For my 3rd public Giant Earth Map game I'm going with Japan. In case you haven't seen the other games I posted here and are unfamiliar with this mod, Giant Earth Map (GEM) is a mod that has a huge map representative of earth and is modded to have 34 civs on it. It's also got a few changes to terrain types, units, techs, though not too many to drastically alter your strategies. One thing that is a huge change though is units have a base movement of 2 instead of 1. So all 1 unit movers in regular BTS get 2 moves; all 2 move units get 3 etc. This greatly speeds up warfare which is kinda necessary because the map is so big. Other than that the main differences are there's tons and tons of resources and food so the game will play different (faster growth, expansion) than a regular game. I modded the GEM xml just a little with my own changes because there were two big GEM changes I hated. One is in the GEM mod the tech currency and corporation don't provide trade routes. Instead improvements like markets, banks and grocers provide +1 routes. I changed currency back to provide a trade route. It's just such a crucial tech and a core principle of many player's strategy for financing expansion. This does make it possible to have a lot more trade routes than in a normal game, but nothing game breaking, especially when compared to the ridiculous terrain! The second change was in GEM cannons require replaceable parts. Why this was done I have no clue, as it takes away the crucial decision of going for rifles or going for cannons. Now cannons come on the same path as rifles and going the lower tech tree path is well, kinda stupid. So I put cannons back to requiring steel. Felt it changed the game too much. Oh I also fixed a bug with Hungary's UU. Hungary is the byzantines in this game and their UU was changed to be a 8 str horse archer replacement (pretty op right? but cool. Kehshiks got changed to a 12 str knight replacement, more historically accurate era for them) but whoever put in the xml messed up the unit classes so it didn't work and they basically go no knight unit and regular horse archers. If anyone wants the fix I can post it, but it's not a biggie unless you are playing as hungary. I've already played a partial game as Napoleon (ended early with all of Europe captured by 1AD, not worth continuing as a win was inevitable), a space race win with Joao, and a domination win from the center of civilization with David (Gilgamesh) of Israel (Sumeria). Each game played pretty different, all with quite different starts so this time I went to the far east and picked Tokugawa of Japan. Why did I chose him? Well I wanted to showcase the far east, as it has some of the best land on this map and some of the strongest civs will be there. If you read the David game you'd remember that the Yue were dominating until I went over there and spanked them. China is always a powerhouse on GEM. But Japan is unique. Has possibly one of the best capitals on the map, and a couple other awesome city sites but then needs to build galleys to get off their island, which presents a lot of issues. Are you going to peacefully expand into the pacific islands? Or try to conquer Korea/China on the mainland? And you have to be wary of colony maintenance when your capital starts on an island. Also Japan has no economic traits to lean on. If you're going to win with Toku it's going to be through some sweat and thought out plans, no exploiting UUs or philosophy bulbing! So without further ado, the settings and start. This is the Modern scenario btw. Modern is the same as Ancient but with additional resources added like some horse in the Americas and corn in Europe. Note I said additional so some cities has obnoxious amounts of food in the Modern scenario. Spoiler : I turned on resource bubbles and tile yields so you can get a taste for the map. That's not a glitch- the rice tile puts out 5 food unimproved because it has a grassland floodplains on it. Something unique to this map. I believe the author was trying to recreate a realistic density of population with tons and tons of people in India and China and Japan. Less people in certain areas, more in others. But in general all the land is extremely strong. It's fun to play! The plan right now is to tech mining and get silver online for research and try for pyramids with that stone. It is doable but I guarantee you Augustus will be going for it. If the player doesn't get it first Auggie ALWAYS gets it. He has stone next to his capital which has a lot of food and production off the bat and he seems to beeline it. Actually if you're playing a European civ it makes things quite easy because you can just capture Rome before he gets any metals hooked up. Kinda cheesy. I also am going to prioritize the great lighthouse for obvious reason. I doubt I'll have a single inland city until the ADs. Also want to settle a couple cities on Japan but then quickly try to expand into the Philippines and Indonesia and possibly mainland China depending on how quickly the AI settles it, but they usually do so fast, so I won't have a shot. A war is a possibility. In scenarios the AI doesn't get free archery so if I can get metals before they tech it any war will be a slaughter. I'm not going to pretend to have no knowledge of the map, as I've played it dozens of times. Japan has Iron in Kyoto's BFC but copper is faaaar away so any war will need to be with swords. Feel free to post suggestions but I play much faster than I post so I'm probably a round or two ahead. Though I love comments, that's how you learn to get better and try something next time. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this game!