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GP Series Part 3: Elizabeth, The Queen Who Bought the World

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by The Oz-Man, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

    Jun 1, 2007
    Dayton, Ohio
    They say that money corrupts you,
    But I can't really tell--
    I've got the whole world at my feet,
    And I think it's pretty swell!

    -"Weird Al" Yankovic, "This is the Life"

    The GP Series focuses on the generation and exploitation of one specific type of Great Person at the expense of all others, giving said Great Person a chance to shine. After an attempt to run an Artist game ended up not being any fun at all, I decided to move on to a more fun option. Whereas Great Artists are marginally useful in certain contexts, Great Merchants are among the most powerful GPs in the game, with a variety of options (from Corporations to trade missions to simply settling down) for bringing raw cash into an empire.

    As with last time, we are operating under the now-universal rule for the series: the only type of Great Person we may actively try to generate is a Great Merchant. So no scientist specialists, no wonders that generate points toward any other kind of GP, and--tellingly this time--only one possible national wonder.

    If we generate any other Great Person type--whether by being first to a race or by wonders in captured cities--said Great Person must immediately be put to death. :devil: This of course lowers the immediate incentive on techs like Communism, Physics, and Fusion while at the same time making Economics something of a priority.

    What can Great Merchants do?

    Great Merchants can first of all be settled and are unique in this regard: they're the only Great Person that generates food by being settled. In addition to a single slice of bread, settled Merchants add a substantial amount of gold--enough, I'd argue, for us to consider settling as a very viable option.

    On the other hand, the more popular use for Great Merchants is the vaunted trade mission, grabbing a purse of gold by traveling to a far-flung city. I'm typically pretty bad with this, so advice would be helpful. Unless I'm mistaken, the GM does particularly well in the city with the Temple of Artemis, so tracking that particular wonder down may be a goal (and, no, we can't build it ourselves, much to my chagrin--stupid free priest!).

    GMs can also be used for the two food-generating corporations: Cereal Mills and the powerful Sid's Sushi. If we go to Corporation, then Sushi might be a good idea given the map script. But we have a very obvious reason for possibly avoiding Corporation, and I bet you can figure it out.

    Here's the GM bulb list:

    Spoiler :

    Metal Casting
    Code of Laws
    The Wheel
    Civil Service
    Mass Media
    Printing Press
    Replaceable Parts
    Divine Right
    Scientific Method
    Horseback Riding
    Steam Power
    Future Tech

    Pretty good. I think the raw cash is more valuable, but I like the fact that nothing in the Aesthetics line is even on there. I'm tempted to avoid that nonsense until very late, which will make this a different game than I'm used to (the Great Library and the free GA from Music are both usually priorities, and I love late-game Cuir/Cavalry rushes).

    Which Wonders can we build?
    The Colossus - A cheap, nice wonder that goes obsolete depressingly early on the map script I've rolled up. Still pretty easy to grab and not necessarily off the beaten path.
    The Eiffel Tower - Eh. This one's a big "maybe," but it's not off the beaten path from the victory condition I'm going to pursue.
    The Great Lighthouse - The real powerhouse in the merchant wonder set and my motivation for picking the map script I did. One of the very strongest early-game wonders and a high priority; picking a leader who can get it quickly is going to be part of the strategy.
    The Statue of Liberty - Normally, I really like this wonder, but it will probably be less valuable in this game. If we can find a big land mass, it might be worth it, but it's expensive. Democracy for Universal Suffrage may still be a powerful civic in this game, though.
    The United Nations - Since this is on here, I'm going to be seeking a UN-enabled Diplomatic Victory. Vassal cheese is acceptable, but I've never won a UN victory in an online game, so this is a good opportunity.
    Versailles - A third capital for a large empire is a valuable asset. To get it, we need Divine Right. Yeah, I agree. :cry: Maybe a quick diversion to Divine Right will be okay, but to be honest, we may just have to concede this one.
    Wall Street - A very powerful national wonder in a cash-driven game. This one will go in a food-heavy city since it's one of the only opportunities to run additional merchant specialists without Caste System (which we can exploit this game).

    Which leader should we pick?

    As you guessed from the title, I've already picked one. ;) I'll explain my rationale.

    1. There aren't as many GM-enabling world wonders as there were priest and artist wonders; therefore, Industrious is less of a priority. Even so, for grabbing the early world wonders, Roosevelt of America would still be a strong choice for this sort of game due to his starting techs.
    2. Since we haven't seen it in action yet, I want to give Philosophical a chance to shine. Generating boatloads of GMs for massive amounts of cash should be a fun way to play. I'm thinking of settling a lot of them just to see what kind of craziness we can get out of one Wall Street city late-game.
    3. I want a leader with techs that point toward an early Great Lighthouse. Since TGL is going to be the hub of our strategy, I want somebody who can get to it. Again, that points to America, but England only needs to research two techs in order to grab it.
    4. Finally, England has the gold-multiplying Stock Exchange UB, which sounds like awesome fun for a cash game.

    Therefore, the choice was obvious. It's a little cheesy, but Elizabeth of England is the most obvious choice here!

    Elizabeth's Financial and Philosophical traits make her a powerful techer, one of the best in the game. We'll be in a strong position whether we work specialists or standard tiles. With Mining and Fishing to start, she's also closer to the Great Lighthouse to start than nearly any other leader (Carthage, Rome, Portugal, and Spain are also two techs away).

    England's UU is the Redcoat, a Rifle with a bonus against Gunpowder units. To be honest, I've found these kind of marginal since BTS. They're still great in that Rifles are still great, but I've never found the improvement particularly great.

    The UB, the Stock Exchange, is a Bank with a 65% gold multiplier instead of the standard 50%. Again, this is a marginal bonus, but it fits the game's flavor.

    What map script and what victory type?

    The Great Lighthouse and Colossus call for some seaside fun. And, well, I'm sick of Cuir/HA roflstomping games. So I'm going with Archipelago instead with the Archipelago setting, which I've found generates a decent mix of marginal islands and good-sized landmasses. Productive land will be important, and not being able to build the Moai Statues will suck, but we should be able to get the job done.

    Here's our start:

    Spoiler :

    Who wants clam tacos? Seafood-rich, coastal, with some trees for choppin' and production. I think I'll try to feed at least one more other city off of this capital, but it should be able to grab the Great Lighthouse.

    I'm going to try to get the first round going here soon, but if you want to shadow, the save is attached; just be sure to use spoiler tags.

    Cheers, guys; let's have fun!
  2. Habitus

    Habitus Emperor

    Feb 28, 2011
    Since your FIN it makes The Colossus a better Wonder as now Ocean tiles become 3:commerce: with it. I may shadow trying a settle all the Merchants and build :gold: multipling buildings style :)
  3. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

    Sep 17, 2010
    I hope you did the obvious starting move and followed the blue circle :p

    This should be very interesting. Settling craptons of GMs in the Wall Street city? Whatever you do, I'll definitely follow this thread. Good luck.
  4. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

    Jun 1, 2007
    Dayton, Ohio
    Chapter 1
    A Deal with the Devil

    It's under considerable debate whether Elizabeth I of England's reputation is earned. Tradition speaks of her as a strong ruler who presided over an artistic renaissance in England. Others look to Good Queen Bess as a lucky figure, one who happened to be queen when true geniuses were at work in her kingdom.

    Luckily, we will have no part of that story. This is not the story of Elizabeth. This is the story of Eliza Bucks, her ill-tempered cousin from a distant parallel dimension.

    The tribes over which Eliza Bucks took control were a primitive lot, skilled fishers and stone-workers on the southern side of what is now known as the English Channel. That was before Eliza Bucks showed up. Stroking her bearded chin, she emerged from the southern jungle with a strange sort of smile on her face.

    "Yes... yes!" she sneered. "We shall settle our city here! It's curtains for those who would oppose us!"

    Impressed by the newcomer's acumen (and personal grooming), the villagers rallied behind this newcomer. Despite the villagers' lack of knowledge of Writing, she nevertheless presented a strange stack of documents from her pack.

    "A contract," she explained. "In exchange for your cooperation, I offer the opportunity to utilize my knowledge and leadership skill to make your lives great. If you consent, please sign here, on the dotted line."

    After a three-day explanation of how to draw an X, the villagers celebrated their new contract by founding London--the crown jewel of the nascent empire--on the shores of the channel.

    Spoiler :

    (No use spoiling what looks like a pretty nice capital site--and, of course, jungle to the south makes blue circle less inviting. :p We have a lot of techs at the end of this round--Sailing, BW, Masonry, Wheel, Agriculture, Mysticism, and Pottery in roughly that order. Build order in the capital was WB -> WB -> Worker -> Extra Warrior -> Settler -> Lighthouse.)

    The warriors of the English tribe struck south from London at Queen Eliza's request, making careful note of the land surrounding the capital. What they found was lush jungle--inhospitable to human life at this time. Eliza nodded knowingly when she heard it; perhaps this land could be put to good use.

    Spoiler :

    (IW might be a priority to get the island online, but we should have other options as well.)

    With the mastery of Bronze Working, Eliza finally made her plan known--all part of the contract that the villagers had unwittingly signed. "Henceforth, all citizens of the English Empire, her subsequent settlements, and sister civilizations shall be considered goods controlled by the crown, hereafter referred to as 'The Queen,'" she explained. "England shall, henceforth, be known as a slave state. Failure to abide by the terms of this contract will result in ejection into the channel to be devoured by clams."

    The ordinance--coupled with Eliza's long, confusing words--brought Anarchy to the English state, but at the same time, a bounty was revealed in the hills.

    Spoiler :

    (Yay! Copper is the key to basically every merchant wonder that can be accelerated through a resource, so that's wonderful news.)

    Life for the English people soon returned to normal. Despite her promises about the ravenous Clamzilla said to roam the English Channel, Eliza did not use the whip. She did, however, make inroads to the south, where a sister empire was discovered. Its leader shared her love of gold, but he was no thief; he was shrewd but honorable, valuing peace over all things.

    Spoiler :

    (At least it's not Pacal again! Despite having copper and despite his proximity, I'm thinking we could keep Mansa alive for the time being.)

    The Malinese capital of Timbuktu--a village with a strong agricultural bedrock--was not far to the south of London.

    Spoiler :

    Its proximity was tempting. With sturdy axes now part of the English repertoire, Mansa Musa could be brought to heel in short order. But Eliza Bucks was merciful. Maybe this king could be of use. But first, he would need to be confined to the south; English lands would have to remain English first and foremost.

    Indeed, more leaders encroached from the west, where an offshore fishing boat was revealed to be the property of another king from a nearby island.

    Spoiler :

    (...crap. I. HATE. Joao. And if he's nearby, that means the race to grab land is officially on.)

    Seeing Malinese settlers striking north, the English made a move of their own. The isthmus just north of Timbuktu was valuable land, Eliza knew, but Mali was no doubt set to grab it first. Fortunately, Mansa Musa lacked Eliza's foresight, settling for a village in the barren desert. In no time at all, an English settling party claimed a site on the rocky hills, christening it the Isthmus of York.

    Spoiler :

    Eliza wished to settle the site to the south on the isthmus itself, but the second Malinese city made such a site impossible. Nevertheless, York would assure English control of the northern part of the island, keeping Mansa Musa somewhat confined. The construction of the city's monument would assure English control of the valuable waterways nearby.

    The site was strong. England was strong. And she would grow stronger still.

    Eliza Bucks considered her research options.

    Spoiler :

    Animal Husbandry was the obvious choice, allowing the pigs south of York to be penned. Writing would soon follow. But the secrets of Metal Casting were valuable indeed. When should they be researched? Should the empire continue its path toward Currency, or would Metal Casting be a worthwhile diversion? Eliza stroked her beard...

    Strong possible city sites lay near London and York.

    Spoiler :

    The site known as "Clammy Hill" could be moved to three tiles north of London, allowing the city to grow using the capital's excess clams. This would allow for an island property to the west if that site was found to hold valuable land. "Corn Hill" moving 1 tile to the northwest would also add two hills to its productive potential at the cost of an empty bit of grassland. "Shiny Purple Clam" promised to be the commercial capital of the empire, but the English lacked the ability to fully exploit the land.

    The Great Lighthouse would be finished soon, and York would serve as a reasonable place to train workers, build ships, and equip settling parties in the short-term. Soon--very soon--the English Empire would become great indeed.

    What do we do now? The save is attached.
  5. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

    Sep 17, 2010
    Clamzilla :lol:

    At least you managed to lock off Mansa Musa. Need galleys soon though so you can start settling the nearby islands (or whatever they are).
  6. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

    Mar 11, 2008
    If I'm not mistaken, Temple of Artemis is another GM GPP producer, although the free priest kinda throws off the equation.
  7. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

    Apr 29, 2006
    berkshire, england
    GM Sushi?
  8. shadojack

    shadojack Chieftain

    Sep 22, 2011
    Running financial without a river, well, erm, okay, whatever floats your boat...
  9. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

    Jun 1, 2007
    Dayton, Ohio
    (Hey, summer term is over and I've got no classes for a few weeks; let's bring this back!)

    Chapter 2
    The British Isles

    The Queen's England was, thus far, progressing smoothly. The border city of York put a check on the Malinese, allowing Her Majesty to settle the north at her leisure. And she was confident that island properties lay beyond the English homeland, waiting to be populated. Research in Animal Husbandry--and, later, Writing--allowed the English to tame the beasts of the field and begin comprehending the ornate contract Eliza Bucks had given them so many years ago.

    Perhaps most importantly of all, London soon became the trade capital of the world, as the light of wisdom shone across the nearby islands.

    Spoiler :

    The Great Lighthouse of London was the hub of the Queen's strategy for intercontinental domination, bringing valuable trade routes to England's coastal settlements. While there were only two such cities at present, it would only be a matter of time before England grew considerably.

    Eliza Bucks followed the construction of the Lighthouse with research into Mathematics, improving the skill of English woodsmen while serving as a springboard toward the utilization of the island's dyes. Meanwhile, settling parties equipped from London made their way southwest and laid down their roots at Nottingham.

    Spoiler :

    For now, Nottingham was a marginal colony, choked by encroaching jungles. In the long-term, though, it promised much to the English Empire, and productive hills were of course a boon in a world immersed in water.

    In the North, meanwhile, on the other side of the English Channel, a small rowboat bearing a yellow flag appeared offshore. The canoe held a fishing party led by the chief of a distant tribe. With his bone-plated necklace and grass crown, he cut a fearsome appearance, but for now, he seemed eager at the prospect of contact.

    Spoiler :

    The ignorant English commoners rejoiced at the newcomer's enthusiastic greeting. Eliza Bucks, of course, kept a wary eye on Shaka, noting rightfully that the Zulu chief was a ticking time bomb.

    To keep a check on Shaka, the city of Hastings was founded, bringing the English Channel formally under British control and making inroads into the northern islands.

    Spoiler :

    With London's rich food surplus, the city's clams could be loaned to Hastings to assist in the city's growth. The city's hills promised strong production to come with the food to support it. And having an offshore colony brought much-needed trade to England, so much so that another colony, Canterbury, was founded in the West soon.

    While English Metal Casting techniques were researched with an eye toward further cementing England's role as masters of the seas, a strange man emerged in London. This eccentric merchant walked the streets of the city with one arm concealed inside his cloak. He would wave the appendage at anyone who would listen, claiming that he could save England if Eliza Bucks would only give economic power to his "invisible hand."

    Spoiler :

    Notes bearing the stranger's face--as well as the bearded visage of the Queen--were soon commonplace on the imperial Currency under which England was now united.

    (That might be a controversial decision given my enthusiasm for settling, so I'll explain. At this point, our happy cap is too low for the food to be ideal. We were still running a pretty high slider at this point, so the gold wasn't strictly necessary. Currency is, I've learned, the most valuable tech in the early game and was fairly expensive, so we didn't lose much ground by diverting to a tech I usually de-prioritize in Metal Casting. Trade routes would help with the beefy Great Lighthouse in play. Finally, with our excess food and happiness a-comin', I want to be able to start running specialists. Subsequent merchants will likely be settled, but where? Probably in our National Epic-free GP farm, which right now looks like London, I would think. Thoughts on that?)

    Metal Casting--and a brief dip into its sister tech, Iron Working--rounded out the English round, with two things becoming clear.

    Spoiler :

    First, Mansa Musa seems to have a great deal of room to expand on our island, so he may need to be dealt with at some point. A Great Wall in Timbuktu insulated Mansa Musa from the rest of the world, so the city would either need to be put to the torch or liberated should the matter with the Malinese come to blows.


    Spoiler :

    Nottingham, indeed, had a great deal of potential, and worker parties were urged to utilize the metal as soon as possible.

    Eliza Bucks was pleased as she presented the map of her current empire to her advisers.

    Spoiler :

    York's settler (interrupting a Market build that will continue afterward) is bound to found the city of Coventry, likely just to the south of the location previously identified as Shiny Purple Clam to allow the city to work more valuable green tiles. Happiness remained an issue throughout the empire, and the gems near the city could prove to be valuable, particularly supplementing the Forges that could now be built.

    To this end, Eliza Bucks' suggested research path was as follows:

    Spoiler :

    Calendar will allow the empire to be sated with Dyes and will pave the way toward Astronomy down the road. Code of Laws--both for a path to Liberalism and the Caste System civic when infrastructure is largely in place--was also enticing, and Compass offered Harbors to shoot English trade into the stratosphere.

    Exploration of the northern islands revealed both the location of Zululand and a long island ripe for settlement.

    Spoiler :

    Fish Hills could potentially be settled to the west in the midst of the desert incense, bringing corn to the city. Mollusk Production should likely be settled first, as it would allow England to close borders with the Zulu and prevent them from settling the small continent once the site expands its borders.

    The astute will notice that Shaka has adopted the Christian faith, which was one of the first founded in the game. This suggests, of course, that Shaka has a neighbor, likely one of the European leaders who begin with Mysticism--Isabella, Justinian, Charlemagne, and so forth.

    Shaka has also researched Alphabet...

    Spoiler :

    ...but doesn't feel like sharing. We could research it ourselves and open up trade with Mansa Musa if the advisers feel that's a wise move.

    A peak at the demographics...

    Spoiler :

    ...reveals that our trade-heavy strategy is so far working wonders. More troops are of course needed, but with our nearest neighbor being relatively peaceful, they aren't much of a concern yet. And based on our lead in food, it would appear that Clamzilla has been officially tamed.

    Expansion and exploration are likely in England's future. Soon, London will have its Colossus, but expansion to the north is also valid once the Forge is completed.

    What do you think? The save is attached.
  10. Revent

    Revent Will SIP

    May 5, 2012
    Looking pretty good, I think rather than the Market in Nottingham, you need another Galley.

    Small thing I noticed, you built a road on the spot that you will be settling the city on for shiny purple clam if you are to build a city on that spot, you don't need to previously build a road to it, you just need a road to a tile adjacent to it.

    I personally think you need a lot more galleys in total 2 might not be enough. For all you know, Shaka or Jao may be right next to one of those islands you miss to settle. You also need some more workboats as well. They can explore whilst waiting for the settlers to be built, and once the settlers are ready, they go to the position and settle. Then these cities can at size one or two produce a settler pretty fast.

    Sids Sushi may be a very good option here. So you could start pre planning and build courthouses everywhere. Plus with Phil and your target being GM's only, settling all of these GM's will net you a lot of Gold.

    Happy Cap is also an issue here. You can grow to size 8 with dye, wine and incense but not enough. Detour for monarchy or hope Mansa builds the Mids for you? He may have stone since he did build Gwall.

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