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Help Me Do Okay: The Ascent of Sitting Bull the Wise

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by The Oz-Man, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    Huh. Now I want to beeline Optics so I can start trading with Mansa.:goodjob:

    ...okay, not really, but hey! Hopefully the Charismatic civ isn't Napoleon putting a pounding on him.
     
  2. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    The CivilizationIV.ini file; on windows, it's somewhere like My Documents\My Games\Beyond the Sword. Same area where your saves, screenshots, and mods go.

    Demographics: Hammurabi, as I recall, is the other leader that stands out, with a unique combination of techs + bowmen.
     
  3. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    Indeed - starting with agri in lieu of mining would make Hammy's soldiers 18,000 at this level. :)
     
  4. WelshGandalf

    WelshGandalf King

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    Why do you consider war with Pacal inevitable? You share religions so he will love you. Toku on the other hand will probably end up backwards due to not trading with anyone.

    I'm not saying war with Pacal is a bad idea - I'm really not sure - but if you want to stay peaceful with him then you can & it should bring benefits in terms of trading. You've already destroyed one civilization in this "peaceful" game - the lands gained from that should be enough to win - if you want to role-play the peacemonger more then stop plotting war :p (Well, except with Toku, he hates everyone anyway, so repay friendship with friendship & hostility with hostility!)
     
  5. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    Basically, I want his nice capital (with the Pyramids!). That's really all it is. On the other hand, playing goodnik for the rest of time would be an interesting change of pace.
     
  6. s.bernbaum

    s.bernbaum Mostly lurking

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    If you wipe out everyone who has something that you want, stopping just short of a Domination victory, so you can win one of the peaceful victories, have you really played any differently from when you pursue Domination? If your challenge to yourself is to win a peaceful victory, try and play it that way. Despite what many of the war mongers say, in my experience the easiest victory is Domination, which is why I rarely pursue it. It is much harder to stay on good turns with most of the other civs and still win a peaceful victory choice.
     
  7. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    Okay, you guys have guilt tripped me enough. :p I'll go totally peaceful as best I can with no more DoW's the rest of the game. But if Tokugawa starts something... yeah.

    You're right, though--war is the easiest way to win. It's also the victory condition with which the game rewards the most shiny sexy points in its weird little system. I don't regret taking out Monty because--let's face it--he was going to force the issue anyway, but playing nice for the rest of the game is going to make an interesting challenge.
     
  8. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    Interesting. :) IMHO, the relative difficulty attached to each of the VC’s on a given map depends in large part on a number of factors yet to be revealed in this game, including:

    (i) who the rival AIs are and where they spawn
    (ii) early religion spread; and
    (iii) early wonder builds – eg. who nabs the AP.

    Please note: I’m not saying you’re wrong at all...the nature of the game is that we’ll all have different experiences. :) However, that so much of the above is yet to be revealed in this game puts me, FWIW, very firmly in @WelshGandalf’s camp: IMHO, there are arguments both for and against (i) wars against or (ii) befriending Pacal and / or Toku.

    FWIW, I’d submit that the real point to be made here to aspiring monarchs is actually not to get too focussed on early, long term planning toward a VC – and, at this early-ish stage, focus first on implementing your short term plan: in this case, settle that land whilst teching to currency > then likely CoL to recover the economy. In lieu of how young the game is, I’d simply advocate taking one step at a time here.
     
  9. Silverbow

    Silverbow Prince

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    There's also the fact that wiping out Pacal would basically put you in isolation. I don't really see the point in that. A wimpy tech fiend friend (whom you can destroy at will, should it become necessary) beats isolation (since Toku is basically a barb civ with different color).
     
  10. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    IF war with Pacal comes, it will come post-Optics when we meet Mansa (assuming he's still around) and his buddies. I'm not going to leave myself isolated with Tokugawa of all people, of course. :p On the other hand, that's a good case for letting Pacal live; the best case for the Pyramids is early Rep, but we may be close to Constitution by the time Optics goes online depending on the tech path.

    I've got another stack of papers to grade tonight, so I'll likely play and post the next round tomorrow. Thanks!
     
  11. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    Just to play devil’s advocate, vassalising Pacal after you capture the mids would get around the issue of isolation with Toku. :devil: The question is whether getting the mids is worth the subsequent diplo hit.
     
  12. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    The next round is played, but I am le tired. Here is le save. Pacal is kind of running away with it at this point, but I think we can claw back into it. The big problem right now is...

    Spoiler :
    ...I teched CS in the hope of trading it to him for backfill, but he had already researched it by the time I was finished. :mad: I'd give my mighty English faculty beard for a different continental neighbor than Tokugawa. Grumble mumble.
     
  13. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    Chapter 4
    Chasing Two Rabbits

    The wheels of the Sioux economy were beginning to come loose. The weight of expansion was a difficult one, and the sites that Sitting Bull had mapped out to help in this regard were not all ready to do the heavy lifting required. Careful reallocation of citizen duties began, while scientists from Cahokia and the old Aztec lands did their best to keep research going apace.

    Programs were set in motion to help Sitting Bull's cities grow into prosperity, and Granaries began appearing across the north in particular:



    More help would be needed, of course; if citizens were to become mollified in the increasing crowded Sioux cities, then luxuries would be needed. Though better sites were available, Sitting Bull reluctantly founded the village of Spiro to bring in these luxuries and help his old cities prosper.



    (Admittedly, I did this before checking too carefully for seafood. The good news is that I didn't find any other than the fish to the east, which doesn't let us work the silver to pay for the city.)

    In 175 BC, Sitting Bull and Pacal found that their hope for a united Hindu continent was for naught:



    Tokugawa had, with the advent of his brutal Code of Laws, implemented his own religious guidelines. There was little hope of Hinduism even reaching the Japanese north, which would now become even more hostile and isolated. Tokugawa's Confucian faith did spread to Mesa Verde some years later, but even if Hinduism did appear in Japan, Sitting Bull had no doubt that Tokugawa would not adopt the faith on his own.

    A Great Scientist emerged in Cahokia...



    ...and... was... settled? I think. It's been a little bit since I played this one, sorry.

    The allegedly enlightened Maya, meanwhile, had begun moving westward, settling lousy cities that could not take advantage of the convenient coastline!



    More importantly, these cities being settled meant that the race was on. The economy was rattled, but Sitting Bull could not allow himself to cease settling. New cities would be needed, and they would have to pay for themselves quickly for the time being.

    It was this land grab that led settlers from Aztec lands to found the fishing village of Moundville:



    The city would cement the Sioux border with the Maya, and it would easily pay for itself with its rich floodplains and adjacent river. Long-term, it promised to be a very strong site, and short-term, it wasn't too bad.

    Other sites still lay on the border of Sioux lands. The Order of the Black Standard held an outpost called Anasazi, where some remnants of Montezuma's old advisers still lived. Sitting Bull could see the Maya's foolishness; he knew that if they captured the outpost, they would keep it, wasting the nutritious rice that lay under the town's foundations. If the Sioux wanted this land to prosper, they would have to take care of the outpost themselves.



    The archers of the Black Standard were formidable foes (and Dog Soldiers su-hu-huck against archers), but they were crushed with the arrival of reinforcements.



    The expanding borders of Chaco Canyon meant that the northeast could be settled at the Bull's leisure. The flames as Anasazi burned could be seen from as far away as Poverty Point.

    In 250 AD, the economy was pointed in the proper direction...



    The technology was a monopoly, and Sitting Bull immediately turned to the Maya to see what they would offer for it.



    Iron Working could be used to cut away at the western jungles, allowing settlement there to commence. Archery would give further utility to the ubiquitous Totem Poles. And Sailing would allow for valuable trade routes with the Bull's coastal acquisitions.

    And Sitting Bull was delighted to see that rich iron ore lay very near his own borders.




    Plans for a new settlement west of Cahokia were immediately put into place, and extra workers were set to chopping away at the nearby jungles to pave the way.

    Pacal was brought to Sitting Bull's palace, and an offer was made.

    "We are a peaceful people," Sitting Bull said, knowing that Pacal had understood that the Aztec campaign had been wholly necessary. "We value your faith, and we value sharing secrets. We wish to spread knowledge of Hinduism to the uninitiated masses; however, we lack the means to do so. C'mon, Pacal, help a brother out here."



    Pacal gave a smug smile as he taught the Bull the secrets of the monastic life. Inside, the Sioux chief's blood boiled. He hated to beg for secrets such as these from a rival who was already running away with the game of sciences.

    Fortunately, the Aztec lands continued to be fruitful. Casting off their old titles, Tenochtitlan had been re-dubbed Standing Rock, and the northern Teotihuacan was called Crow Creek in those times. It was in Standing Rock where the Fermi Academy was created.



    Another secret offered more trading--this time perhaps ill-advised.



    (I wanted Priesthood both for temples and to get Monarchy and HR online quickly. I think this was a dumb move in hindsight since Polytheism isn't benefiting us at all. Ugh.)

    At the same time, Montezuma himself was discovered, serving as chief of the Chinook people of the hills. The mighty garrisons of this place meant that extra measures were necessary to ensure that the town was taken.



    The battle, though quick, was brutal. Brave Dog Soldiers rushed up the hill to their deaths. However, in the end, the operation was successful, and Montezuma himself was at last captured.



    The madman was cast from the cliffs of the town into the nearby sea. The Chinook people--kin to the elders of Cahokia--swore allegiance to Sitting Bull himself. The Black Standard, it seemed, was not a mark of loyalty, but of slavery. The Chinook could farm the nearby rice and take advantage of the remaining resources in the area to help the city grow and prosper.

    New secrets arrived...



    ...along with new trade opportunities to improve relations with the Maya.



    Other opportunities for such improved relations were swiftly put into place.




    The brief period of anarchy saw Sitting Bull emerge as the Sioux king. Pacal was no doubt pleased with the arrangement; he had been prattling on about the value of Hereditary Rule for centuries. A Caste System would also allow Sitting Bull's cities to employ scientists and merchants. In Standing Rock in particular, the influx of new specialists helped science flourish.

    New settlements were established to cement borders on the coast, first in the formerly jungle-choked lands that were called Nacogdoches...



    ...and then, later, just to the south of Anasazi.



    Another scientist settled in Cahokia.



    As the round ended, bandits had begun raids off the shores of Standing Rock. Of Aztec origin, these ruffians sought to see their city choke for the death of their ruler. Fishing boats were torn apart, and Standing Rock--once the height of great people throughout the empire--was reduced to being a mere outpost for shipwrights.



    With the dawn of Civil Service promising irrigation techniques--as well as the opening of new technologies--Sitting Bull decided to turn to his advisers... in a post to follow.
     
  14. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    State of the World at 940 AD

    Not too great, but doable. The big problem is that my closest neighbor, primary trading partner, and bestest buddy in the world is running away with the whole game, and I'm disinclined to give him any more help than I already have.



    Trading away CoL was pretty obviously a mistake on my part; it put Pacal in a position to self-tech Civil Service, which I was hoping to use as trade bait. I don't think the situation is too bad; he's a tier or so beyond me on the Metal Casting line, but that might not be so important right now if we go for a straight Liberalism beeline. I think with some GS abuse, we can beat him (especially since the AI tends not to prioritize the Lib line), but on the other hand...



    ...we still have a lot we need.

    Basically, I need Alphabet (Pacal wasn't willing to unload it for CoL) to get my bulbs in order, which is why I'm inclined to research it next. I was hoping to trade CS for it and a bunch of other backfill techs, but that didn't happen. On the other hand, I hate duplicating research like that, but I've got a bad feeling Pacal will duplicate anything I pick anyway.

    I've got a couple of ideas to claw back into it, which I'll put at the end. For now, here are cities:





    Standing Rock got ripped apart by those barb galleys. I've got a mind to pick up MC just to get some Triremes in the water.

    The Settler is going to refound Monty's last city--it's not great, but I think it's worth a city.

    The big problem right now is the culture battle that's happening everywhere. I still need to finish spreading Hinduism around, but there's been a lot to build. Ugh. At this point I'd normally be thinking about how best to subjugate Pacal and stop him from being a factor through military means. This is going to be a rough one, I think.

    Civics:


    Caste System was put in place primarily to power up Standing Rock. Yeah, this round kind of sucked. I'm normally inclined to go Bureau at this point, but Cahokia's not really any great shakes. Would it be worth the increased maintenance?

    Demographics:


    #1 in GDP? You guessed it--our best buddy Pacal!

    All right, now let's discuss where to go from here.

    Basically, I don't think we can reasonably expect to keep trading with Pacal without him running away with the whole game. He's so far ahead right now that I don't want to give him any help at all from here on out if it can be avoided. It's been a great source of beakers when they're few and far between, but I feel like we're going to be feeding the monster for the rest of the game if we don't hit the brakes now.

    I have a few ideas for what to do here.

    1. We could convert to Confucianism and try to court Tokugawa. I admit that this one doesn't thrill me because it might not even work at all. We'll still be getting close borders demerits from him, and the faith bonus will take time to accumulate. If it works, though? Well, Toku's further behind than Pacal is, and we have a few techs we can safely fire off his way. I also think that the favorite civic and fair trade bonuses will keep the situation with Pacal from turning hostile, and he seems disinclined to go the military route anyway in my experience.
    2. We could beeline Optics, hit the high seas, and try finding trade partners on the other continent. Religion penalties are going to suck, but they can be overcome with trade so long as we don't run into a continent full of zealots. The downside of this is that it will probably lose us the Liberalism race since we'll have to tech MC, Compass, Machinery, and Optics, which is kind of a long haul.
    3. Suck it up, hitch up our britches, and go for the straight Liberalism beeline, leveraging what we can get to pull ahead (I'm hoping to get Constitution if it's at all possible). Don't trade anything away to Pacal until we're 100% certain we've got Lib in the bag. I'll probably tech Alphabet first next round just to get the bulbs in order.
    4. Tech toward military units, vassalize Pacal, and win the war for science via skullduggery. Disinclined to do this, even if it's what I'd do in a normal game.

    What do you guys think? We're in an interesting scenario here. I think the game is winnable, but it's going to require significantly more caution than I've displayed in the past. Shorter rounds are likely to be the norm here.

    Thanks!
     
  15. ShengWuLien

    ShengWuLien Warlord

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    Well...

    I'll be interested to see if you can pull this out of the bag. When I saw you were working with 75 bpt at 980 AD I figured you might be in trouble.

    Is Liberalism still an option? On Monarch I would usually be done with Education by now and trying to decide how long I could delay Lib to get the best tech. I guess it might be worth a shot and hope that everyone on the other continent has been fighting for centuries.

    Hey, with that many cities you can build a decent army in no time, so even a slight tech advantage should let you crush some fools.

    :popcorn:
     
  16. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    You certainly are at an interesting point. :) FWIW, I wouldn’t describe the round as “kind of sucked”....there’s actually some good stuff in there. After all, you managed to settle a number of cities, kill off the barbs and some infra is going down.

    IMHO, the real issue is that going into caste so early meant that you had to slow build everything – and I think the map and the fact that you have a large, underdeveloped empire post Monty’s demise means that staying in slavery to whip early courthouses and markets to sustain research would’ve been a better choice. Whipping an early market for instance in Standing Rock would’ve allowed you to run two scientists (from the library) and two merchants to sustain GP generation if wanted.

    Looking at the save, I think you need to look at a few builds in Chinook and Nacogdoches. In addition, I’d also question the builds of a few temples and monasteries in other cities when you really needed courthouses and markets (or wealth building) to speed up research. Indeed, I think that building wealth might play a role (after you get the last of your key infra builds done) in getting in the backfill techs you need at this juncture, like literature for your NE and metal casting (for forges and maybe triremes). That and bulbing will be the keys to keeping in the tech race IMHO. Given that Mansa’s in the game, I think you’re actually going to need to keep trading with Pacal until such time that you can trade with others (such as Mansa) to get back to parity. I agree on teching alpha next BTW...you need to clear it IMHO to open up other bulbs.

    On the subject of civics meanwhile, I think you’ve an interesting choice here. If you’re wanting to stay in caste system, you could run two scientists in Standing Rock to pop a GS in 14 turns. They could then be used to bulb philo to get you into pacifism. Keeping the scientists in the capital (under caste system) would then pop another GS soon after, which you could use to part bulb education (assuming you tech paper). That might still be enough to nab you the liberalism race. FWIW, I’d switch into bureau (although it’ll cost you a turn of anarchy)...the extra cost is about equal to the commerce boost, but you’ll also get extra hammers.

    Aside from research, I’d suggest that the other issue needing to be borne in mind is your military production. Looking at the demo screen, I note that you’re last in soldier count; admittedly it’s not a huge issue at the mo’ because Toku’s power rating is actually less than yours – but I’ve found that an annoyed Toku fielding Samurai not to be a particularly pleasant experience. Note BTW that Toku has 4 GPT for trade.

    Three last points to wrap up. Firstly, I note that you’re still splitting your EP, which is a real shame IMHO because you’ve actually gotten enough EP to (i) identify what Pacal’s teching (allowing you to avoid teching CS to backfill) or (ii) maybe even steal a tech (eg. masonry) from Toku if you had focussed them. BTW, stealing techs also represents another way of keeping in the tech race.

    Secondly, I also have the first of two questions for the civ gurus out there. When you find yourselves on a map like this in which there is no real stellar bureau site, how much do you still prioritise education over the lower half of the tech tree? I understand education’s value in terms of getting Oxford, but I ask because, outside of Oxford, libraries and universities aren’t going to generate huge numbers of beakers here unless you run specialists. By contrast, whipping wealth multipliers will raise the slider, subsequently increasing the value of universities. I understand that SB’s philo trait boosts education’s appeal here, but how would you proceed more generally? Is it always best to simply focus on liberalism by building wealth along the way? To put my question another way, what would it take to consider an early banking?

    Lastly, to the diplo gurus out there: how would you manage diplo from this point? I ask because my approach would likely be to lean towards taking Toku down at some point, so I’d be very interested to learn how the diplo gurus would proceed otherwise. :thanx:

    FWIW, my shadow to 940 AD - sorry but I don’t have a 960 AD save for comparison :) – is attached.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    I am really appalled at how badly I seem to be doing considering I've been playing offline Monarch games as well that have been much, much easier to the point that I've considered giving Emperor a shot if I do another online game. Then again, I was likely relying on methods and map scripts that I'm more accustomed to using. On the other hand, I did the Alexander Noble's Club on Monarch (on that weird Boreal map) and really blew through it, so I don't know. As Sheng suggested, yeah, I'd normally be teching through Gunpowder right now and debating whether to take MT from Liberalism or something along the Rifling line, but it all feels like it's going to hell this game. Maybe I just suck at Sitting Bull. :p

    The temple/monastery builds are largely for culture reasons, but that may be a fight I have to put off for now. I'll shoot for courthouses first and try to get a few markets online ASAP.

    Unless you guys think it's a dumb idea, I think I'm going to stick to CS for a little while longer since I'm going to need those bulbs to win Liberalism. I'll devote the northern cities to pumping garrisons into Mesa Verde, but Toku doesn't have any military techs that particularly scare me, and with a ton of beefy archers I should be able to hold those northern hill cities.

    The main reason I haven't played with EPs is because Pacal built the Great Wall and got a Great Spy at some point, so I'd assumed it'd be pointless. I am, admittedly, very very bad at the EP game, though--it's one of the few features in the game I mostly ignore other than being able to see people's research. Maybe I ought to shoot for squeezing some beakers out through theft?

    Next round, though, will be a brief trip to Alpha followed by a straight Liberalism beeline. If it's feasible, I'll shoot for Constitution; if not, I'll probably go Nationalism and then tech to Nationalism. Then it'll likely be off to Optics to go meet the neighbors and--hopefully--do some backfill trading with Mansa and the like. I'm going to be stingy with the Liberalism line with Pacal, though, since I think he's a threat to take it if I let him.

    I appreciate the help, guys.
     
  18. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    ^^^^^Yeah, I’d say the issue here is that, IMHO, this map is a great illustration of the need to consider the opportunity cost of working tiles / growing each round. In brief, with so much of the available grassland being non-riverside, I’d humbly suggest that the opportunity cost of working a tile is rather high in many cities. In other words, whilst growing onto a non-riverside grassland tile will eventually give you a good amount of commerce, it’s very possible here to elect instead not to work too many of these tiles and instead use slavery to whip in a whole bunch of infra to boost your economy and / or units to kill an AI....and create a bigger snowball effect for your civ.

    All that said Oz, you’re still in a winnable position IMHO. :) Yes research is slow, but you’re number two in GNP. Now admittedly, none of us know how that GNP is split (ie. between beakers, EP, culture and gold) across, for example, Mansa’s empire, but it could be that you’re actually teching at a similar rate to the other AI out there. More importantly at this stage, you have the ability (with philo) to bulb key techs to still win lib. The barrier as I see it at this stage is a Toku DoW; so keep an eye on his power rating - and may the force (ie. the RNG) be with you! :D

    Re: EP. Remember, you can still focus them on Toku to steal techs from him too, effectively reducing the impact of semi isolation with him. FWIW, I’d be investing just enough EP on Pacal to see his research and everything else on Toku to see if you can steal a backfill tech or two.
     
  19. The Oz-Man

    The Oz-Man Enter: The VAIKE!

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    Chapter 5
    An Age of Enlightened Skullduggery

    (Short round this time. Know that if this wasn't an online game, I'd have ragequit to high heaven by this point. I'll say that this was a much more enjoyable round than others on a perverse level, but the short version is that I'm not having much fun with this game in particular. I think we're really about to start rolling, though, so I think it's worth toughing it out. The good news is that this round went better than the last--and it went better than an earlier attempted playthrough, in which Tokugawa had burnt up Mesa Verde's villages and Pacal had beaten us to Liberalism thanks to my selling him the world for Metal Casting and Feudalism.

    What's weird, as I said, is that it's out of balance with my regular Monarch performances. I'm winning and winning regularly with conditions of my choosing. Ah, well; we'll see how this goes anyway.)


    It was whispered throughout the land that King Sitting Bull the Wise may not have been living up to his honorific. Secrets traded to the Maya allowed those people to continue their progress in the sciences. Many technologies remained undiscovered. And barbarian tribes--both in the seafaring pirates and the oppressive Japanese shogunate--shouted threats from all sides.

    Sitting Bull could not allow it. Science was the answer--perhaps the Great Seas beyond his kingdom would allow him to find his long-dead bride. If not there? Perhaps she lived among the stars themselves.

    Enlightenment would have to come at any cost, even if it had to be wrested from the hands of the neighboring lands. A Sioux Alphabet was sought to allow for the training of reclusive Spies all across the empire, and the stage was set for allowing those Spies to infiltrate the neighboring Mayan kingdom.



    (I probably should've cranked it up higher--we didn't get anything I really liked. I haven't played the Espionage game much, though, and I think I made at least one mistake here.)

    Just to the north of the border city at Mesa Verde, the Japanese shogun arranged to meet with King Sitting Bull in a rare diplomatic mission. He knew that the northern corners of the Sioux lands had begun practicing the Japanese faith, and he urged Sitting Bull himself to convert.



    But the Sioux king, as diplomatically as possible, suggested that Tokugawa's offer was impossible. The Confucian faith was welcome within his borders; however, to pledge full support to it would infuriate the Hindu faithful across the kingdom.

    To ameliorate the diplomatic blow, Sitting Bull sought a new trade deal.



    It did little to soften Tokugawa's heart, however; intelligence had led Sitting Bull to believe that the Japanese military was beginning to mobilize. Troops from Mound City traveled north, stationing themselves at the borderlands. If war was to come, then the Sioux would do anything necessary to secure the advantage.

    While the north prepared for war, the south prepared for a new age of enlightenment. New scientists crowded into the libraries at Cahokia and Standing Rock, leaving fields unattended and citizens starving. There was no loss of life, fortunately, and Louis Pasteur arrived in Standing Rock to create a unified Sioux philosophy.



    And new secrets were quickly researched, paving the way toward Sitting Bull's enlightenment.



    A quick scientific diversion allowed for revolutionary new techniques in Metal Casting, allowing production to increase across the empire and for powerful Triremes to patrol the fisheries at Standing Rock.

    At last, Tokugawa had found the time to strike.



    Sitting Bull was little concerned that this force could do any real damage. However, Mesa Verde was both a vital bulwark against northern incursion and a strong economic center, with rich villages producing valuable taxes for Sioux coffers. Japanese troops could not be allowed to pillage these important lands.

    Once more, Sitting Bull made arrangements to meet with Tokugawa and, flanked by his personal guard of Dog Soldiers, he made his stand. Gone was Sitting Bull the diplomat; in his place stood the resolute war-chief who had conquered the Aztec hordes and subjugated the Order of the Black Standard.



    "You are an intelligent man, Tokugawa," Sitting Bull said. "We both are. Your armies--stationed at the borders of our kingdoms--troubles me and vexes the proud people of Mesa Verde. Know this: our archers are the finest in all of the land. They stand stationed on this hill, ready to receive all comers. And our allies to the east--the most powerful nation in the world--stand ready to ride if anyone should... interfere with their allies."

    Tokugawa was stolid, but he was clearly shaken.

    "A tribute," Sitting Bull concluded. "A small tribute of gold is all I seek. If you provide this gift, then we will not crush your military force. My approaching armies in the distant south will not march on your cities. And the Japanese people will be allowed to live another day. If not..." He clasped Tokugawa on the shoulder. "...well, let us not forget Montezuma, eh?"

    Remarkably, the braggadocio worked! Sitting Bull's armies withdrew. Mesa Verde was allowed to stand, and the scientific race to enlightenment was financed.

    Meanwhile, in the south, Sioux Spies had infiltrated a strange lodge in a Mayan city, a secret fraternal order devoted to drinking beer and secretly "controlling the British pound" and "keeping the metric system down." Somehow, they also held the secret of Masonry.



    Another great scientist, born in the starved capital of Cahokia, completed research into a formal system of national education.



    Sitting Bull consulted his advisers and noted that Pacal lacked the secrets of both Philosophy and Paper! Sensing that the Enlightenment was at hand, Sitting Bull felt comfortable trading away one of his secrets. In exchange for the wise observations of Pasteur, Sitting Bull received instruction in the creation of a new feudal society and a powerful bow. Pacal grinned at the offer, knowing that the famous Sioux archers would be far better at exploiting these new bows than the Mayan soldiers had been.



    Another spy in the border city of Izumo sought to prevent future incursions from the Japanese.



    And another secret was stolen from the Mayans.



    (That one was probably a mistake; had I held out, I'd have likely gotten better, and OR isn't as attractive as it would've been a few centuries ago.)

    A mysterious faith became ascendant in unknown lands...



    ...and Tokugawa once again began mobilizing his troops.



    Sitting Bull once again arranged to meet with the Japanese shogun, this time flanked by twice as many Dog Soldiers and several of the now-infamous Sioux Longbowmen.



    "...really? This again?" Sitting Bull said. "Montezuma? Remember him?"

    That was all that was needed.

    (Seriously, I can't believe this keeps working. I'll be much more inclined to just let him bash his army against Mesa Verde next round, I promise. :p )

    In 1280, at last, the Age of Sioux Enlightenment reached its apex...



    Sitting Bull was pleased. Rather than pursuing enlightenment, the Maya had instead invested in the secrets of Gunpowder, prioritizing fancy explosions over raw knowledge. The arrival of enlightenment allowed Sitting Bull his choice of yet another secret: the secret of nation-building.



    It was time. The Great Sioux Nation would become ascendant. They had beaten the Maya to this secret; now, it was time to beat them to many, many more secrets.

    (Okay! Short round for sure, but we're at a pretty critical juncture. All in all, I'm happy with it; it was a little cheaty, but if Tokugawa wants to be an idiot, that's his prerogative.

    Techs:



    Constitution is the top choice for obvious reasons. CS/Rep is a powerful combo, and supplemented with our maturing cottages, we should be able to start doing some great things. We can do some trading first, though, so you guys might have a better idea. If we want, we can go for Optics next after a trade, get some Caravels in the water, and backfill with the neighbors across the ocean.

    Maps, though I forgot to turn the interface off...





    I forgot to take a picture of Anhaico's founding, but it was pretty early--we had a Settler in the works in Cahokia at the beginning of the round. It's a nice anchor city and maybe a good Moai Statues town.

    Pacal's map showed us his lands--apparently, he can't get into Japan, either.



    I'm amazed he's doing so well with such relatively lousy land. The Colossus is almost certainly helping, especially with a Financial leader like him. His advantages won't last forever, though; I think our land is better, so we'll start to take off soon.

    Techs:



    We're starting to pull away from Sitting Bull, fortunately, and we have a few techs on Pacal now, too! Here's what I think is the best deal for Education:



    That's a pretty strong backfill, letting us pursue either Lit (to finally get the NE up in Standing Rock) or Optics (to meet the neighbors). What do you guys think?

    Builds:



    Some military, a little health.

    And finally, civics:



    I think it's finally time to revolt into something good--I put it off last round so as not to delay Lib. Free Speech seems like a very nice choice, both for our towns and for our border towns (Chaco Canyon really needs some help in the culture wars!). We really need a religious tech, and I see two options. On one hand, Pacifism will be powerful alongside CS, especially with Hinduism in every city. On the other hand, Free Religion will start us off on the right foot diplomatically with the other continent, extra happiness is always nice (especially with three religions in our borders), and 10% science is nothing to sneeze at.

    So what do you guys think? I think we're in a pretty decent position, with some much-needed leverage on both of our neighbors. To make things better, there's been war on the other continent; a Great General was born midway through this round. I think it's time to meet the neighbors and figure out just how things are shaping up. Thoughts?

    Save is attached. Thanks!)
     
  20. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    3,663
    A couple minor observations

    1) You may want to turn down the science while you construct a university in your best research city.

    2) Related idea - you may want to turn down the research on a tech that you intend to bulb. You don't get overflow beakers from bulbing, so you may be better off making sure that the scientist doesn't quite discover the tech, then use your gold suplus to make up the gap. The benefit is full value for your scientist bulb, the cost is that you discover the tech at the end of the turn, rather than in the middle. And you have to do a bit of math to make sure that happens.
     

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