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Earth18 More Mansa Musa Madness


Dec 16, 2008
The recent resurrection of an Earth18 thread made me try a few starts with Mansa Musa, since it was said that they have a terrible start position, which they do. A few plays through, I changed the way I start.

I moved my typical location of Timbuktu to (3,-2), missing RRolo's suggestion from a long time ago of a power position at (2,-2) that captures all 8 Flood Plains and 2 Elephants and 1 Gems. The start position I picked captures 1 Cow in exchange. (The start position I used to take was 1W, which is where the second city now is, which is a rather bad location, because it only captures 5 Flood Plains and an Oasis.)

Barbarians are a problem and we do not have resources. We do have a special unit. Hammers seem to be taking priority over Commerce.

Settings as follows:
Emperor Difficulty
Epic Turn Length
Huts are on per Earth18 Scenario (I popped 2 of them for 161gp)
Raging Hordes of Barbarian Madness
Aggressive AI
Choose Religion
Events ON

Play up to Iron Working

Spoiler :


Tech path I went with was:
Spoiler :

Animal Husbandry
Bronze Working
Iron Working

Hindsight says I could have pushed Iron Working ahead of Mysticism and saved about 6 turns.

The plan forward would be Fishing-Sailing for trade and network options. Then writing.

The Granary might not have been worth it. I might have got more stuff done without it. It does not look like I am using a good chop cycle. I will recalculate the production in Timbuktu.

With the Barbarians, I do not remember when Archers, Spears and Axes appear. At least the Skirmishers still stand a chance against all of them.

There is Iron in Morocco. I do not know if I need to settle a bad city site to capture the Iron and start building Melee units. There are also resources in southern Africa, but it will take a while to get there.

The Elephants to the southwest will capture a Crab. Right now, this is a low priority spot. I believe I placed a Skirmisher in a spot that eliminates the Barbarians in the Southwest.

The idea would be to expand into the jungle and choose a location for a Financial Bureaucracy Capital.

My thoughts are kind of random right now, because it's late at night and I'm rushing my thoughts on the game.
The good: Still alive
The rest: to be discussed

My current objective is to get to the same position (Iron Working) in a stronger position, so I would like to explore some starts.


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On Epic speed, I wonder if you might end up in a better midgame by just settling in Tangier (second city around Tunis, eventual elepult across the straight into Spain) or Khartoum (warrior/skirmisher rush Egypt).
On Epic speed, I wonder if you might end up in a better midgame by just settling in Tangier (second city around Tunis, eventual elepult across the straight into Spain) or Khartoum (warrior/skirmisher rush Egypt).

Comparing Size 7 cities, I get:
Carthage - 1 wheat, 1 sheep, 1 fish, 1 marble, 1 mine, 2 coast
6 food surplus, 10 hammers, 26 commerce
No luxuries, need 2. Elephants are nearby and part of your plan. Another resource is assumed to come from somewhere.
Assumed the sheep on Sardinia is not used. This is a bad assumption, because your plan involves triremes.
Cost is 4 turns instead of 1, for an extra 3 turns.

One big advantage of your plan is it comes with a plan. The plan you proposed is to win by taking over Spain.
Based on what is below, it looks like your city has an advantage of 2 food and 5 commerce.

Kano - 1 cow, 1 elephant, 1 gem, 4 flood plains farms
4 food surplus, 10 hammers, 21 commerce
Health cap is 3, so we lost 4 food to unhealthiness. If we can balance this, then the food surplus becomes 8.
I assumed that the health surplus does not get balanced in the early game, because the priority is to settle city spots that also barbbust.

There are two places we can claim a crab. Neither site helps bust barbarians, so they are unlikely to get settled until we solve the barbarian situation. Running a settler from Kano to Carthage might pick up 3 health resources, depending on how soon we can settle it and how quickly the borders of Rome and Iberia expand. We might do well to hold on the Timbuktu (4 flood plain farms, 1 oasis, 5 size, 9 food, 1 hammer, 8 commerce) site in favor of different priorities. The Carthage site will require Fishing and Sailing and an exploration of the west coast of Africa (?) or a long road through the Sahara Desert. It also requires a barbbust plan.

I did not explore much the Nubia plan. I think it takes 6 turns to settle there, which should still be safe from wild animals spawning. I think you intend to rush Egypt with elephants. If you don't then we have to find copper or iron somewhere.

Last night, I played a little bit with starts checking out your ideas.
Here is another play to Turn 108 and we got to Iron Working on the same turn. Several things changed:

Amazing (almost dishonest) luck with the huts. We popped all of the huts in Africa, gaining about 180 gp and 2 technologies.
Mysticism and Masonry both came from huts.
Egypt is researching the Alphabet.
Spain did not found Christianity.
We went anti-financial and did not build any Cottages.

We founded a third city, Carthage.
Spoiler :


I believe this position is stronger. It felt stronger. However:
Maybe Carthage was premature. I might have done better to build a Worker instead of a Settler.
Just hit Iron Working unprepared. There is no Worker nearby. Not enough Workers.
Timbuktu is ready for a Granary. We might have done well to whip a Monument first and push borders earlier. Timbuktu has an issue of not having any hammers and we really do not want to wait 60 turns from founding to get a border pop. More farms along the Niger River might change my mind about this.


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Three tries, very similar result in getting Iron Working at Turn 108 or 1300BC. Results in different parts of the world were different, but interesting. This try will feature more information on how we got from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.

Here is what the start looks like. We founded our capital city near modern day Kano.
Spoiler :



Here is what it looked like at Turn 57:

This location captures Cows, Elephants, Gems and 4 Flood plains - and that's about it. History to Turn 108 is as follows:

T1 - Kano founded at 3E2S.
T9 - Border pop 2.
T24 - Worker 1
T33 - Farm 1
T35 - Size 2
T42 - Size 3
T43 - Farm 2
T44 - Warrior 2
T49 - Size 4
T50 - Cow Pasture
T56 - Size 5
T57 - Elephant Camp
T60 - Skirmisher 1; road complete to Elephant Camp
T64 - Skirmisher 2
T66 - Size 6
T69 - Skirmisher 3
T71 - Farm 3
T74 - Skirmisher 4
T81 - Farm 4
T84 - Granary - Kano Size 5
T86 - Settler
T90 - Skirmisher 5
T98 - Worker 2 - Kano Size 4
T99 - Barracks
T101 - Size 5
T104 - Skirmisher 6
Somewhere there was a grow to Size 5 (EDIT: Added)

T87 - Timbuktu founded at (-4,2) which is 1W of the original start location.
T91 - Farm 1
T96 - Size 2
T101 - Farm 2
T108 - Granary
Spoiler :


There were 6 huts to resolve on the continent of Africa. They were resolved as follows:
T6 - Lake Chad - 67gp
T23 - Central Africa - 60gp
T34 - Zululand - 55gp
The other three huts in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Carthage were claimed by Egypt.
We claimed a total bonus of 182gp from the huts.

Random events were as follows:
T56 - Parrots at (0,-1)
T72 - Warrior 1 Champion gains Leadership

Religions founded were:
T13 - Buddhism founded somewhere
T16 - Islam founded in Mecca by Saladin
T71 - Confucianism founded in Egypt

World wonders built so far:
T79 - Stonehenge
T81 - The Great Wall
T107 - The Oracle in Thebes

Foreign leaders encountered as follows:
T9 - Hatty
T51 - Saladin
T70 - Izzy
T70 - Julius Caesar
That's it! We are pretty isolated in a corner of the known world.

Technology as follows:
T16 - Agriculture
T26 - Hunting
T43 - Animal Husbandry
T54 - Archery
T66 - Pottery
T83 - Bronze Working
T108 - Iron Working

Since we are Financial and currently have 0 tiles benefiting a Financial civilization, and since we have been prioritizing production ahead of commerce, we are nowhere close in the tech race. Egypt appears to be running away with it.
Spoiler :


There were lots of battles with these raging hordes of barbarians, way too many to keep track of. The body count is as follows:
20 Barbarian Warriors
8 Lions
7 Panthers
2 Wolves

We have in our civilization:
2 Cities
2 Workers
3 Warriors
6 Skirmishers

The standing army is costing us money, some of the bonus money we obtained from the goody huts. However, we seem to be coping with the raging barbarian situation and our fogbusting efforts seem to be working. I have not seen any incursions from the west or from the north.

The Egyptians seem to be struggling more. The T101 status report shows them with 3 cities and the Confucian Holy City, probably Memphis. A screenshot from T108 shows that they only have 2 cities and they have lost their Holy City. I did not see any major Barbarian events.
Spoiler :


The Barbarians will only get worse. I am surprised that I have not seen any Archers yet. I do not remember when the Axes and Spears show up. Our Skirmisher should be okay against them for a while, but we might do well to develop some Iron soon.

Something I like about this start is we developed Iron Working exactly when we were in a position to make use of it - with 2 Workers ready to go! So we will move forward with this start.

The goals for settling new cities will be with the idea of claiming resources. The Carthage site has Marble, Fish, Sheep, and Wheat. Morocco has a few more resources. In order to claim the Iron, we have to settle a terrible city site. One big question is if we settle cities on a cultural border, how are we going to fight back with culture?

For Technology, this is what I can think of:
Fishing - We will need it soon.
Sailing - We will need it soon to claim the resources listed above.
Writing - We will need it for the upcoming culture war.
Alphabet - We will need it.

Based on this, the plan to clear the jungle is on hold. It is also possible that our beeline to Iron Working was a mistake and we could have traded it for some of the tech listed above. However - There are at least two reasons we will soon need the iron. Time will tell.

Attached is the current (take 3) save state at 1300 BC.


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Your 4000bc save is a Greek game.
Your 4000bc save is a Greek game.

I'm so sorry - It was a save I renamed a long time ago when I was playing a Greece game we were working on about three years ago. I believe it is fixed now.


There are two ways I can think of to settle the Carthage area.
Spoiler :


The option I am leaning towards is just north of the mountain, 2 north of the skirmishers. The advantage of this is once we get a border pop, we capture the Fish and the Wheat. With a single city placement, we capture all of the resources we need and can change our focus to the south.

The drawback is we have to insert Mysticism into our research plan and have Carthage immediately build a Monument.

The other option would be to settle the marble and have immediate access to the Fish, but miss the Wheat.
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Main issue here seems to be barbs. Raging barbs kill ai with warrior starts. Egyptians lost a city on your last save. Mansa's starting land is not good
Main issue here seems to be barbs. Raging barbs kill ai with warrior starts. Egyptians lost a city on your last save. Mansa's starting land is not good

First sentence agree - Main issue is the barbs. For some reason on the Earth18 map, I think raging barbarians presents an interesting challenge with twists.

Second sentence - I did not know that. On the scenario if it is not modified, the AI either starts with a Warrior or a Scout. Why did you say the Raging Barbarians kill AI with Warrior starts instead of Scout starts? I thought it would cause some civs to struggle more if they have a bunch of unoccupied space. More specifically:
2 Civs - Africa - Egypt and Mali should struggle in the early game. However, Mali has a human player, hopefully somewhat smarter than AI. (Both Warrior)
6 Civs - Europe - England, France, Spain, Rome, and Greece are sheltered. Germany might have some challenges. (Germany is scout start)
2 Civs - Middle East - Persia and Arabia both have lots of empty space. (Arabia Warrior, Persia Scout)
2 Civs - Eurasia - Russia and Mongolia, both Scout starts, have lots of open space.
3 Civs - Asia - Japan is isolated. China and India have lots of space. India has a lot of this blocked by mountains.
Also - Never start a land war in Asia. It says so in the BUG hints.
3 Civs - Americas - USA and Aztecs both have a lot of open space. The Incas are isolated and have the same problems as always.

Third sentence - This is true. Egypt lost the Confucian Holy City. Then they converted to Islam. Then they won the city back.

Fourth Sentence - This is also true. We are now about to find out if I brought the right combination of Skirmishers and Workers to clear out all that jungle!

I played up to Turn 136, or 600BC. I will follow a similar format as the previous post. Granted, 28 Turns is a huge amount of time to go forward and there is not much to be done if major errors are made. For some reason, this part of the game seemed to be very intensive on micromanaging and remembering to do all things.

Turn 112 - Settler 3, Size 3
Turn 113 - Skirmisher 7, Size 4
Turn 116 - Size 5, Gem Mine complete
Turn 117 - Skirmisher 8
Turn 122 - Skirmisher 9
Turn 124 - Size 6, Elephant Camp rebuilt
Turn 128 - Monument built
Turn 129 - Size 7

Turn 113 - Size 3
Turn 116 - Size 4
Turn 118 - Size 5
Turn 123 - Worker 3, Size 4
Turn 124 - Skirmisher 10
Turn 126 - Size 5
Turn 127 - Farm 3
Turn 132 - Farm 4

Turn 117 - Carthage founded:
Turn 122 - Sheep pasture
Turn 126 - Road in hills
Turn 129 - Size 2, Road to Wheat
Turn 135 - Work Boat, Border pop 2

Spoiler :


No new religions were founded. However in Turn 120, Islam spread to Carthage and we decided to convert. For a while, it will give us favorable relations with Egypt and Arabia. Ironically, it will stress relations with Rome. Maybe that is historical - except for the Buddhist part.

World wonders built so far:
T125 - The Great Lighthouse was built in Paris.
T131 - The Temple of Artemis was built in Madrid.
T134 - The Pyramids were built somewhere in Persia.
So far 6 World Wonders have been built.

Foreign leaders encountered as follows:
T119 - Alexander
T132 - Louis
T134 - Cyrus
So far we have met 7 of 14 Leaders in the Old World. Given the location of Carthage, it is very likely we will meet more of them. In case we have not, we are in the process of building a Scout to find them. The priority, of course, will be to reach England.

Technology as follows:
T115 - Mysticism
T119 - Fishing
T127 - Sailing
T136 - Writing

Strangely, I did not report any random events in the last writeup. I will add them.
Turn 56 - Parrots at (0,-1)
Turn 72 - Champion Unit - Warrior 1 (This is currently our Medic.)
Turn 119 - Tornado destroys Elephant Camp
Spoiler :


This was an example of the RNG hating me. I had the slave revolt on this turn and realized that as spiritual, I did not have to be in slavery all the time, so I ran an identical turn set and got a tornado. This set us back a few worker turns and cost a good bit of city production. It took about 5 turns to rebuild the camp. We had to deal with a few turns of unhappiness. Hindsight says in Kano, we were better off to work with the unhappiness and let the city grow to full size.

We also got the Holy Mountain Quest!
Spoiler :


I will look up what this quest means. However, if we are following it, then that means we are stuck with Islam as a religion. That is not necessarily a bad thing. We have two good neighbors with it and I have a sense it is likely to become the game's true religion. That will give us an extra incentive to build Islamic buildings.

The body count so far:
28 Barbarian Warriors (+8)
2 Barbarian Archers (+2)
8 Lions
7 Panthers
2 Wolves

There was a lot of interesting maneuvering in the first few turns of the session. Interestingly, when Egypt recaptured their city, the Barbarians moved on. There were quite a few turns, like 16, where no Barbarians were showing up and our Skirmishers were just waiting at the border.

We have in our civilization:
3 Cities
3 Workers
3 Warriors
10 Skirmishers

We are light on Workers, especially given that we are planning an expansion into the jungle with this gem of a city site:
Spoiler :


When we clear out enough jungle, it looks like it will be a production center when we really need to build a cottage economy. This will come eventually. The objective I had for this session was to build Carthage and claim resources. We now have Cow, Sheep, Fish, and soon Wheat. This should be enough to give us a start in a jungle city.

For technology, I am thinking:
Masonry - Because we have the Marble and a worker nearby to use it. It will yield us 1 hammer and 2 commerce, times the number of turns it will take us to get to the Alphabet.
Alphabet - Tech trading coming soon! I am actually on the fence whether to grab Masonry first or if I just do not need it.
Grabbing the Alphabet will grant us access to the religious buildings.

We just researched Writing - So we would do well to negotiate open borders right away.
Something I do not remember, but can verify quickly: Does OB start a trade route before we get Writing? If so, then I should have looked for this as soon as we got Sailing. Not doing this would have cost us about 27gp.

After the terrible city site shown above, I will need a direction for expansion. I am thinking it should be east to meet the Egyptians.
I also have to identify an ideal site for a Bureaucracy Capital.


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I think (and Gumbolt can correct me if I'm wrong about this) what he meant is that raging barbs kill AIs with warrior starts, as opposed to *Archer* starts. Emperor-level barb spawn frequency and start dates, paired with Noble-level starting units and technology, is not something the AI is well-equipped to handle. On Earth18, Mali, Egypt, Russia, Persia, and Mongolia (in that order) have particularly frightening starting locations for an AI given the geography.
On earth 18 map the AI start with either 2 warriors or 2 scouts. Egyptians would of started with 2 warriors and a settler.
On a normal emperor map they would of all had 2 archers/2 scouts/settler at the start.

The starting techs also differ. They each start with same 2 techs the human player would of had for that civ.
On a normal emperor game each ai starts with hunting and archery too. So they can build archers from T1.

On this game they can only build warriors on t1. So if an ai expands with only a warrior escort barbs in theory could get a lucky dice roll in combat and take a city. Where if the AI had archers a warrior would 99% die on first attack.

Why you were not trying to capture this barb city I don't know.
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What you could of done.

Your Carthage city was actually great! Lot of production plus good food and hammers. Next to coast so good barb protection. Barb warriors do not like skirmishers.

Attacking Egyptians. Skirmishers vs warriors are 70% odds. (Barbs gave me 1-2 5xp skirmishers). Archers lower odds but as long as first one weakens you should have good odds on second.

Considering start 3-4 cities by 1725bc is not bad. One a captured capital. Settler ready for 4th city almost ready and possible naval invasion for Europe.

Mansa start here is horrible with no real food resources unless you farm flood plains. Which on epic could take 9-10 turns.

4th city would grab Egyptian's flood plains land. Cottage up and you have a decent cottage empire. Likely grab the flood plains to the south too. Need to capture great wall or these barbs will be a pain.


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I checked out your run. It looks like you did the four turn run to Carthage and set up two cities to make a bunch of Skirmishers to rush Hatty. When I exhaust myself, I will look into how you executed the Carthage Skirmisher rush. It does look like the best strategy is some kind of rush if it can be executed, because at higher levels, the powercivs are just going to outtech and outbuild.

I might have lost focus in my run. A reason why might be very long turn sets. In my normal games, there was a lot of discussion right at the opening - and a lot of that is because the world is unknown. The Earth map is known and that opens up discussion for starts. In the beginning, turn sets might be longer. After that, a hard limit of 16 Turns might be in order, gradually getting shorter until the mid game. I should have stopped the turn set on Alphabet.

Even shorter would be better for plans that take less than 10 turns to execute.

We founded three more cities.

Spoiler :




I settled the Iron, because I had Workers busy in Douala and a Worker available from Carthage.

Tech was as follows:
T143 Masonry (+7 Turns from T136)
T157 Alphabet from Louis (+14 Turns)
T174 Mathematics from Izzy (+17 Turns)
T179 Currency (+5 Turns)

So four techs at an average of 11 turns per tech. Coming in 9th out of 11 in the race for Alphabet really stinks. I think that split the civs into haves and have-nots.

For Settling, we will continue to pick sites in the jungle. I think there are two more. One is the mouth of the Congo River. The other claims the Copper, Gems, and Silver. That might open up a route for two or three more cities in South Africa.

For Tech, if Hatty is making an end run towards Music, I do not know if I can stop her. I started on the path of Aesthetics, but did not invest many bulbs. I should recheck the political situation. I saw a lot of wars springing up. Construction would give us Catapults. Hatty's big weakness is no access to metal. We also have visibility of all her cities. However, I stated a priority of settling the rest of Africa, then developing a cottage town.

A Great Scientist might be coming soon. Is the best move with that to pop Compass and use that for trade bait to help get caught up in the race?

The lack of focus - comes down to running out of ideas for stuff to build.


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You settled 3 cities with zero food or surrounded by jungle. Not great. Better to capture ai cities than settle the barren land Mansa starts with. What is wrong with crab/ivory city?

Mansa is financial and you have not cottaged a single flood plain?

Douala should be growing on the cottages.

Carthage lost fish to Rome. Not good.

All but 1 of your workers are working on size one jungle city. Not good.

It's not difficult to do the maths here. Europe has 4-5 great cities owned by 1 city AI. These are great to capture. You are focusing on land that has no resources but may have grassland you can cottage.

On epic speed games warfare is always better than expansion especially with such poor land.

46 beakers at 30% science is not great for 100ad.

You have little or no economy here even though you are financial. Even costal tiles will give you 2f3c with a lighthouse.

Monarchy/HR civic would of helped with happiness. Teching alphabet is not great if the AI already have it.
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I looked at and oldie, but goodie - Neal's King of the World Series. I do not believe he plays here anymore.

The opening is painful to watch. I think the choice he was given for the capital city was simply not good and made the start way too slow.

So the general concept is to forget about the Congo River Jungle and figure out how to break into Europe. There are five city sites I can think of:
1. Cow City, where I put my capital. It has 4 Flood Plains, Elephants, Cows, and Gems.
2. Timbuktu, where I put my second city. It also has 4-5 Flood plains..... and that's it.
3. Carthage, which is where a Europe invasion would start.
4. Casablanca, which is where you founded your second city.
5. That terrible Iron City.

One option would be to settle in that order. Maybe find some balance between farms and cottages. (The idea with the farms was I thought I was going to need a lot more hammers and farms was the only way I could think of. I believe one of the results was too many Skirmishers and Workers and not enough beakers. My other thought at the time was I thought it was inevitable that I would lose cottages to barbarians, but did not change this when it looked like I had a successful busting strategy.) My first question is if I can still settle in that order or if Cities 1 and 2 slow down the start too much and draw too many resources from the war effort. (In the last game, I needed about 5 units to barbbust the Sahara Desert and another 4 to hold the line at the Niger River.)

I am thinking if I settle the Niger River as before, then I am setting up a building game on what you describe as terrible land and in this case, it put me at a huge disadvantage against other civs, such as China, Persia, and India, who have better land. Based on that, if I want to setup a new start with Europe in mind, then I should skip straight to 3.

Tech path before was:
T16 - Agriculture
T26 - Hunting
T43 - Animal Husbandry
T54 - Archery
T66 - Pottery
T83 - Bronze Working
T108 - Iron Working

It looks like I still need all of the above. Maybe I can skip Hunting and Archery in favor of getting Iron units earlier. After that, I will need Fishing and Sailing. Those will get inserted earlier. Writing is not needed if we are looking for a Europe invasion.

The other question is, just how many Galleys and Swordsmen do we need to recreate the Invasion of the Sea Peoples?
On Epic speed, I wonder if you might end up in a better midgame by just settling in Tangier (second city around Tunis, eventual elepult across the straight into Spain) or Khartoum (warrior/skirmisher rush Egypt).

Rushing Egypt sounds good.

1. Migrate North-West and settle on the North African coast next to the oasis as close to Thebes as possible. I want my capital to be next to an oasis with forests to chop.

2. Hunting, archery, bronze working. Skirmisher rush Thebes.

3. Research wheel, pottery, masonry, animal husbandry, horseback riding. Attack with horse archers.

4. Research writing, mathematics, and construction. There is ivory South of Thebes. Mix in catapults and elephants as needed.

5. Research currency and code of laws.
Rushing Egypt sounds good.

1. Migrate North-West and settle on the North African coast next to the oasis as close to Thebes as possible. I want my capital to be next to an oasis with forests to chop.

2. Hunting, archery, bronze working. Skirmisher rush Thebes.

This is taken as a vote for rushing Egypt. I have not heard of grabbing the oasis and forests to chop-rush. I think there are 3 forests and each of them almost grants one skirmisher. Have you seen Gummy's save? He executed an Egypt rush by settling Carthage and Casablanca and building a long road to Thebes.

What is wrong with crab/ivory city?

I think you meant Casablanca, the city you settled second in your game. For some reason, I thought it would be in danger of being culture flipped. Looking at it now, it looks like it would improve the probability of hanging on to the wheat.

Mansa is financial and you have not cottaged a single flood plain?

My thinking at the time was to prioritize hammers over commerce and getting the commerce in order later. If I look at 8 flood plains over 60 turns, I get the following:
480 food for the farms. This is converted to hammers either by building settlers or workers, or by whipping. The conversion by whipping is close to 2 to 1, less time and tiles lost by regrowing, and the time of not working the extra tile. The conversion by building workers or settlers is 1 to 1. The extra food does speed regrowth. Then it gets converted to more workers. Since the extra food is a derivative, I believe it is most likely to show up as a 1 to 1 conversion. Based on that,
480 hammers from the farms is the conversion. (2 settlers and 2 workers)

I specifically chose the number 60 for convenience. 15 turns at size 1, 30 turns at size 2, 15 turns at size 3 gives an average size of 2. So 8 cottages would yield the following:
960gp from the average size 2 cottages up to the present.
480gp from the financial bribe.
960gp from future growth.

So basically I was paying 3gp for each hammer, plus another 2gp at a later time. (the difference between starting a size 1 cottage versus the existing size 3 cottage)

In my last game, I had the elephants hooked up on T60 and Pottery on T66. There are two options I can think of to proceed:
T63, T67 road to Timbuktu (outside of cultural boundaries) followed by Cottages on T75, T83, T91, T99, T107, T115 for a total of 6.
T71 Farm followed by Cottages on T79, T87, T95, T103, T111 for a total of 5.
Some combination of farms and cottages.

Carthage lost fish to Rome. Not good.

I looked up how the culture war works and have a slightly better understanding.

This happened because the fish is 2 tiles from Carthage and 4 tiles from Rome, but Rome reached Culture 4 before Carthage reached Culture 3. This means the fish is in the outer cultural ring for both Carthage and Rome. This means Carthage's 4 culture per turn is competing against whatever Rome has, which will be much greater because it reached Culture 4.
It is easy to calculate the amount of culture on the tile in question, because it is in the outer ring. It is the amount of culture, less 15. I do not have the save in front of me, so I will assume this is 138-15=123.
12 turns ago, approximately when Rome reached Culture 4 and started competing for the tile, this was 75.
Assuming Rome is accumulating 12 culture per turn, then on the saved turn, they have accumulated 144 culture. The tile is 54/46 and implies the tile was 50/50 3 turns ago.
I do not know where Rome is getting 12 culture per turn. When I get home, I will check my capital to see if buildings generate double culture if they are ancient.

On the other side, Carthage reached Culture 3 in 3 more turns. When this happens, the second cultural rung gets a bonus 20 culture, for a grand total of 24 competing against Rome's 12. So the fish will flip back.

When I saw this happen, I wondered if I needed to change where I placed my North African cities to have my resources one tile away.
Take 4 - Giving one more chance to the Kano site I chose

Changes are as follows:
1. I was advised to abandon the idea of chopping up the Congo River Jungle and cottaging and farming, because I would spend a lot of resources and it would take a long time to yield anything.
2. Since I am not clearing out a bunch of jungle, I do not need Iron Working and can delay it.
3. I should give cottages another chance. Before I was prioritizing food and hammers over commerce, because I thought I would need that more for expansion and barbarian defense - and I thought I was going to lose cottages to pillaging, which is a terrible loss.

Results are as follows:

Tribal Villages - We followed the same pattern in order to get the same results. This is a beauty of a fixed random number seed.
T6 - Lake Chad - 67gp
T23 - Central Africa - 60gp
T34 - Zululand - 55gp
The other three huts in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Carthage were claimed by Egypt.
We claimed a total bonus of 182gp from the huts.

Random events were as follows:
T56 - Previously, we got Parrots at (0,-1). This time we got Tower Shields.
T72 - Previously we got a Champion unit. This time I did not see a random event.
I did see on T76, Hatty got the Waters of Life.

Spoiler :


Religions founded were:
T13 - Buddhism founded somewhere (We now know this to be India, but we have not yet seen any signs.)
T16 - Islam founded in Mecca by Saladin
T71 - Taoism founded in Egypt (on the exact same turn as well!)

World wonders built so far:
T77 - Stonehenge (previously T79)
T88 - The Great Wall was built in Egypt!

Foreign leaders encountered as follows:
T9 - Hatty
T51 - Saladin
T75 - Julius Caesar
T75 - Izzy
If we push to the NE corner of Africa, we can find Alex. As Writing passes around and borders open up, we might see scouts as they run through lands. We also managed to smuggle a scout into Egypt with the idea of exploring the known world.

T1 - Kano founded at 3E2S.
T9 - Border pop 2.
T24 - Worker 1
T33 - Farm 1
T35 - Size 2
T42 - Size 3
T43 - Farm 2
T44 - Warrior 2
T49 - Size 4
T50 - Cow Pasture
T56 - Size 5
T57 - Elephant Camp
T60 - Skirmisher 1; road complete to Elephant Camp
T64 - Skirmisher 2
T66 - Size 6
T69 - Skirmisher 3
T72 - Farm 3 - We lost one turn of building a farm to barbarian action. We moved over a tile and started a cottage, then finished the farm.
T75 - Skirmisher 4
T76 - Border pop 3
T79 - Cottage 1 - So the net cost of the barbarian incursion was 1 food.
T84 - Granary, Size 5
T86 - Settler 2
T89 - Skirmisher 5 - It is interesting that I have moved one turn ahead of my previous run.
T95 - Skirmisher 6 - Previously I built a worker.
T101 - Settler 3 - It looks like I decided Carthage was a higher priority.
T102 - Size 4
T103 - Scout 1

It looks like same number of Skirmishers. Traded 1 farm for 1 cottage. Traded worker for settler. We did not build the Barracks. Right now we do not need it. There are lots of warriors running around and when we attack one on open ground, we have a 99.6% probability of gaining 2xp and a level.
On the subject of whipping micromanagement, I eventually realized that it is generally better to whip from a smaller population if possible. So it was better to whip the granary from size 5 instead of size 6. Similarly, it was better to whip the settler from size 5 instead of size 6. In both cases, we are we whipping from 2 over our healthy cap. The flood plains farm behaves more like a grassland farm. The elephant camp behaves more like a desert mine with a river, 0f3h1c. These are very much whippable tiles. I believe I was able to recover some hammers as a result of this.

T87 - Timbuktu founded at (-4,2) which is 1W of the original start location. This is identical to the previous run.
T87 - Cottage 1
T95 - Cottage 2
T96 - Size 2
T103 - Size 3

This might be a subject for discussion later, but I worked out as well as I can the idea of growing the city on the farm instead of the cottage. My thinking is I get to size 4 sooner and whip the granary, then grow to size 6 and whip the library. We are spending cottage turns in favor of building a granary. On the other side, our lack of workers is making much of this discussion moot. We have two tiles left to cottage and then we might look at those three farms.

T106 - Carthage founded at (0,10)
This is 9 turns earlier than our previous run. Carthage has our one and only worker.

Technology as follows:
T16 - Agriculture
T26 - Hunting
T43 - Animal Husbandry
T54 - Archery
T66 - Pottery
T83 - Bronze Working
T95 - Writing
T100 - Mysticism
T105 - Fishing

Previously we had Iron Working. Instead we have Writing, Mysticism, and Fishing. There is a slight (21 points to 20, 1 point equals 27 beakers) advantage in favor of our current situation, plus we are 129/270, nearly 50% on writing. We are definitely ahead.

I thought I needed Mysticism to build a monument in Carthage. If I skipped it, then I would have Sailing right now. The culture would have to come from building a library instead. An alternative would be to push Mysticism after Fishing and Sailing and we would still get the monument in Carthage if we want. So there is one plan that would certainly have been better.
(I believe the difference is 24gp, assuming we have sea access to 3 AI cities. 7 turns from our first 2 cities for 14; 5 turns from Carthage for 10. I do not know if I do - I think our ships can only find Rome. Based on that, I will chalk it up as something I should think about in the future.)

The current body count is 36 total kills:
20 Barbarian Warriors
8 Panthers
7 Lions
1 Wolf
This is 1 kill less than the previous run and we traded a lion for a panther. We might have made exploring slightly less of a priority and spawnbusting more.

We have in our civilization:
3 Cities
1 Worker
3 Warriors
6 Skirmishers
1 Scout

Before I mentioned unit cost. That went up to 3 at one point, but has come down to 1, from the addition of Carthage.
We need one more worker and probably 2. I have to count worker turns.
Timbuktu needs about 10 more worker turns to complete the cottaging.
We need 24 more worker turns to cottage up the farms on the Niger River.
I think I need about 41 or 42 worker turns in Carthage to do the following:
Sheep pasture, Wheat farm, Marble farm, chop forest and mine.
Did I really spend that much time with a single worker in Carthage?

Gummy, Coanda, Sylvan and everybody watching this thread has been nudging me in a direction. Now it looks like the RNG is also nudging me in the same direction:
We have Tower Shields - a free Cover promotion to all of our melee units.
Egypt built the Great Wall.
Egypt is currently researching the Alphabet.

For settling, or plan is:
Build a Worker in the next cycle, about T115.
Build a Settler after that - Settle Casablanca.
We probably need another Worker, because we will be at 4 cities and 2 workers and lots of work still needing to be done.
Eventually we settle that terrible city site to secure the iron. However this time I will locate it slightly different, 1 west of the elephant. This gets me 5 hammers if I want an elephant mine, plus we will have the iron mine.

For research:
After Sailing.....
Masonry is an option, but do we really need it? I do not have any builds planned and a marble farm is still very good. So I am leaning towards skipping.
We do not need Alphabet, because Egypt is researching it.
This leaves Iron Working. I think after Sailing, we should research Iron Working again.

Here is our new situation:
Spoiler :


We have 3 warriors to bust, but we have been doing okay at dealing with them with 2 skirmishers and a Woodsman 3 warrior. The barbarians are busted everywhere west of the Carthage-Kano line. Around Kano, we really only have 3 tiles to defend. The cows are defended by having a skirmisher on top of them, which is a single move away. The elephants have to be defended (counterattacked) if the barbarians are able to bust across the Niger River. They managed this in the previous turn, so this is why the warrior and skirmishers are in that box pattern. The Woodsman 3 Warrior is a marvel in this! Finally, Kano has to be defended if the barbarians ever get that far - and the farms and cottages along the Niger river, of course.

So far I believe the 1 warrior and 2 skirmishers are enough. The highlighted Skirmisher 3 can migrate to the northeast to do more busting in the Sahara desert and further protect Carthage. I don't actually need skirmishers to spawnbust, unless they are in a position that barbarians can advance. That means we can build a couple of warriors next instead of skirmishers, saving 15 hammers each. There are two or three busting locations that can be adequately done with a warrior. Timbuktu and Carthage will eventually need defenders and these can also be Warriors.

We are slowbuilding the library in Kano. I am doing this because I am whipping Workers and Settlers when the 15 turn cycle comes up. The library will provide 4 to 5 beakers per turn when finally complete, but I think it is more important to get Casablanca settled first. We also do not currently need to build units between whips.

Timbuktu is not a production city. We will whip a granary in a couple of turns, then a library.


  • AutoSave_BC-1300.CivBeyondSwordSave
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So what is your actual plan here. Still stuck on 3 cities at 1300bc.Maybe you should try this map with raging barbs off as it's just killing your game here. You won't win the game on 3 cities. Egyptians have great wall. It's a no brainer to take them out now. Solve so many issues but warfare just does not seem to interest you.

I hope to have 6 cities by 1300bc on my attempt. Albeit I am planning HBR and HA to take out Europe come 1000bc or so.
Well I thought I could get things like Ironworking and an invasion going sooner, but I guess buildings slow that idea down and the AI has time to build up a defense. It looks like the Kano location really does condemn us to settling the Congo River.

Here is my first go at a Skirmisher rush on Egypt. It got completed on T105. It looks like I cut off the supply of Skirmishers earlier and we lucked out, because we got to them about the same time they researched Archery. There was also some luck involved in the final assault. So I will go back a couple of times to clean it up. My invasion started about 4 turns after yours was finished.

I got lazy / excited, so did not record my research path as much. I think it was:
Animal Husbandry
Bronze Working
Hindsight says I could have saved pottery for later, because writing allows OB to get somebody in to check out the empire.

6/6 huts, very good luck. About 195gp and a scout.

The raging barbarians do throw a wrench into things.

Spoiler :






  • Egypt Destroyed.CivBeyondSwordSave
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