GOTM107 - Predator
4000 BC - 3500 BC
Settled in place researching pottery. In hindsight I'd like to congratulate Raliuven and Lanzelot on their reasoning about moving the settler NE. But I compensated my choice fairly well by paying attention to the large number of hills in the starting area and anticipating an iron resource to facilitate a 4-turn settler factory. More of that below.
Researching Pottery full blast. Building worker.
Roading SE Floodp. Then irrigating. Then moving the worker towards game and silks, for a costly (but useful for both happiness and warrior movement) hill road. Another worker will assist.
As the town grows in size worker#2 is one turn from completion. I work the roaded hill for two gold, using luxury tax, for the necessary 2 food (2+3*6=20.) It's a pity we will now be size one and can't make use of the +3g silks, but pottery is a cheap tech.
The question is what to chop for. We need warriors before granary or we may be cut down by barbs. I decide to chop the silks forest for the first warrior, wasting 4 shields. Then there will be another warrior. The game forest will be chopped for a settler or a granary.
3500 - 3000
Expansion reveals no FP wheats - thank god for that. The first warrior takes off east. What do you know: The silks tile is a BG. We work the game for one turn until the silks mine is finished, needing 3 shields to finish the second worker. The lost gold won't affect research. In 3250 we learn pottery. (This date should be similar to most solid players.
) Next tech is Alphabet, never going below size two in order to always work the silks.
Worker #2 heads north. Since I don't mean for any of the workers to come back for MP duty, I will make a settler before a granary. The lack of close foreign borders (or units, darn it) has shown that it's worthwhile to build a granary, but a settler first is necessary to 1) avoid the great risk of barbs strolling in to soundly vandalise the granary or 2) avoid unit support cost if we have to churn out a warrior when the granary is finished. This is Deity: We can't be sure that we can make any gold trades at all. (A third warrior would have been even safer, but that would have meant unit support cost for quite some time.)
In 3050 two Indian warriors come a-running. We trade Alphabet (18) and 60 gold for mas/pot. We have learned that there is no BG under the game forest. Only iron in the hills can allow a 4 turn settler factory now.
3000 - 2500
Our first settler debates with himself whether to settle at distance 3, 4 or 5. He does some layman scouting to the south (moving towards the wheat) and sees another river, supporting distance 5. But I fear the corruption. And the barbs may be harder to handle.
In 2800 both the exploring warriors meet barbs. They both survive. The settler finds a second wheat. Our Writing research is crawling along. It was unfortunate that the settler put the capital to size 1, unable to work the silk. Had I known I'd make money from India I would have built another warrior before the settler. Well, we'll soon be size 2 again.
I decide on distance 4 from the capital and settle Pasargadae by the wheat. There's a third wheat! And a hut!! The Indians pop barbs that rob us of 33g on the same turn we founded Pasargadae! Pasargadae builds worker of course.
Next turn we meet the Vikings. We want Bronze, to edge ourselves closer to Iron Working, so we trade it for Masonry and 14 gold, only to find that no neighbour has IW. We hold on to Alphabet, hoping Vikings will get IW soon.
In 2550 the Vikings suddenly have Iron Working and The Wheel, but won't trade it. We meet Babylon the same turn, however, who give us another 66 gold for pottery. But the Vikings are totally unimpressed by money. I decide to wait until my other two contacts have IW, hoping that the Vikings won't trade Alphabet soon. If they do, we won't get The Wheel, WC and CB, which Ragnar offers now.
Meanwhile, a short hike by our third warrior has revealed Indian borders to the west, and another wheat. This means we should probably claim that wheat with a settler soon. The granary would be delayed even more. Is this a reason to wait for the discovery of iron and a possible 4 turner until we can trade Writing around? What a poser! I decide to postpone the Ragnar trade again. IW should be right around the corner for India and Babylon. Ragnar has just wasted his money on something else, probably Mysticism.
Next turn I can see that Ragnar is researching Alphabet. But I'll wait a couple of more turns. He still offers two techs, including The Wheel, and cash for Alphabet.
2500 - 2000
In 2430 we give up and trade Wheel, CB and 19 gold. We then get WC from India for Wheel. I've changed my build of a second settler to granary. Even if the Indian town expands we can claim the western wheat. The following turn a barb hoseman threatens poor Pasargadae. Some of our people are lost, which was much better than "Our work on worker has been destroyed."
We suddenly know Greece, who has writing - and so does Babylon. Neither of them knows Scandinavia. We sell Greece the contact for what's left of Writing (5.) Vikings know all the other AIs. Important as these contacts are, I must have IW soon and trading new contacts instead of IW might mean we won't be able to trade IW anytime soon. It is likely that Viking contact trades will get me the contacts. The year is 2350 BC and I trade IW. Lo and behold! There is iron! This is great for my game plan.
We trade Myst and some cash from our western friends for IW. Moving on to literature.
In 2030 we have completed the granary and the settler factory is ready. We have finally spotted the wines up north. No further trading opportunities have been available. I guess the AIs are striving blindly for Map Making.
2000 - 1500
We spend our time searching desperately for the 3 remaining AIs, whom we could perhaps have met already. In 1725 we connect wines with our first SF settler. We also get to know the Zulu this year (unless I missed checking the turns before) but we still don't know where they live. But selling World Map to Zulu gives us contact with the others. The Zulus are big - 10 towns already.
We decide not to trade HB.
In 1650 we claim the horses by settling on them. In 1575 we learn Literature and trade it for Philosophy, Mathematics, Map Making and gold. Our treasury peaks at 501 gold. Next is Code of Laws.
In 1550 we whip library in Pasargadae. I want immortals for defense, but culture and beakers are also important.
1500 - 1000 BC
A Babylonian bowman threatens Antioch by the southwestern wheat but he moves on. In 1450 we trade CoL (5) for WM and 86 gold - most civs suddenly have it. The next big question is if we should go full blast on Republic (38 turns at 90% at the moment) or earn over 800 gold through minimum research. If nothing unexpected happens full blast will bring us down to about 250-300 gold minus upgrades, minus AI demands, which will be little to support a growing army. I'll sleep on it.
Having slept (a little,) I decide that I should go full blast on republic, even if I only save 10-12 turns. Reasons: It is cheaper to support high research in despotism than in Republic and some more libraries should be easy to come by, and important for the sake of territory protection. Lastly, there is a small chance of a monopoly and a reasonable chance of a semi-monopoly. Being last to learn republic is not good for trading. We could end up having to research most of the last mandatory techs.
Not much happens. We are robbed of 66 gold. We are able to fill up all the RCP4 spots we want except one rather jungle infested spot. We build a library in Persepolis - not wanting the unhappiness that comes with pop rushing.
We trade spices and 53 gold from India for our ONLY wine source. It requires a settler at non-rcp4.
We hurried library in Arbela. We pay India for RCP and get them up to gracious. They were in a threatening position. But having them constantly run through our territory is not good. We don't want to give India any techs and so a threat could force us to yield. I make up my mind to trade away Republic the moment I get it, even if I can only get one of the remaining techs and a s***load of cash. It is strange that no one has researched Polytheism yet. But Republic is still many turns away.
In 1125 we finally connected the second wine for 4 luxuries. Soon we may be able to trade with Babylon. Both them and India have harbours.
In 1000 BC we have 9 towns and a settler. India has a monopoly on Republic while we a 3 turns away. This is 19 turns less than it would have been with minimum research.
My biggest misjudgement was an exaggerated fear of barbs, as the diary above shows. The deity AI did their job and quenched the barbs well. My biggest mistake was not to pop-rush granary in Pasargadae earlier. But before we learned Republic we popped-rushed that granary as well as 4 libraries (3 were built normally in food poor lands and in Persepolis) and 1 barracks.
1000 BC - 875 BC
When we are about to learn Republic our strategy has begun to change because of the comparatively slow AI research. Polytheism and Currency have still not been discovered by anyone. This makes me lean towards using immortals instead of waiting for mounted units. We can now disconnect the iron without destroying the settler factory. We can build many warriors for upgrade. A shield shortage supports the upgrade plan. We haven't really gone to work on the hills yet; mostly flood plains have gotten the workers' attention.
We get a semi-monopoly with India on Republic in 950 BC. Only Constrution, HB and cash is available for trade. We cash in 600 gold and the techs. 5 turn anarchy. (Actually it said 4 after the re-roll, but that is the same since we can only check the anarchy duration after the reroll when a turn has passed.)
In 900 BC there are uprisings. In 875 we buy Currency from Zululand and trade Polythism from Babylon. We both get Feudalism. Germany has Engineering. We gift Greece, who get Monotheism. We get our money back with interest by selling Feudalism to Zulu. We also sell Feud to Germany for 3gpt and two luxuries.