities doubles every 25 turns, then it would take 200-250 turns to reach 400 cities. Now the Pyramids need to be built by about 500BC, if not a bit earlier, so by turn 100. If we take away 4 cities (opportunity cost of the Pyramids) on the 100th turn, that is taking away 64 overall cities by the 225th turn. It probably would slow things down by about 10 turns.

The main problem is that food isn't the problem for most cities in this case. Corruption doesn't affect the food production, just shields and commerce. The cities will grow faster, but most of them won't be able to build the Settlers any faster. The core cities would benefit though, it would be interesting to see if it was enough to overcome the opportunity cost in the remaining 100+ turns.
Originally posted by Aeson
They decided not to include it because it was a loss. After the initial disappointment of wasting 200+ hours of micromanagement I decided not to do anything petty like submit a bunch of Cheiftain/Warlord games. It was a close thing though, in 4 hours I had put together 3 Chieftain games of 3k+ :p

I think I suggested this before, but why don't you just submit your game before you gifted your empire away? I don't see why you want to waste your 200+ hours just because at the very end you did something that messed it up.

You can submit as many games as you want, because the higher the scores in each rank, the harder it is to beat them, the less submissions I get, the less times I have to update it. ;)
The cultural victory was something that crossed my mind too SirPleb. The Iroquois would be great for this, and maybe the Babylonians could overcome the non-Expansionist start with pop rushed Temples and Libraries. The cost of a pop rush is very little under these circumstances. Usually the corrupt cities grow to size 4+ while waiting to produce their Settler. By building the Settler and then pop rushing a Temple it would only waste 1 turn.
Originally posted by Aeson
I only have the 10AD and 2049AD saves from that game left, so I can't submit without actually playing it again.

Sorry to hear that. :( I have already had several requests by people that have asked if I have any saves from before you gave it all away. Many people are interested in seeing how you got such a high score. I've started referring them to this thread so they can try and learn what you guys do.
I see what you mean about The Pyramids Aeson - good chance you wouldn't recover the lost opportunity cost. A tricky one to work out in advance.

I guess you are spacing your towns with 3 tile gaps to get maximum immediate territory without any town improvements, is that right? Or are you spacing them even closer? Or with 4 tile gaps? That would have a real advantage in number of settlers required but of course per-turn score would be lower until you eventually get a chance to rush a temple and get ownership of the 2 space intervening bands. I haven't seen the AI build on the tile next to a border so I would guess that leaving 2 tile gaps to be filled in later by sphere of influence expansion would work.

About the cultural victory: Something I've been thinking about, will probably play with this after my current game, is the possibility of a deity start with a culture based opening strategy. It seems to be possible to get quite a culture lead at the very start of a game, at the cost of ceding more in the initial land grab. Part of the key to this is the 1000 year bonus and the fast passage of time at the start. I built enough early temples in my current game to be ahead in culture for a fair while at the start. I want to play with taking this to an extreme. Let neighbors right into my core area at the start. Build less towns at the start but space them out and put temples in each immediately. Try to engulf and flip the towns the AI will inevitably put in "my" area. And then just maybe continue expansion into their areas the same way, nibbling into their border areas. If possible at all it will I think depend on culture flips being predictable enough. They might be if the culture advantage is large enough. Or they may include too large a random factor for this to work reliably enough, I'm not sure. Could be fun to play with. I'll probably use huge, 80% water, 16 Civs settings to make it easier to experiment with tightly packed openings.

My current game is won for sure. I have 4 rivals left to mop up. Only 3 have much strength, none is strong enough to be of any concern. I could take on all 3 at once now if necessary but I can't resist my usual style, I currently have one of them fighting on my side against the other 2. That will speed up the process. :)

It is a while since I've fought such large scale warfare in Modern Times, I'd forgotten how long it takes to play through. It is a stage in the game where the defensive military (e.g. Mech Infantry fortified in a Metropolis) has a big advantage over the best offensive units. Armies of four Modern Armor each are very helpful, but I've even been losing those at a fairly high pace. (Lost 3 such armies against Mech Infantry defending an unwalled size 1 town in one turn! In hills admittedly, but still an ouch.) Large stacks of artillery help a lot but make my lines sluggish to advance. Oh well, I'm producing nearly 10 new Modern Armor per turn so in some cases I just slam through, in others where resistance will be the toughest I use the stacks of slow moving artillery to soften them up first. Problem with that is, if I take two or three turns to set up and bombard a small metropolis, the enemy does the whole job for me, drafts itself down to a city and then I can waltz in easily enough with an army or two leading the assault. So sometimes the time I take to move up artillery makes the artillery unnecessary :)

I've had two of my cities nuked now. I haven't retaliated in kind, I'd just have to clean up the mess later. I think that's probably the end of the nukes. I reached this stage just barely soon enough that the other Civs will probably not be able to build any more nukes.
In GOTM 5 it was almost required to build cities with little spacing. It seemed to turn out quite well in my game, and I wanted to see if the same benefits would apply on a larger map with more food. I was using variable spacing, mostly building cities on every hill/desert/jungle that I could. Most of my cities are built with only a tile spacing between it and at least one other city.


- Cities are built on the first possible turn, in many cases on the same turn the Settler is produced. This gets more Settlers built faster, and keeps maintanence lower.

- Keeping a large number of tightly packed cities around the Capitol means corruption by distance doesn't have as much of an effect. Building cities with half the spacing (up to the # of cities limit) is almost like having a free FP.

- With lower population per city, Mass Transits and Hospitals won't be needed. Pollution should never be a factor.

- Luxuries affect a greater percentage of the citizens overall, keeping almost everyone happy even without a Marketplace. I was able to claim 7 luxuries by 500BC. On Monarch that is enough to keep 4 happy and 1 content. Cities rarely grow past that, especially while producing Settlers.

- Uses up all available food tiles early on, keeping population maxed (for territory) even before Aqueducts are built.

- Number of cities seems to be the most important aspect of the powergraph. Since power is the deciding factor in being able to demand cities, having more cities gets you more cities.

- After the max number of productive cities is passed, the number of cities is more important than the size from an economic and production standpoint.


- Initially less of a territory score. At some point the turns saved in getting each city founded overcomes this though. A Settler becomes 2 a little faster, 2 becomes 4 even a little faster, ect. In my game I would guess that this happened somewhere around the end of the BC's.

- Every city built on a good food source (ie grassland, plains) will limit overall food production eventually. By building on lots of low food sources (ie tundra, hills, deserts early) this is offset.

- No really high production cities. Since each city is only building Settlers though, this doesn't make any difference until the expansion phase is over.
Have you reached the Domination limit yet SirPleb? Fighting against Mech Infantry is always terrible. Were you ever able to beat the AI to resource techs? It might be a good idea to fight wars solely to deny the AI Oil and Rubber from the moment they become visable. Maybe even guessing a bit with earlier conquests.

I've been thinking about using the Russians. On Deity Huge/Pangaea maps there is no substitute for a Scout sitting on the AI's Iron sources until you're ready to hit. Saltpeter can often be held as well if the AI hasn't gotten lucky with roads in the Desert/on Hills. An exploit IMO, but something that isn't against the GOTM or HOF rules.

Expansionists can beat the Deity AI to the Middle ages on these settings as well. Scientific would give you Monotheism, and Chivalry would only be 2 techs away. Cheap Libraries to get those 2 techs as fast as possible. Knights against an Ironless defense would work well. Upgrading to Cossacks would give a nicely timed GA. The key is to do as much damage as possible before Riflemen show up. There might not be enough time with 1.17f tech trading as it is though. What do you think?
I think Russians would be great, too bad their Cossacks weren't 7-3-3 instead, but with the 4 as defence they might live longer when the enemy retaliate.

Questions for SirPleb and Aeson.

Do you build tightly on Huge Maps, I myself has started to build my cities with only two squares a part, horizontal and vertical, and I might start with putting the cities 3 or four squares a part a long the diagonal as 1 square horizontal is actually 1,5 or something when comparing to the diagonal.

Is the worker-poprushing allowed in the HOF?

do you wait to sell the temple in the cities until you need to or whenever it has completed it's first border.

What buildorder do you have in the completely corrupted cities?
I usually builds a Temple, an Aqueduct, a Marketplace...

When trying to get as large score as possible, are you trying to get as much SEA as possible?

Got to think of some more...
Unless I am going for a cultural victory at 2050, or trying to claim some sea squares, I sell off my temples and/or libraries as soon as the borders have expanded. Claiming Sea is usually a good thing. Just don't pass up Grassland to do it.

Coast gives you enough food to support 1 citizen. On average a citizen is worth 1.5*Difficulty (keeping everyone happy or content), and a tile 1*Difficulty. That gives a Sea square 2.5*Difficulty, and doesn't count towards the domination limit. In itself, a Sea square is "free" points.

You have to claim Coast tiles (on average 2 coast per sea) to get to Sea though. A Coast tile is also worth 2.5*Difficulty, and does count towards the domination limit. So claiming 2 Coast and 1 Sea costs 2 tiles towards the domination limit, and gives 7.5*Difficulty in score.

A Grassland tile is worth 4*Difficulty, and counts towards the domination limit. 2 Grassland tiles will give 8*Difficulty in score, which is better than the 2 Coast and 1 Sea. So try to keep your empire on Grassland as much as possible. Once the Grassland runs out, claiming Sea is the next best thing. Flood Plains are also good for scoring, but usually require Desert to be claimed as well. 2 Plains are worth 6.5*Difficulty.

This doesn't take into account bonus food squares, or "free" sea outside of the 21 tile workable area. Apply the same formula to all the tiles claimed, and you can determine how many potential points each city location is worth.

(((Food * .75) + Tiles) * Difficulty) / DominationTiles
What buildorder do you have in the completely corrupted cities?

Going all out for score, I build a temple until the borders expand (if needed) then sell it as soon as a Marketplace has been built (sooner if the cultural limit is nigh). Usually my luxuries will keep most everyone happy or content up until the Aqueduct limit anyways. If an Aqueduct is needed, I try to build it and then rush a Marketplace the next turn, or vice versa. The deciding factor is how many happy faces my size 6 cities have, and how many improvements I can rush per turn. If there are unhappy people, they get changed to specialists. If there are still content people (or not enough food to grow because of specialists), I build a Marketplace first, and then rush the Aqueduct. I always rush in the highest food areas first.

Hospitals get built as soon as possible. Usually by the time I get to improving the corrupt cities, Mass Transits are available too. I don't rush the Mass Transits until pollution starts becoming a big problem, or all the Hospitals have already been rushed. Even the worst global warming I've experienced (5 tiles per turn) doesn't make enough difference in max score to worry about.

Once my core cities are completely developed, I set several of them with very high food to building Workers. I add the workers to cities who's growth is slowing down. Once this is done, the highest food city keeps producing workers to build up the others. All the other core cities produce the most efficient unit builds to to be disbanded in corrupt cities. I disband the units in one city at a time, rushing the last few shields with gold. A lot of times Longbowmen are the best for this, as most of my core cities end up just over 40 Shields per turn.
i am feeling pretty self-concious posting in this thread so please forgive me if i sound stupid.

i have not updated to 1.17f patch yet cos of the silly bugs and because i am trying to enjoy the game first before i try challenges.

my games have been at emperor for a long time now. i don't get a satisfying score because i endure extortion until industrial times when i attack with tanks and infantry. at this point i have everything built in almost all the cities (factories and all...i usually get hoover dam thru the palace play).

this late game aggression continues till the end but my score never really jumps.

after reading hints from the greats (sirpleb, aeson, beammeupy and bamspeedy) i can now keep up militarily and initiate war right off the start.

my current game i am persia, large map, 12 civs....for size parity i destroyed the english and now i am finishing off the germans. however, i transitioned to republic after the first war.
i am plagued with civil disorder and my next target, the aztecs, are already itching and i am afraid of transitioning back to despotism and giving them a window to attack.

so ideally when can u transition to republic and still continue war-mongering?

Edit: i went back and studied the HOF plays to get more tips.
i noticed that there are no military units in the core cities. i felt like a fool cos of course it makes sense because when u are
in a representative govt military units don't increase happiness.

i chose to remain in republic and now i am in the last stages of
wiping out the aztecs with cavalry.
it's quite methodical actually and in a few weeks i will be playing deity.
Grey Fox:

Re selling temples: I check my culture growth every once in a while. I note how much my culture is increasing from the previous turn to the current one. E.g. when I last checked in my current game I was gaining 169/turn. I subtract current culture total from 100,002 and divide by the number of turns remaining, giving 154.X in this recent case. So I wanted my culture to grow by 14 less per turn. I went through all my cities and picked 14 culture points worth of buildings to be sold. I try to sell temples where they are no longer required, keeping ones for cities which can still bring some sea within their influence. It is important of course to sell some temples quickly, before a city's culture reaches 100, in border towns between your empire and the lands which will remain unsettled - don't want sphere of influence expanding there.

I'm using the same build order as Aeson. Aqueduct, Marketplace, Hospital, Mass Transit. In my current game I'm using money to rush in the following order on each turn:
1) If any towns have reached size 12 and don't have a Marketplace, buy those.
2) If there's still money left, buy Aqueducts in size 6 towns.
3) If there's still money available buy Hospitals.
4) Buy Mass Transit at the end.
And Harbors in towns that need them, after Hospital usually. (Before if necessary to grow to size 12.)

With 8 luxuries, no temple, no marketplace, no military police, JS Bach's, and Cure for Cancer, each town gets 11 happy boosts. That exactly makes a size 6 town happy, with nothing left over. Once a marketplace is in place the same mix gets 23 happy boosts, enough for exactly 12 happy citizens.

My current theory is that I get the best ROI on my rushing efforts each turn by first converting unhappy citizens to happy (adding Marketplaces, but only once they've grown to need them, i.e. past size 6), second by getting more towns to grow to that stage (adding Aqueducts) and last by adding Hospitals. I might be wrong about that sequence, perhaps Hospitals should come sooner sometimes.

Aeson's figures for the value of different tile types make sense to me. They can vary a bit depending on how happy the citizens are, vs. the 1.5 average he's used. But I think the average will hold up quite well in practice. E.g. when counting a Grassland for 4*Difficulty, you can view that as having two citizens at 1.5 each using the average figure. Or you can view it as the second citizen from the tile being an entertainer, worth 1 point, and the first citizen as being happy due to the entertainer and therefore worth 2 points. Comes to the same thing either way, still 3 points total for the two citizens.

I think that a tighter spacing of cities will probably get a better score. I've been spacing them fairly widely and am starting to regret it. Too many hospitals and mass transit, and too many unhappy citizens requiring entertainers. A tighter spacing would sacrifice a few workable tiles but would result in higher overall happiness and earlier population growth.
Originally posted by wohmongarinf00l
so ideally when can u transition to republic and still continue war-mongering?
I haven't used Republic at all for a long time because of this problem. My games usually seem to go like this:

1) Despotism until some time early in the Middle Ages. I stay in Despotism until I think there's more advantage in the extra food and money I'd get from Monarchy, vs. the ability to pop rush in Despotism.
2) Monarchy until some time early in the Industrial Ages, when I'm ready for a fair number of turns at peace.
3) Democracy until I'm going to war again.
4) Monarchy while at war.
5) And so on, flip back to Democracy for any extended peace time, Monarchy again when at war. Not too many flips back and forth of course!

It seems to me that war weariness is affected by a lot of things and is hard to predict. But whatever it is that affects it (recently at war, ownership of other Civs' workers, presence of military units on other Civs' lands, or whatever), I get it really bad later in the game, regardless of whether I use Republic or Democracy. Can't spend more than a turn or two at war under them. So I've ended up finding that I have no use for Republic at all the way I play.

BTW, I haven't used Communism in a long time either. It seems to be deadly inefficient for a large Civ late in the game. Perhaps with lots of Courthouses and Police Stations it could be made viable, I'm not sure. But the times I've tried it when I had a lot of cities it was quite useless.

Re your edited note: Yes, I seldom leave military in core regions. I rarely even do it for peace-keeping under Monarchy. I'd rather handle unhappiness with luxuries and marketplaces and keep all troops active at the borders or in the front lines!
Originally posted by SirPleb
Re your edited note: Yes, I seldom leave military in core regions. I rarely even do it for peace-keeping under Monarchy. I'd rather handle unhappiness with luxuries and marketplaces and keep all troops active at the borders or in the front lines!

I usually keep some old warriors to keep my core cities, including the Capital, happy (get more money that way...)

Another question:

When is the perfect timeand place to build your F.P?

I ussually end up in using my second leader to rush it in a good area sometime in the late Middle Age or Industrial Age... which I don't think is early enough.

My thought is that the second Core area should connect with the First core area, without loosing any of it's corruption advantages, and creating MANY uncorrupted cities with a LARGE shield output... then two different CORE areas, with the possibility of more uncorrupted cities (slightly), but with a LESS shield output.

And this SECOND Core area (with the F.P) should be built sometime when the OPTIMUM city # are almost reached (might be later in a POWER PLAYED HOF game, with the massive expansion), or atleast try to BUILD the F.P (Yes build, not rush) relativly early. If possible in the Ancient Era, but most likely in the beginning of the MIDDLE AGES.

So what do you all think?
Originally posted by SirPleb
Very cool Aeson! I think Iroquois would be quite powerful for this. As well as flipping government periodically, the cheaper temples could help when you need to add cultural aquisition.

I wanted to try a Settler Flood/Culture hybrid on Deity with the Iroquois. Since I can't stand 1.17f Deity *bows to SirPleb*, I re-installed Civ III and patched to 1.16f. Ran through about 15 starts until I got one that looked promising; Settler on turn 7, everything around me was Grassland or Forest on Grassland, and lots of bonus food sources.

Turned out this was almost a perfect map, Huge, Pangaea, 8AI. As I found out eventually, there was a smaller landmass with 3 of the 8 AI, containing their expansion. The Russians were the only Expansionist civ on the main landmass, but they were isolated up north of a peninsula filled with jungle. My two neighbors in the southern hemisphere were both nicely spaced, and limited in their expansion by the east and west coastlines.

I started building cities ICS, trying to make sure the Settler built the city on the turn it was produced whenever possible. I was up to 3 cities by the time I made contact with the Greeks, who had 3 built themselves. I checked the powergraph and it showed I was slightly ahead, must have been number of units and gold that tipped the scales in my favor. All I had built was Scouts and Settlers, but "compared to these guys we have a strong military". :lol:

I was able to demand one of the Greek cities, and it ended up being a nice grassland city with 2 wheat! This was really fortunate, as the next turn the Greeks built another city which would have given them the power lead. I had forgotten that these cities come with a free spearman in 1.16f, that was a nice suprise. I built a Warrior in my newly "conquered" city, waiting for pop, then rushed a Temple a turn later. After that it was just building Scouts and Warriors until I could pop rush a Settler at size 4. This was the basic city plan that I've adhered to with all corrupt cities I have built/demanded. My first Settler from my Greek holdings built next to a Wheat and Cow that the Greeks had been using, but they didn't seem to mind... The two cities effectively cut the Greeks in half, while claiming most of the bonus food sources nearby.

A few turns later I met the Persians. They had 5 cities and a slight powergraph edge. After all my cities had built another round of Settlers I was able to claim the power lead and demand a Persian city. I chose one which would limit their expansion towards me, and that was pretty much it for both the Greeks and Persians! They are both decent size, but nothing more than vassals. I gave each of them some wonder techs (Masonry, Mysticism) in hopes that they would build something nice to give me.

It was a while before I met the Egyptians to the north, there was a large swath of jungle inbetween. I had demanded another city from both the Greeks and Persians by this time, and my core was still pumping out Settlers like mad. I was building Temples and Warriors inbetween Settler builds, as I had more than enough Scouts for my *cough* evil designs. I just barely had a power lead on the Egyptians, by a couple of cities. I ended up with another nice grassland city courtesy of Egypt. For my map they gave me their's and contact with the Chinese, who were far to the North. I had a power lead on the Chinese, but they ended up being one of the top 2 AI, and I couldn't demand anything from them.

I had missed the peninsula leading to the Russians, but the Greeks hadn't. I got contact for a world map. The Russians were the only civ which had had a low food start. They were mostly plains up against a jungle, with grassland a bit farther north. They must have been the weakest civ at that time, and I was able to demand their 2 northernmost cities, cutting off the grassland nicely.

Judging by the shape of the continent I was pretty sure where to look for the other landmass. The map resembled my Zulu game, just flipped east to west. I rushed a Galley and started tracing the coast, noticed a crossing, and made contact with the others. By this time the cities I had demanded from the civs on my landmass had given me a clear power advantage over all of them. The English turned out to be the other "top 2" civ, and I couldn't demand anything from them. The Romans and Babylonians gave me a city each, giving me a nice foothold on the other continent if I should need it.

Now I am just slightly behind the leaders in points and culture, and with almost 2x the cities of any of the AI. Also I have a 5-8 tech lead on everyone, having just popped a hut to get me into the Middle Ages. I made sure to research Construction so that I would get Republic and Monarchy from huts. The only real problem I've run into is claiming Horses. There weren't any within about 15 tiles of my Capitol, but I should be able to claim at least one eventually.

The best spot of luck might be that the Persians built the Pyramids. I plan on upgrading all my Warriors to Swordsmen for that conquest, but still have a bit of work to do before I can claim Iron. The Persians have neither Iron nor Horses. :D
Aeson: That sure is interesting about the dense build. Makes sense though. The lost land tiles should be more than offset by the higher early turn scores. Now I'm starting to think that a dense build would be better for score in any case! In my current game the growth rate of new towns is amazing. 1.17 really sets things up for this - the high tech pace means that by the time I'd started taking the bulk of the territory, much of it had been irrigated and railroaded. And I had the Pyramids + Longevity by 1425AD. The net result is that when I plant a new town it takes very few turns to reach size 6, and all 6 of them happy! I'm at a stage now where most of the cities are working on their hospitals as my wars finish. I think I'd have done better to fill settlers into gaps 50 turns or so ago than working on aqueducts.

I haven't hit the Domination threshold yet. I've been using Chiefpaco's mapstat utility and staying under the limit I see from that. Soon I'll be doing a bit of final reorganizing, abandoning a bit of the worst of the land I took along the way and replacing it with prime real estate. After that I'll test with one additional town somewhere and see if I pass the threshold at the expected point :)

I didn't work hard on denying the AIs oil and rubber. I wasn't able to maintain much of a tech lead after Theory Of Evolution, just a slight one. And I made it smaller because I didn't want to risk losing the value of selling techs - if I held back any tech too long then I wouldn't be able to sell it for anything to speak of, and then I might lose the tech lead completely. So I erred on the side of being sure I got their money :) Also, there was a lot of both oil and rubber on the map, in areas I didn't control. I ended up thinking that my geographic expansion strategy outweighed the consideration of cutting off resources, in terms of who I went to war with next. So I stuck with brute force :) I did of course try to cut off at least one of the critical resources as soon as possible after starting war with any given Civ! And I muffed it with uranium/aluminum - didn't think the Zulu would devote the effort to building ICBMs as early as they did. If I'd known they were building those I might have hit them out of order to stop it!

There sure is a limited time available to use Knights and Cossacks before Riflemen show up (at deity with 1.17.) I'm not sure if it can be made into the kind of strike you'd like. In my current game Chivalry was available in 470BC, Military Tradition in 30BC, and Nationalism in 260AD. I made my first and probably most important expansion with Samurai after 470BC. But that is such an early date that I didn't have nearly enough to go on an extended campaign. On the other hand, with your idea based on resource denial, those Samurai certainly would have gone further - no iron would have made for little defense! For Cavalry, I didn't even manage secure my own source of saltpeter until 280AD, after Riflemen were being built. I did slug through one important bit of expansion with Cavalry against Riflemen but it wasn't the kind of quick strike one would like. It was more a matter of slugging, and of getting almost all of the AIs ganged up against my target :)
Just a note on Communism and its unusefullness for large civs.

Currently I am playing on Marla's Map as Indian (so not allowed for HOF). Occupied land includes all of Africa, 90% of Europe, all of Asia apart from China and Siberia, all of Austrilia. Since it is a big map that is a lot of cities!

When I switch from Democracy to Communism it is impossible to generate a positive income!

The only advantage of Communism is that cities in the more remote areas get a reasonable shield production and can build things like Hospitals and Mass Transits by themselves and that is the way I use it just after a new piece of territory is acquired. But you need quite some cash before the revolt!
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