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Immortal Dutch Domination - REX/Spy Fusion

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Stories & Tales' started by axident, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. MrFelony

    MrFelony Prince

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    I have to say you seem to have a lot more luck with spies than I do. how many spies of yours have failed? I'm just wondering if i'm unlucky and am choosing cities that have spies sitting in them
     
  2. axident

    axident Emperor

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    Do you infiltrate? That helps jack up your % chance of success to at least 70%. Also, the law of large numbers does catch up with me, too. Does 001 live or die? Stay tuned! :D
     
  3. MrFelony

    MrFelony Prince

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    I was trying someting similar, but with sumeria. i was running a spy specialist in my cap where the GW was built. however, i think i failed 3-4 spies in a row. probably just a fluke/unlucky. anyway look forward to hearing about the results :D. hopefully this new GSpy is as good to 001 as Ethel was.
     
  4. Killroyan

    Killroyan Deity

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    The RNG can be cruel. It is same as trying to conquer a city. Your axemen have about 69% of succes and of course the first four all die with these odds. It happens.

    You better keep 001 alive Axident. Don't want to see that child growing up without a father.
     
  5. axident

    axident Emperor

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    A cold night in October, Cori, 1280 AD.

    “Why didn’t they tell me before I took the job?” Jan thinks to himself. “Nine Feathers. Four-time Incan wrestling champion. Army major. Word has it that he got his name from the nine jaguars and lions that he killed with just a club, thousands of years ago when there were more roaming animals. And he’s here, in Cori.”

    Jan checks his belt to make sure that the carabiners and grappling hook and rope are all in place before draping a black cloak over his ensemble.

    ***

    Jan takes his familiar path to the city hall’s records office, just as he did when he stole the plans for Cori’s theater earlier to bring Drama to the Dutch. Again, his bump key jars the door open. Again, his small candle lights the way to the storage shelves. Jan takes out his tracing paper and charcoal and quickly makes copies of the Cori Observatory plans.

    Jan replaces the original blueprint tablets on the shelf when he hears a noise. The back door, the same door that Jan opened and closed to get here, has just opened. Jan hurriedly extinguishes the candle. He remains stock still, for what seems to be an eternity, with his hand on the grappling hook to club anyone who might come.

    The door closes, judging by the loss of the sound of the wind and the change in pressure, but Jan can’t tell whether the person shut the door behind them, or if they exited first. “I know they saw my candlelight. They know that I heard them, or else I wouldn’t have extinguished the candle,” Jan thinks to himself. “If he’s a normal man, a night watchman, he probably has gone for help. If he isn’t, then it’s Nine Feathers or someone of his ilk, but what are the odds that he would be here, unless he tailed me?” Jan curses his luck; his patient stakeouts revealed what he thought was a pattern of night patrols, but King Capac has ordered increased patrols in Cori for weeks. Apparently tonight was the start of another new patrol schedule.

    Jan wields the grappling hook in front of him as he carefully makes his way to the back door. The door is closed, and Jan carefully bumps the lock, but he hesitates to open it. The door swings inward, which puts him at a disadvantage. He must be ready. With his right hand, Jan grabs a section of rope a meter below the grappling hook’s head. He curls his left hand into a fist. The idea is to open the door while swinging the hook around the corner to the right in case there is someone there, while simultaneously turning and backhanding anyone around the left corner with his left first.

    Jan quickly opens the door with his left hand and executes a perfectly-timed double attack. Unfortunately, there is nobody on either side, and the grappling hook simply clangs off the side of the building with a low thud.

    Jan hears voices down the alley. The night watchman has apparently brought reinforcements to investigate the break-in.

    Jan turns and surveys the rest of the alley. It’s a dead end due to a 2-meter wooden fence, but he can scale it easily, especially with the help of the grappling hook. He knows from memory that the alley on the opposite side leads to a pair of laundry shops, and beyond them, to a sleepy residential district that leads, of all places, to the Cori church where he met Ethel and Atlas.



    Jan uses the grappling hook as a climbing aid and scales the fence. From his high vantage point at the top of the fence, he sees three men who have just turned the corner and entered the alley. One is wielding a torch, which lets Jan see the glint of the Cori Police Department badge on his chest. When the men see him, they start to yell and run towards him. What Jan did not see at first was the dog that the policeman held on a leash; the cop lets go of the leash and the dog races to Jan.

    Jan slides off and over the fence and lands in a half-full rain barrel. Jan pulls himself out of the barrel and winces as the cold night air meets his soggy black leggings. He kicks in the door to one of the laundry shops, which judging from sleepy cries of distress, seems to stir the residents who live upstairs. With any luck, the disturbance and kicked-in door will delay pursuit. He then reaches the end of the short alley and breaks right, heading straight for the Cori church. His leggings are leaving a wet trail behind him, and he needs to shed his clothes soon.
     
  6. Killroyan

    Killroyan Deity

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    Cliffhangerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
     
  7. axident

    axident Emperor

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    Jan’s lungs are burning by the time that he reaches the church’s main door. He knows that a few homeless are bound to be sleeping somewhere in the church, and that Ethel is doubtlessly among them. The main door is locked. There are sounds of pursuit off in the distance; the police are probably trying to scale the fence and to follow Jan’s water trail. Jan rams the church’s main door open with his shoulder and closes it behind him. He opens the anteroom and ducks inside, closing the door behind him. He promptly drops his leggings along with his cloak, utility belt, candle, and grappling hook, but not before retrieving the pouch that holds the maps of Cori and the plans that he copied onto tracing paper.

    When Jan opens the door, he hears rustling deeper in the church; some of the homeless probably woke up during the commotion. He sees Ethel coming with a lit candle.

    “What are you doing here?” she hisses quietly. “Get out of here before I call the police!”

    “They’re already coming,” Jan says with a wry smile. “I need to get out of town immediately, but as you can see, I’m half-naked.”

    Ethel squints. “In your underwear? For shame.”

    “Do you have a dry cloak and leggings?”

    “Come this way, quick.”

    Ethel ushers Jan down the hall to the right, where she opens a small closet. Inside are two smelly cloaks and a pair of trousers. As Jan slips into the trousers, Ethel looks away and mutters, “I’m only doing this for your wife, you know. She may have been an orphan, but she did make some friends here in church, and her friends are mine as well.”

    “Thank you, Ethel.”

    “You can thank me by getting out of here.”

    “I can’t leave town yet. I always rent a room in the Cori Inn and slip out the window. All of my money and regular clothing is in that room. If I were to skip town now, any fool would know that I was the one who rented that room. That’s what caused so much trouble when Agent 002 bought it. The ‘lone actor’ excuse won’t hold water if it happens twice.”

    Sounds emanate from the church’s main door and anteroom. “I don’t care, you can’t stay here!” Ethel hisses. “Go away!” She turns and leaves for the church’s main door.

    Jan dashes down the hall and turns and crashes into a bleary-eyed man who smells like he hasn’t bathed in weeks. Jan pushes him out of the way and makes his way to the back entrance. From there, he makes his way back to the inn and crawls through the window to his room, where he retrieves his belongings. He strips down but does not sleep a wink for the rest of the night.

    ***

    When Jan goes downstairs the next morning to check out, the plump, matronly innkeeper squints at him. There is a soldier in the lobby, gazing intently at Jan.

    Jan turns away from the soldier and slides a stack of local currency across the countertop.

    “Thank you, mister Vogel,” the innkeeper says. “By the way, what were you in town for, again?”

    “Pilgrimage to Cori. I’m a Christian.”

    “I see. You know, funny thing, that Christian church got broken into last night.”

    Jan does his best to look surprised. “What happened?”

    “Some sort of burglary. The royal guards are out today trying to figure out where the thief went.” The innkeeper squints at Jan some more.

    “That’s terrible!” Jan says. “I wish I could stay and help, but I am already late for my departure to Nijmegen, which is the last leg of my pilgrimage.”

    “That’s a shame,” the soldier says, approaching Jan with a skeptical expression.

    Jan empties most of his coin pouch thrusts it into the soldier’s hands. “Can I trust you to give this to the priest?” Jan asks. The soldier looks flabbergasted, hesitates, and then frowns and shakes his head.

    “I can’t take this, sir.”

    Jan silently curses. “Thank you so much for your honesty,” Jan says, bowing deeply. I will go to the church and give them this money myself.” The ten paces to the door seem to take an eternity, and Jan half expects the soldier to order him to halt. The order never happens.

    ***

    The Cori church is swarming with the Inca royal guard by the time Jan arrives. He spots Ethel and some church elders talking to a guard. Ethel sees him, and he decides to approach her so that they get the story straight about his identity. Before Ethel can open her mouth, Jan starts talking.

    “I just heard the news and wanted to offer what remains of my gold to help,” Jan begins. “They say that there was a break-in. I hope everybody is all right.” Jan holds out the gold. “I know it’s not much, but I am just a poor pilgrim passing through on his way to Nijmegen’s Sistine Chapel.”

    “Thank you brother,” Ethel says, cupping her hand over his outstretched palm. She curls his fingers over the gold and pushes his hand away. “However, nothing of value was taken. The fugitive dropped some items here and then walked off into the ether wearing some donated, old clothes that we have on hand to help the unfortunate ones who sleep here at night. This door will need to be replaced, but we have enough funds for that.”

    “I’m sorry to hear about this incident,” Jan says. “Do you mind if I go inside to pray for your safety tonight?”

    Ethel turns to the guard, who has been looking at Jan intently. The guard nods, and Jan steps into the church.

    When Jan sees Atlas in an Incan royal guardsman’s uniform, he nearly does a double take. Jan decides to approach.

    “Good sir,” Jan says. “The elders will not take money from a passing pilgrim such as myself, but I want to contribute anyway. Could you accept some money on their behalf and give it to them during this week’s sermon?”

    “I don’t--” Atlas begins.

    “Please, I insist,” Jan says. “I insist.”

    “Very well,” Atlas says with a sigh.

    Jan places the pouch containing the plans for the giant glass eye structure into Atlas’s hands and sees a flash of understanding in Atlas’s eyes when Atlas realizes how light the pouch is, and that it must contain something other than gold.

    Jan bows deeply, thanks Atlas again, and exits the church, merging into the crowd gathered around the church entrance.

    ***

    As the coach that Jan hires leaves Cori’s eastern city gates, Jan breathes a sigh of relief.
     
  8. axident

    axident Emperor

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    Two nights later:

    Two days out of Cori, Jan can’t help but notice that one of the coaches from Cori has been tailing them and making camp just far away enough that Jan can’t see or hear anything from their camp. The coach driver is a skinny Incan lad who doesn’t seem to realize what is going on. The coach should reach Nijmegen’s gates the following morning, but Jan is unsure about what will happen after that. He decides to keep playing pilgrim and to actually visit the Sistine Chapel, where he spends most of the rest of his money for admission.

    ***

    Jan, a man of action, has never been to the Chapel before, and he is stunned by its magnificence, from the marble floors to the ceiling frescoes. “If I had known how much money Willem had, I would have asked for even more money to do this job!,” Jan thinks to himself. He kneels before the altar’s crucifix that someone has installed at the end of the Chapel, in front of the painting of the Last Judgment. He closes his eyes and folds his hands to pray. Several moments pass before Jan clears his thoughts. “Mari will be so happy to see me and to hear about my detour to Nijmegen to see the Chapel. And I should really convert one of these days, like I promised her so long ago in Cori. Dear Lord, if you can hear me, please send me safe passage to Amsterdam so I can see Mari and our child again. I really meant it this time, about this being my last job.”

    Jan feels a presence beside him and open his eyes.

    A strapping Incan royal guardsman is next to him, kneeling, and eyes closed and in prayer.

    Jan hesitates before he gets to his feet.

    “Leaving so soon?” the guard says, eyes still closed.

    “I am tired from my long pilgrimage,” Jan replies coolly. “I shall return next morning.”

    The guard, armored with a dress of metal and leather, steps to his feet as Jan turns to leave. “I don’t think you’re going anywhere, my friend.”

    Judging from the guard’s massive build and towering height, Jan knows whom he is facing. Jan begins walking away, but the man puts his hand on Jan’s shoulder.

    Jan responds with a swift back kick to the gut, which nearly knocks down Nine Feathers. Nine Feathers draws his shortsword.

    “Where are the guards? How did you sneak a weapon past the guard?” Jan shouts.

    “I assure you that he died quickly and more or less painlessly.”

    Jan glances at the admissions box at the Chapel entrance, where he can see a corpse laid out on the ground.

    Nine Feathers seizes the opportunity and stabs at Jan, who attempts to leap back, with little success. Blood starts to pour out of his wound. Jan grabs Nine Feather’s wrist and knees his elbow, generating a bellow of pain from the Incan giant as Jan uses the leverage to swing Nine Feathers into the altar. Nine Feathers nearly loses his balance, but Jan is still grasping his wrist.

    “My Lord, what is going on here?” a woman screams as she enters the Chapel.

    Jan pays her no mind as he knees Nine Feather’s arm again, and the sword falls to the ground.

    As Jan bends over to grasp the sword, Nine Feathers lowers his shoulder into Jan’s chest, knocking him onto his back. The woman screams.

    Nine Feathers roars and dives onto Jan at the same time that Jan picks up the sword and braces it against his stomach. The blade pierces through Nine Feather’s heart and emerges from his back, but the impact nearly causes Jan to black out, as even more blood and guts squirt from his belly wound. Jan feels Nine Feather’s last breath leave his body shortly before Nine Feather’s crushing weight squeezes out Jan’s last breath.

    “I’m so sorry, Mari,” Jan gurgles, spitting out blood and staring upwards at the ceiling of the Chapel, past the lifeless gaze of Nine Feathers. “I wish we could have seen this Chapel together while I was alive. It’s beautiful,” Jan says as his vision fades to black.

     
  9. axident

    axident Emperor

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    Amsterdam Palace, where Willem has gathered his advisors:

    “The good news is that Atlas sent us Astronomy plans,” Chris begins. “Also, King Capac of Inca doesn’t want to explain why he had a soldier in the Netherlands who apparently killed a Sistine Chapel guard, so he isn’t making any fuss about how the soldier died. The bad news is that our most productive agent, 001, also died. He single-handedly stole Iron Working, Feudalism, Theology, Drama, and Astronomy for us. His widow has been paid what he was owed.”

    “How did someone of 001’s caliber perish?!” Ilse cries.

    “Earlier, when Ethel was still active and sending us information, we saw that Cori was training a spy. That spy was no doubt Nine Feathers, who made it increasingly hard for our own spies to operate in that city, even after Atlas re-infiltrated Cori,” Chris explains.

    “Should we continue spying? Is it even possible after this?” Willem asks.

    “It will be very difficult, but Atlas thinks we can manage one more big theft before he is forced to compromise his position. We have just finished Guilds, so the stolen technology probably will be Banking, after which we can go for Economics and encourage a great merchant to give us his or her services. In the meantime, we can direct our energies towards Printing Press to encourage commerce and move us down the road to replaceable parts and anything that might need it *cough* rifles *cough*.”

    “Do it then. Train as many agents as it takes.”

    “Yes sir. What’s the news on the domestic front?”

    “Milord,” Ilse begins. “Astronomy has allowed us to commence overseas trading. We have traded various resources for gold and deer from Buddhaland. A great artist is on standby in Amsterdam. Also, you are no longer king.”

    “What??”

    “You are now Consul. We are a Republic now.”

    “But I retain absolute power and can declare war or peace, emancipate slaves or send them back into slavery, and so on?”

    “Yes.”

    “It seems to me that no matter what governmental system we are in, I’m really still dictator for life.”

    “Yes.”

    “Well, that suits me just fine! What news on the science front?”

    Chris speaks up. “Aside from our attempts to steal Banking while researching Printing Press, I think we should be done with Oxford University soon, which shall make Amsterdam an even brighter beacon of research. We will hire more scientists in the hope that one of them will turn out to be especially good and found an Academy for us.”

    “Excellent! And on the war front?”

    Tromp clears his throat. “Sir, I don’t know what to tell you, but Capac apparently is no longer at war. I don’t know if we had faulty intelligence or if he was going to declare war on a barbarian city or what happened, but he is no longer preparing for war. Also, the scout we sent west has reached the extreme western edge of Colossia, in Sumer. It’s up to The Hague to finish the job of proving that the world is round.”

    ***

    Later, at the Apolostic Palce:


    Willem slips into the bath with Sitting Bull and Huayna Capac, and says, “I’m glad we’re having a vote to determine who leads the Hindus of the world now. The Netherlands has more Hindus than anyone else. This ought to be a shoo-in!”

    “Boy, will you be surprised,” Sitting Bull smirks.

    “Why?”

    “Ask Huayna what the choices are for the new resident of the Apolostic Palace.”

    “Huayna?”

    “We have one valid candidate: me.”

    “Huh?”

    “You heard me.”

    “This is insane! How is it even a vote if there is just one candidate?”

    Huayna raises and eyebrow. “So, you are abstaining then?”

    “What? Who determines who is electable anyway?”

    “The gods.”

    “And who might the gods be speaking through?”

    “Me. And they say that it’s either me or nobody.”

    Willem looks at Huayna in disbelief, then at Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull continues to smirk.

    “Fine, I vote for the only candidate,” Willem says angrily. “I’m done here, send a messenger only if it’s about something other than stopping trade with someone.”

    ***

    “Any word on the spies, Maarten?” Willem asks, back in Amsterdam.

    “Agent 004 managed to get himself caught the moment he stepped into Cori, right at the gates. That place is swarming with Incan agents now. Agent 003 also failed, but at least he failed while breaking into the Cori bank for its organizational documents. We denied involvement, but who are we kidding? Capac knows what we’re up to by now.”

    “Do we have any other agents?”

    “005 is en route from Rotterdam. He is not going to get there in time to steal Banking before most of our rivals get it.”

    “What do you suggest we do then?”

    “I’d hate to admit it, but that’s really a question you want to be asking Chris, not me.”

    Willem sighs. “Chris?”

    “Sir, 005 is going to have to steal Banking immediately if we are going to have any chance of beating our rivals to Economics. If it means remaining still and staking out Cori’s bank for less time than he would ideally like to have, then so be it. On the plus side, the overseas colonies of Inca have united to form America, which ought to slow down Inca’s counterespionage activities.”

    “Do it, then.”

    “Yes sir, and since we have discovered the workings of the Printing Press and are waiting for Banking, might I suggest that we tell our scientists to figure out how to have a truly democratic system, while starving them of funding until such a time that we have Banking and can crank up our research towards Economics?”

    “I have no idea what you’re babbling about, but sure, that sounds good to me.”
     
  10. axident

    axident Emperor

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    Astronomy opens up foreign trade routes, and foreign research trades. We trade crappy stuff like cows to Ragnar and Suleiman before someone else from Colossia can. Let that gold per turn roll in! (322)









    Self-researched Guilds ready! We go for Printing Press next, as we expect to jack Banking from Inca soon. (326)



    We switch into Representation now during the Golden Age; it slipped my mind earlier, so it cost us a turn’s worth of research or so, but we can’t reload, regenerate, or cheat in any way this game so we can’t reload to get those turns back. Representation is very powerful given how many specialists we’re running in Amsterdam these days (not pictured).



    You may wonder why we’re blundering into the broadsides of continents when time is of the essence to get the circumnavigation bonus. You may wonder why I built a second caravel to go to Sumer despite knowing that there was no way west of there. The answer is simple: I am playing as if I don’t know the map already. I’m basically doing the same thing that I did the first time around. (328)



    Oxford! Amsterdam is a research powerhouse already; Oxford will put it over the top. (329)



    The Dutch Hindu population is higher than the Inca Hindu population, yet we have zero options other than Inca to head the AP. What?! We vote Inca for the +1 diplo bonus and grumble about how unfair it all is. (330)



    Our scout has reached the far west end of Sumer. It’s up to the caravel from The Hague to win the circumnavigation race now, but it’s struggling to go north and around a big Viking-controlled continent. (331)



    Capac is no longer gearing up for war. That’s odd; I wonder what happened. Did he previously have full hands because he was targeting some unseen barb city rather than another civ? We may never know for sure. (334; not pictured)



    A great artist is born in Amsterdam. He goes to sleep to burn for a golden age later.



    One of our agents, Agent 004, was caught before he ever stole anything. It’s up to Agent 003 to steal banking. (336)



    He fails! This is terrible, as we are in the middle of researching Printing Press, as we were counting on Agent 003 to jack Banking. Agent 005 from, I think it was Rotterdam, is en route. (337)

    Amsterdam is cranking scientists. We need an Academy from a great scientists, not another artist or merchant or spy! (338; not pictured)



    Ah, no wonder there are “native” Americans. We have American Americans now. America is Inca’s vassal/colony. We open borders, as usual. That ought to help us grab some lucrative intercontinental trade routes. (341)



    We go for Democracy and its Statue of Liberty and hope that Agent 005 can succeed where Agent 003 failed. However we also go to 0% science because we want to be able to go 100% science once we have Banking and can research Economics. Besides, the effects of science will be greater after Oxford than before, so we might as well make gold now and then really pile on the beakers later, when Oxford will be there to amplify them. (342)



    The race for Economics is very close. (343)

    ***

    A word about city specialization: this thread is already getting long as it is without my showing every single build and such, but I do want to focus on city specialization in this post. “Comm” and “Prod” are my shorthand ways of saying “Commercial” and “Production” cities. You can see that I’ve labeled most of the cities as Comm or Prod.

    Prod cities get basic infrastructure, including lots of culture-producing buildings if they border other civs. Their main purpose is to generate lots of hammers for army production. Commerce is NOT a priority. Hammers usually means farms and mined hills early on, though later on workshops, watermills, and windmills might work as well.

    If you have enough prod cities, you can rotate them so that most of them are cranking troops at any one time, while the rest are building infrastructure. In the end, a prod city has almost everything a comm city has, except stuff like banks (if we spend most of our commerce on science). They just take longer getting there, as they spend long amounts of time training troops. This is especially true of any city with military production bonuses, such as Heroic Epic or Military Academy cities--every turn that those military-bonus cities spend NOT producing military units, is wasting hammers.

    Comm cities emphasize commerce above all else, though you usually want at least some basic level of hammer production in the city just so it can build stuff faster. Comm cities get everything useful, which usually means every single building in the game, except when it’s unnecessary (e.g., there is plenty of health even without Hospitals and Public Transit). Comm cities that find themselves without any more buildings available, can spam spies, caravels, and other non-military things. Regarding air units, comm cities can spam aircraft just as well as prod cities, since the lack of barracks is meaningless; only airports count, and comm cities should always build airports for the trade route bonus anyway. In a pinch, they can even spam workers and settlers, though you usually want the high food, high hammer prod cities to generate those if possible.

    In this way, in this game, we have been able to slowly develop our prod cities, while still cranking out a respectable number of troops and while maintaining a strong commerce base for science and gold.
     
  11. axident

    axident Emperor

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    Amsterdam Palace:

    “Thank you all for showing up on time,” Willem begins. “Now then, what news? Let’s begin with military intelligence.”

    “My son Cornelis has proven that the world is round!” Maarten exclaims triumphantly. “He is continuing on his journeys to map out the rest of the world. The bad news is that Gilgamesh contacted me to ask if we’d be interested in some sort of explosion-making powder. He wanted Nationalism. I said no, since we can research that ourselves and not have Nationalism prematurely get traded around by our rivals. He said we’d regret it, but he isn’t preparing for war over it. We aren’t that far behind him in terms of military power, but we should try to upgrade our army soon.”

    “That’s good news, about your son!” Willem says with a smile. “We’ll have a party later on to celebrate it. I’ll bring the pot and firewater. Now, then, what about Agent 005?”

    Maarten beams. “Agent 005 and Atlas managed to steal the banking plans from Cori and leave before they could be apprehended. We are finished in terms of stealing technology from Inca, but we did get Banking in time for Chris’s purposes.”

    “Chris?”

    “We spared no cost in researching Economics once we were able to do so, and we have attracted a great merchant, Andrew Carnegie, to Amsterdam!” Chris says with pride. “Apparently we beat out Ragnar by just 10 years, as he discovered Economics right after we discovered it! We immediately researched Corporations to have more trade routes open to us, and we are going for Democracy next for both the Statue of Liberty as well as to switch to Democracy and Free Market at the same time to save some anarchy time.”

    Maarten is quick to steal the spotlight back and adds, “Now that we aren’t going to send any more agents to Inca, we have dispersed our spies far and wide among all of our rivals, rather than concentrating all of them in Inca.”

    “Good, good,” Willem says, stroking his mustache. “Ilse, how are we doing at home?”

    “We’ve traded a few resources like sugar to our rivals in exchange for gold, which we are using to fuel our research at deficit levels. Also, Leiden’s granary appears to have been destroyed by arson, milord,” Ilse begins, furrowing her brow. “We aren’t sure who would do such a thing, but Leiden is just north of former Scythia, and it could be the work of Scythian rebels, or Korea, or both. There are rumors that the king of Scythia survived and is cooperating with Korea.”

    “That’s bad news.”

    “It’s also beginning to be a pattern, as the partially-completed University in Haarlem, just east of the Scythian peninsula, has also been sabotaged.”

    “That does it! That Confucian cretin Kon committed his last crime!” Willem growls. “He’ll pay for this, once we can field a good enough army to overrun his defenses.”
     
  12. axident

    axident Emperor

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    Scum-sucking Korea is the most likely culprit to hit an innocent little town like Leiden, which is just north of ex-Scythia. (345)



    We’ve circled the globe! (346)

    Gilgamesh reminds us that we have entered the age of gunpowder, and copper and iron are no longer as important. We still reject his trade offer, as Gunpowder is a common AI-beeline tech and we can probably steal it or trade it for something cheaper rather than giving up Nationalism to him now and having him trade it around. (not pictured)



    Oxford finishes and allows even more scientist-spamming to encourage a great scientist to step forward and start an Academy. Note that Amsterdam alone generates 162+ beakers at ZERO percent science slider. (349)



    It takes a few turns, but the price of Banking finally drops far enough for Agent 005 to even ATTEMPT to steal it, at a 30% stationary bonus discount. (351)



    Agent 005 comes through! We have Banking! Hooray! Now we can go to 100% science and rush to finish researching Economics first for its Great Merchant. 2 turns to Econ. (352)



    You can see that we have a pitiful 170 EP against Inca after our latest heist. It’s time to even out our espionage point weights and to stop picking on just the Inca. (354)

    This is the final tally from our espionage adventures:

    Great Spy 1 Infiltrates.

    Agent 001 jacks Iron Working.

    Agent 002 jacks Construction.

    Agent 001 jacks Feudalism.

    Agent 002 jacks Philosophy.

    Agent 001 jacks Theology.

    Agent 002 dies trying to jack Drama.

    Great Spy 2 infiltrates.

    Agent 001 jacks Drama.

    Agent 001 jacks Astronomy but pays for it with his life.

    Agent 004 dies without doing anything.

    Agent 003 dies trying to jack Banking.

    Agent 005 jacks Banking.

    Not a bad haul, especially since the second spawned Great Spy did not infiltrate but rather burned in a Golden Age, forcing a late-game Great Spy to infiltrate for Astronomy and Banking. Excluding the time and hammer costs associated with building regular spies, and excluding diplomatic consequences and the heartburn associated with watching spies die instead of successfully jacking stuff on time, our 2 infiltration great spies basically netted us IW, Construction, Feud, Philo, Theo, Drama, Astro, and Banking, which is 8 techs. 2 great people, 8 techs. That’s far better than what 2 bulbing great scientists could do. Stealing Astronomy was a riot, by the way, considering how ridiculously expensive of a tech that is!



    We sell sugar to Sitting Bull for 13 gpt. Nice! (355)



    We’re also running into slight health problems, so we trade him gold for wine.





    Other rivals get various surplus resources in exchange for gold per turn. Better they get their resources from us than from our other rivals.



    Econ! Free Great Merchant! And we still have a ton of cash to burn through so we might as well keep the science slider at 100% and go for Corporations; it’s really sad that Amsterdam has just 2 trade routes right now, when it ought to be 3! Democracy will have to wait; we can’t get to it before the Golden Age expires anyway. (359)





    Most civs have gunpowder; we don’t. We aren’t impressed, though, as we can easily trade for it in an emergency and then use our cash hoard to upgrade units. Besides, muskets are weak. (362)



    Sitting Bull has iron now too. (363)



    Our weighting everything against Inca for so long has made our espionage pretty weak. At least Sumer still shows up on our power graph. We aren’t far behind their power level. (364)



    The fruits of REXing: hogging lots of resources, having more population and production and research than others, and making it to the top of Livy’s list of largest civs! (365)



    For the fourth time, Capac, no we won’t stop trading with Sumer. Stop proposing that in the AP vote! (366)



    Unfortunately Haarlem, which is very close to Korea, has its culture-producing University sabotaged. Korea will pay for that. In blood! (367)

    Capac turned to Free Religion, so we must keep an eye out for attacks from Inca now. (368; not pictured)



    Korea is content to play spy footsies and is not ready to go to war with us yet. They are Annoyed though. That’s okay, we’re pretty Annoyed by them, too. (370)



    Corps done. Democracy ho! (371)
     
  13. axident

    axident Emperor

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    Reader Sweetacshon found a grievous writing error in a previous post--thanks for pointing it out! If you see an error please post or PM me and I'll fix it! Thanks!
     
  14. MrFelony

    MrFelony Prince

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    In the post where jan gets caught, i think you name him as Willem instead of Jan, but other than that, great read! couldnt finish it all now, but am looking forward to. poor jan :(.
     
  15. axident

    axident Emperor

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    Crap I didn't realize I made that error twice in a row; thanks. I've been a bit distracted by college football's reams of upsets. :)
     
  16. MrFelony

    MrFelony Prince

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    go fighting illini (and the bears)! at least something is going well with a U of I/Chicago native :(. cubs get swept and the chicago marathon gets canceled midway due to a death and TONS of hospitalizations.

    anyway, why dont you chain some farms over to that rice so it'll boost up food in your capital? that is if you have a spare worker or two. it'd be a pretty long process, but you could start by chaining it from the tile SE of Utrecht, over one and then up from there. however from the judge of things it seems you still have a lot of improving to do of your southern cities and all that jungle.
     
  17. axident

    axident Emperor

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    My alma mater is currently ranked no. 2, which isn't bad considering that LSU looks very tough this year. ;) And, Mendenhall should be in the Heisman discussion.

    Good idea. I was thinking the same thing, but from that oasis instead (via the plains southwest of the oasis)... that area is going to need another worker anyway, if we develop a city south of the Moai city.
     
  18. MrFelony

    MrFelony Prince

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    oh ya, i missed the oasis and thought it was just a desert. that'd save like 2 dozen turns lol. also, are you saving one of those extra forests for a reason? you have 5 forests for your capital/moai city so if you wanted you could chop one of them down. and also, if your Moai city needs extra hammers, it looks like your capital isnt working that mine it shares with it. that'll shave off maybe 1 or 2 more turns form the statues since i think you have about 7 turns left.

    PS. did you post a save? I kinda want to see what your economy and everything looks like :D.
     
  19. axident

    axident Emperor

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    Nah, I'm just slow developing Amsterdam and Moai City. This game is screwy cause of the extreme worker shortage due to my starting at 275 BC and my not counting how few workers were on hand and playing catch-up after that.

    I can post a save soon, along with more updates.
     
  20. axident

    axident Emperor

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    Amsterdam, 1510 AD.

    “Al-Kindi Science Academy. I like it,” Christiaan murmurs to nobody in particular as he tours the newly-constructed Academy.

    Chris knocks on Willem’s door. “Willem?”

    After a long moment, Chris starts to walk away when a disheveled Willem appears at the door with only his pants on. “Chris? Uh, what do you want?”

    “I wanted to congratulate you on winning 100% of the vote for President! We’ve also opened our markets to free trade.”

    “I won?” Willem clears his throat. “Of course, yes, I won! Carry on!” Willem tries to shut the door, but Chris puts his hand on the door to prevent it.

    “In other news, Maastricht is building a Hermitage, a sort of mega-museum, to try to win back the hearts and minds of the farmers and village people of the area.”

    “Yes, yes, very nice,” Willem says perfunctorily as he begins to shut the door.

    “Mr. President, another thing. Maarten says that our rivals have begun to field gunpowder-armed troops in the field. We are hoping to leapfrog them with something better than mere muskets, as soon as our scientists figure out how to stabilize musket balls’ flight. We’re also constructing jails in many of our cities in order to catch up in the espionage game; we have such weak espionage operations right now that we have estimates of military power for only two of our rivals.”

    “Uh yes, yes, carry on,” Willem says, trying to shut the door.

    Chris places his hand on the door again. “I also took the liberty of trading banking and paper to Suleiman, in exchange for Divine Right. Most if not all of our rivals had banking and trading already, and we need Divine Right to be eligible for the benefits of Versailles and the Spiral Minaret, should we capture them.”

    “I thought our best friends the Incans built them.”

    “Yes but they aren’t our best friends forever.”

    “Ah yes, well, carry on!” Willem tries to slam the door shut, only to realize that Chris has his foot wedged in the gap. Willem kicks the foot out of the way.

    “One last thing,” Chris says. “Long Island looks ripe for settling, and we had The Hague build an East Indiaman vessel to ferry troops across the Long Island strait. We’ve named the vessel the Trompest in a Teapot II. This time the vessel was not built in a rush using slave labor, so maybe it will last longer than its predecess--OW.” Willem slams the door on Chris’s nose.

    “Was it something I said?” Chris calls through the door.

    “Is something wrong?” Ilse asks Willem as he finally leaves the door and returns to her.

    Willem rolls his eyes and sighs.

    ***

    “So.” Wang Kon glares across the table.

    “So.” Willem glares back.

    Bodyguards for both heads of state look on nervously in this small room in Amsterdam palace.

    “Leave us,” King Kon tells his guards, who comply.

    “Leave us,” President van Oranje tells his guards. The guards comply.

    “So.”

    “So.”

    “Replaceable parts are a Dutch invention,” King Kon begins.

    “Yes.”

    “Sharing is caring.”

    “That’s nice, but I don’t care about you.”

    “That’s not very nice,” King Kon growls.

    “Neither is poisoning Haarlem’s main well and burning down its granary.”

    “What?” King Kon says, looking surprised.

    “You expect me to believe that someone other than you would have sent saboteurs all the way to a Dutch city bordering on Korea?”

    “Maybe it was the Scythian rebels...”

    “...with whom you are working, you terrorist scum.”

    “Nonsense.”

    “And don’t think we’ve forgotten how you sabotaged the university construction in Haarlem, or how you burned down the granary in Leiden.”

    “I’m insulted you would even accuse me of such a thing!”

    “Get out, you Confucian Caste-system-loving Criminal Conspirator!” Willem screams in rage.

    “Does this mean you aren’t giving us Replaceable Parts?” King Kon says with a sheepish smile.

    “OUT!”
     

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