[BTS] How the heck do I approach this start? Coastal but no fishing start (Shaka Immortal Game)


Aug 11, 2019
I just rolled an immortal start with Shaka and it's...well interesting.
Spoiler 4000 BC :

Temperate Climate
Medium Sea Level
No Huts/Events
Standard Size/Normal Speed
The Start:

So we got a leader with no fishing, only has a AGRI, but at least there's a grassland piggy. No fishing to take advantage of seafood. My first instinct is to move my scout 1SE to see if there's any more land food:

Spoiler Scout move :


My approach I have in mind:
My first insinct is settle on elephant. Exp means 10T worker and should come out just in time for AH for pigs. During this we can Go Mining>BW to chop for wood.

Spoiler Next couple turns :

Settled on elephants, which revealed two more elephants! Worker can work on those while I go Mining>BW:

Turn 7 we meet Mao from Chinese:

Turn 11: First worker comes out, with AH still 2 turns away. I put 1 turn into camp, since we'll work on it after anyways.

T13: Worker hikes through forest and AH arrives right at the exact time for pigs. Worker starts pig. It seems We're choked out a bit here by Mao. He's a very close neighbor and might box us in. If BW reveals copper, Axe rush is a very strong possiblity here...

Now what? Should I go fishing next or Mining>BW? Mining>BW seems compelling since I can grow to size 3, get settler out in 10 turns, and work on two elephants+Hill mine while I wait for BW. 2nd city can be settled 1 NE of horses (Before Mao gets to them) and worker can immediately build pasture.

The other option is going fishing next, which would delay BW by 6-7 turns, but the increased commerce + food from clams might help?

Any thoughts?

I attached the starting save for anyone who wants to try the best way to approach this game.


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Seeing the post settling picture

Spoiler :

I would have probably gone fishing after AH since with a camp you can start getting pretty fast boats out and get that commerce.
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With prior knowledge of our neighbor:
Tech path: Fishing->Mining->BW
Build Order: Warrior->WB->Worker->Warrior-Settler
I used the warrior to declare war on Mao, killing his two scouts. This opens up a path for future peace treaty, but unfortunately wasn't enough experience for Woodsman II.
I used the warrior to camp on the hill at the isthmus. Mao perceives a threat, so he send the settler the other direction, allow us to block off our part of the island.
That's where I am so far - plan is to choke Mao, extort techs then kill him, bulb Astro
Actually, I've just learned that Mao isn't a good one to threaten early. Probably best to play it peaceful.
Here's a better attempt:
Spoiler :

Tech path AH->Wheel->FIshing?
Settler at Size 2
Really good luck with Mao settling west instead of east. I will settle Fish/Pigs, blocking off our landmass, then expand peacefully


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This has been a fun game, after figuring out how to play the start! Update at 400AD Optics:

Spoiler :

Research path: AH-Wheel-Fishing-Mining-BW-Sailing-Masonry-Pottery-Writing-Alpha-Myst-Poly-IW-Mono-Monarchy (Trade)-Metal Casting-Compass-Machinery-Optics
Ivory provided enough production before Bronze Working; I think I had two workers, three cities, two fishing boats before 2000 BC
Work boat production times aligned well with city growth, to immediate switch to settlers
Lighthouse production in Ulundi timed perfectly for a 2 pop whip - chop into the Great Lighthouse. Granary was built in Ulundi after GLH and Library finished.
Economy was a little sketchy before Writing. Fish/Pigs allowed me to grow while working 1F2C coast tiles. Ivory gave enough happiness to whip three warriors, netting 45 overflow gold
Two great scientists saved up for Astro bulb
Mao researched CoL-Monarchy, fixing all of my happiness problems within 6 turns.
Mao was first to Music; I'm hopeful he will also be first to philosophy, so I can appropriate it from him and delay the AI's Liberalism research ambitions.

Settle order: Ulundi-uMg-Nobamba-Bulawayo-KwaDukuza-Nongoma-Ondini-Nodwengu

I'm figuring out the next goal:
- Good food but few hammers, so early Communism won't help. Kremlin is great for whipping military, but my army would be medieval.
- Ondini has three seafood, an almost perfect Globe Theater city. Draft aggressive rifles are amazing, but I may not have enough commerce to get Rifling in a timely way. Rifles+Frigates are potent.
- Steel first for cannons and aggressive drydocks is a solid possibility. I'm concerned that cannon wars can grind on, giving AI time to research cuirassiers
- Mao's territory can greatly increase my military production. After Astro, hopefully I can trade for Engineering and then conquer Mao with Trebs/Phants. 15 GLH cities might be enough commerce for rifling, but promoted trebs make cannon upgrades attractive.
I've run across a really weird diplomatic behavior. Does anybody know an explanation?
Spoiler :

How has Mao met the overseas neighbors, when no one else has Optics? I thought perhaps it was related to spread of Mao's Confucian religion, but no spread has occurred:

In the end, the answer will be Cuirs...


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After only reading your first spoiler/opening:
My instinct was fishing not AH. Fractal maps seem to have stringy continents often with many coastal cities, so you will want sailing sooner than later too. You can have 2 tiles improved pretty quickly and also grow a bit before worker. You can also spam more fishing boats to scout cheaply.
The capital has very low commerce. Besides 2 camped Phants the only commerce can come from working the coast. Therefore I'd prioritize Fishing. My tech order probably is AH > Fishing > Mining > BW.
Just looking at the screenshots;
with agri + hunting starting tech it makes far more sense to go for AH then try to build boats without both fishing and BW.

since this is immortal, we can deal with barbs later.
AH->fishing->bw with size 2 settler working camp and pig. No need to move capital and settle ivory because we get 13 turn worker already with expansive, moving loses a turn and the worker loses another turn getting to the pig.
I'd look at settling 2nd city very close to share seafood. After settler finishes use overflow to build half of a work boat, purposely delay settler 1 turn to get max overflow into boat then it should finish in 3ish turns working the ivory and forest at size 3.
You could also consider growing to size 3 to work an unimproved clam tile just for commerce to speed things up, seems very realistic for +20% research.
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