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Immortal Marathon Runner I: Hannibal

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Fleme, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    First of all, thank you for all the responses.

    Now, on to the answers.

    First of all about rushing Cathy; I do not see that as an option. While she is reasonably close, it's my experience that aggressive AI, especially a creative (40%) or a protective leader because they can have up to 5-7 archers fortified in their capital and that just makes it pointless.

    And why am I getting hunting instead of agriculture? Because I do not see more than two (wheat to the east, corn to the south) resources I'd be farming any time soon while I will still be building spears because I know for a fact that one or more of the AGG Ai's is going to attempt to give me a whoopin' and they always pack chariots in their stacks. Furthermore, oleg1 is correct.

    As I see the map, it's not optimal for me (optimal as in counting how many spots I want to settle) to go for the copper/pigs/fish first as much as it is the best site around. Knowing how AI settles in circles always a certain distance from their capital it's more important to settle the oasis/stone spot towards Cathy first, then maybe the double oasis/wheat/cow/gold/marble (talk about resources) depending on how close Gandhi really is and then after those two spots are claimed, go for the copper/pigs/fish.

    Now, I'm not saying this is necessarily optimal but knowing a little bit about AI behaviour I'm inclined to believe that it would be best if I want my 7 cities to be settled peacefully.

    As for the game itself, I'm going to play the next round shortly, will update in a few hours.
     
  2. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    Played to turn 200, that is to say 1500 BC.

    Around 2500 BC it became apparent that Gandhi was in fact just as close if not closer than Cathy and what later turned out to be the borders of his second city Bombay soon appeared to my planned city spot southeast from Carthage. It's 4 tiles away still but this persuaded me that if I were to claim that aforementioned gold/cow/double oasis/marble spot I had to act fast because it seemed like Gandhi was doing well for himself expansion-wise.

    That said, Utica was settled in the planned spot in 2300something BC and on the turn I settled I saw Gandhis settler 2E so this decision got some confirmation right there.

    Next up was Hadrumetum, to the west. Upon discovering AH, a source of Horse was revealed in the planned bfc of the oasis/stone riverside city to I decided to settle there based on the logic I explained in my previous post.

    You're not going to like me based on the next but seeing how Gandhi was in fact the worse encroacher at this moment, having Hadrumetum set up to act as my western bastion I felt the need to secure the southeastern location before Gandhi and so I did. Hippo was founded to secure the Iron that was discovered on the hill nearby.

    Furthermore, my expansion towards the south and the "less" desirable locations was somewhat dictated by world politics as well. Early on it became apparent that it was going to be either Gandhi or Roosevelt to bite the first bullet and since Gandhi was apparently in a better neighborhood, it came to be Roose (regardless of Gandhi being the worst enemy of 6 of the AI's). I'm glad I managed to squeeze a trade out of him before though (Math for his Agriculture&Archery). Yes I know it's a bad deal but it really was apparent that he was either going to die or get crippled (no pun intended) or become someones vassal so I did what I though was best at that particular moment.

    Ironically, a turn after this trade Catherine declared on Roosevelt and brought KK with him (Roose did bribe Gandhi and Bismarck and Hammurabi to his aid but as I see it, they live too far east or atleast somewhere far and I have not opened borders with anyone as of now.

    Looks like his mistake was turning hindu between all the angry jews.

    So, back to my expansion plans. After Hippo I settled Kerkouane to the South (yea yea, still no copper/fish/pigs but as the war raged on I found monte's borders to the south and decided to secure the corn (did I mention I was a healthfreak?). Soon after Leptis was settled to claim the NW site so by 1500 BC I now have 6 cities.

    Tech path went Writing->The Wheel->Pottery->Math (traded around for IW and Archery&Agriculture with HC and Roose, respectively) followed by Currency, that's currently underway.

    Screens:

    My lands:



    Carthage:



    (the Lighthouse was built for the GLH, an idea I soon scrapped to make sure I got all the sites I wanted)

    Techs:



    Diplo:



    Weaknesses of the game right now as I see them:

    -Lack of scouting which is explained by me having closed borders with anyone. I don't usually open them before Currency which usually buys me a little bit of extra time to see which religion is worth adopting

    -Difficult spot to be on. Jews to my west and hindus to my east plus monty with his suicide religion (don't you love how monte always has his own religion?)

    -No infrastructure. All I've done is build settlers and workers.

    -Weak military, but I'm working on it.


    Strengths:

    -Great land. I suppose it shows on my score since usually by this point I'm much lower than I am right now

    My plan now is to research currency, trade it around for alpha, open borders with a select few AI's and hopefully stay out of wars. I'll try and play a round by tomorrow.

    Feedback is, as always, most welcome!
     
  3. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

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    Not that I play aggressive AI much, but 9 AI with their hands full, and you have like 4 warriors total? I'd start building some units...
     
  4. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    I'm on it, as can be seen with the 4 barracks being built. Yes, I know it's incredibly weak and a huge gambit but I had to do it in order to secure the terrain you see here. By not adopting a religion I did not become anyone's worst enemy and I think this always buys me some time.

    Still, you are right and I am going to focus on military next.
     
  5. kossin

    kossin Chieftain

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    @UWHAbs
    The 2 neighbors are engaged in war already.

    @JFleme
    Can you put some research in Alphabet and trade it for Mathematics? It'd make Currency cheaper.
     
  6. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    My only option for Alphabet right now would be Pacal II and him and the Hindus hate each other so I feel like going straight for currency.

    The diplomatic situation is really hard and I'm pretty sure I'll totally fumble it in the near future but I try to avoid pitfalls I know would bite me in the ass.

    Safe trading partners right now are Gilgamesh and HC, the rest I fear would incur penalties.

    Edit: I'm almost certain that Roosevelt will fall before Cathy and Kublai and that at the lack of a better opponent they'll come for me next so at the moment I'm leaning towards becoming Hindu and trading that way.
     
  7. bobbyboy29

    bobbyboy29 I was saying boo-urns...

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    Great expansio Jfleme, you secured some fantastic land in a very crowded neighbourhood, I will be interested to see how this pans out diplomatically as it is similar to a game i am playing currently. In my game(crowded neighbourhood, plenty of religions around as well), Monty was so close that i adopted his religion making us pariahs just so he wouldn't attack me, only to see Ghandi attack him first:eek: !

    Anyway a couple of notes on your game:
    1st: Great expansion there! You got plenty of great cities and very quickly, i would have liked to have seen a few more screenshots showing how you managed this.
    2nd: Your city placement is very good so far, except I would like to know why hippo isn't placed 1S, I'm sure there is a reason.

    Also that one remaining X in the north east securing the incense and gold is somewhat foodpoor, is there anyway that you can feed that gold (also does anyone know why the incense is on a plains tile despite not being in the caps BFC? first time i've seen that...)

    Finally, just a note that since there are so many AI's cramped in here on this map, one may be left small enough for you to take out with either swords/cats or maces/trebs so that's something to take into account (especially since this is marathon). If not though, you can probably just go aesth. lit and grab some juicy marble wonders, if you're feeling adventurous you could pick up the free GA from music too...
     
  8. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    Hippo's placement on the desert is due to my lack of scouting. If I had known about the spices further south I would've placed the city 1S. However, I do prefer settling on desert over other tiles because that way they can see some use.

    Anyhow, I was also toying with the idea of going for aesth->lit->music given that I have marble and considering the trade value of aesth and music. I'm going to play the next round today and will definitely give this more thought!

    The remaining x northeasth has a fish. It won't be a spectacular city but it'll do the job of being my 7th city and that's good enough.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Edit: Looks like I'm facing a really busy weekend starting right about now so the next round will have to wait until sunday.
     
  9. Fei Kelei

    Fei Kelei Pleased

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    I'd also like to ask if you could re-size your images to make them just a hair smaller. It was pretty annoying having to scroll left and right to read your description of the last round.
     
  10. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    Images resized to 800x600 this time around.

    This was quite an eventful, and a long round. I played all the way to turn 299, that is to say 510 BC. Plenty of screenshots to come.

    First of all, as suggested before I focused on military buildup given the fact that I was between the two blocs on the map. Cathy&friends were still pummeling Roosevelt so I started out in a safe position.

    Early on in the round a positive event rolled by:



    Upon finishing Currency, I got what I perceive as a good deal from Hammurabi:



    and then the tile that previously got the tin got this:



    8 hammer tile anyone?

    Anyhow, at this point the inevitable happened:



    Yep, the pariah Roosevelt fell but to me atleast, he served his purpose in occupying the two warlike leaders while I get some military buildup done and could consolidate my ground. At this point I had not yet chosen a religion but not long after the war on Americans had finished I figured that Cathy lacked a target to her west making me her target. I did feel safe with my position knowing that the eastern civs weren't upset with me in any way and both Hadrumetum and Kerkouane stood on hills.

    Soon after, Cathy declared on me. It's because of my first time doing a write up of a game, I didn't take any screenshots. It wasn't like she posed any threat without any siege and meager stacks of less than 10 units but I still feel like I should've taken some screenshots. Anyhow, her units were massacred at minimal losses and I gained a general and unlocked HE. On the turn Cathy declared on me I converted to Hinduism and traded with Gandhi.

    State of the empire:



    Carthage:



    (Aqueduct was for a shot at HG, which failed and yielded some cash, Parthenon just because I had the hammers and wanted to get the GLib in Leptis instead)

    Leptis:



    I could whip it but the tech screen shows that there's one other AI with Literature so I'll take my chances.

    Hadrumetum doing it's thing:



    I find it to be an excellent city for it's purpose. It's bordering my enemies, has great production potential throughout the game and is easy to defend and reinforce.

    Demo:



    Techs:



    Looks like I'll be first to Music so that'll give me some trade fodder. All in all it looks like I'm in a solid spot and can pretty much dictate how the game will play out from here.

    There are some questions though:

    1) What to do with my first great general? I'm not so keen on going for an early war and since Hadrumetum has the HE in just a few turns, should I settle and just build more units?

    2) Should I save the GA from Music or launch an immediate Golden Age? I feel like saving him for later when I need the GA for a larger civics change such as surprise war or several civic changes at once.

    3) How to proceed?

    a) To the east there's Gandhi who has solid terrain and is the only tech contestant at the moment. Furthermore, his Holy City has two shrines and it's likely that he wouldn't put up much of a fight. Then again on the flipside he's the only one I can rely on as a tech trading partner.

    b) I can't scout to the west since Catherine blocks the continent off. Knowing her, she will eventually go to war with me but then again I feel confident that I can hold her off at Hadrumetum.

    c) To the south there are Gilgamesh and Montezuma. Neither of them have any support and Giggles has the Mids in Uruk.

    d) Is a medieval war really something I'd want to do at this point? I'm in a good spot to tech to Liberalism and go for a Cuirassier or x/Cannon romp.

    As usual, opinions are more than welcome!
     
  11. kossin

    kossin Chieftain

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    Can we get a Diplo screenshot?

    You have a really solid tech rate, HE almost built, and GPP will be secured for a good while.
    Option a is very appealing but then you'll be out of a good trade partner as you pointed out.

    b - I think I'd scout out Catherine before deciding to war her (does she have Ivory is the real question).

    c - Montezuma won't have nice cities for you since all he's been building is units.
    I don't think The Pyramids will be that helpful unless you want to switch to US early.

    d - Cuirassier->Cavalry or Cannon war will very likely allow you to capitulate your neighbors and then the chain-capitulation should be easy.

    From the looks of it, I think you'll win this game more or less easily given the current situation, good luck anyway!
     
  12. Shafi

    Shafi Chieftain

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    I would probably put that GA on ice and save him for later when you really need the extra "oomph" from a golden age.

    BTW - well played so far :goodjob:, pity you ompletely missed out on screenies during the war though ...
     
  13. jmas

    jmas I Can Has Imperium?

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    Great writeup so far JFleme! You're above my current level so I don't have suggestions--looks like others have that covered anyway. :)

    One thing though...

    :drool:
     
  14. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    I've played a little bit into the next round and here are some tidbits and acknowledgements of the suggestions posted:

    @Kossin

    After my war with Cathy she kind of warmed up to me and the hindu's, opening borders and everything so I did as you suggested and scouted her. I won't go into detail yet.

    About Monte, you're right.

    And lastly, about the army selection, I'm inclined to go as I suggested and you complied, so a late renaissance romp it is.

    @Shafi

    I saved the GA for that very reason. There's no need for a pre-BC golden-age especially with a small and humble empire such as this. I'm sorry about the lack of war-time screenies but as I stated, it's my first showgame and I just kinda freaked out and forgot entirely about my reporting duty when the declaration game - as meager as her armies were.

    @jmas

    Thanks :) Too bad those tiles don't occur more often than once in a blue moon.
     
  15. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    This round featured proverbial peace and I did my best to make the best of this peaceful era. Without further ado:



    Mr. Muqlah went on to set up a gallery in Carthage and to this day, practices calligraphy and waits for his talents to be put to use for the good of the empire.

    I started making best out of being a newly-devout hindu and traded with the man himself:



    In 410BC Carthaginian science got two major breakthroughs in the form of the Great Library of Leptis and the emergence of our first great scientist Xi Ling Shi in Carthage, who quickly set up an academy to celebrate her discovery of silk and spread the word on her discovery.





    In 400 BC, however, the proverbial peace was interrupted by a surprise DoW by Gilgamesh. His stack consisted of a Swordsman and 4 Chariots. That's Aggressive AI for you, folks!

    Anyhow, since it's better to get someone else to do your dirty work for you:



    And that's the last I saw of Gilgamesh for the remainder of the round.

    In the spirit of peace, I even opened some trade relations to the west, resulting in these trades:





    and then again back east:



    The excess gold allowed me to run deficit research for most of the segment and I feel like my spot is even more secure. I suppose time will tell.

    So, the state of the empire in 1 AD:



    Capital shot, which also shows that I forgot to take a screenshot of the Sistine Chapel being finished. This wonder has no bearing on my victory conditions but given that at that time I had the hammers to spare, Marble around and pressed borders both east and west, I went for it and it was built in Utica. You can also see that I started on the AP. I figured that although it's rather late to be building it I'll either get fail gold for it or a guarantee that the pope bows down to Vishnu&co. rather than Jahve. Most importantly, I find that the extra 4 hammers make a huge difference:



    Leptis, a wonderful city:



    Hadrumetum building a forge to further increase it's production capabilities:



    Diplo: Looks like Hammurabi is the next one to bite the bullet.



    Demo, almost forgot:



    So, all things considered I'm well on my way to the chosen VC. Thoughts and ideas are, as always, welcome.
     
  16. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    Carrying on like a train on it's tracks, I played my next round up to 500 AD. An eventful round to say the least, and rather unexpected considering how things started out.

    Yes, there were wars. Wars featuring nearly everyone on the map, myself included.

    Here we see some of the actions taking place in the world: Hammurabi continues to bite the bullet and Bismarck shows that he's had enough with the westerners.



    And rather unexpectedly, with our open borders and Gandhi sending missionaries over, I'm able to convince Cathy that this is a good choice:



    ...which obviously should grant some sort of security. However, knowing Cathy this is most likely a false sense of security.

    160 AD, Education rolls in, start on Philo and Universities whereever I can.



    In 170 AD, Gandhi completes the AP resulting in a lot of fail gold and in 180 AD this happens:



    Yay for being the pope. The same turn, Bismarck goes Friendly and I make this trade:



    All in all I find the AP religion to be rather essential for my success. I don't usually care for the diplomatic implications of the thing but the 4 extra hammers are so deeprooted in my gameplay that I find myself almost crippled without them.

    ...and I start on Liberalism. I don't plan to finish it but I'll go from 1 turn from completion and save it for Steel.

    Two turns later, Cathy begs for Education, a request which I decline



    230 AD Monty flexes his muscles at me. I laugh, sit back and find them to be rather puny.



    Soon after I seek peace and he offers 55 gold to sweeten the deal.

    Trade with Gandhi for full vision of the map:



    ...and with Bismarck for some extra gold



    320 AD, Cathy builds the UoS, which I was building to further augment my religious buildings and once again I end up with a whole lot of fail gold. I'm happy with how it turned out. In this shot you can see that I could also reach a rather nice 350 AD liberalism if I wanted to, but as stated earlier, I'll save it for a later tech.



    That war where I bribed Bismarck against Gilgamesh in the previous segment took it's toll on Sumeria and resulted in this. I did not see this one coming.



    Then, after centuries of proverbial peace and sense of security, KK declares on me out of the blue. I should've seen it coming because I now shared a border with him since he had captured a city from Monte just south of me but to be honest it didn't even cross my mind.



    He's the top dog and fields not one, but two stacks capable of doing some serious damage. Smaller stack:



    Big stack:



    A worrying situation. Not only is the southern stack really big, but it clearly has two possible locations. The weakly defended city of Hippo or the somewhat garrisoned city of Kerkouane. I move my defenders to two squares from each city and he opts to go for Kerkouane. Citizens suffer the whip as walls and Longbowmen are built and the empire falls to somewhat of a chaotic phase. He brings in his vassal Pacal and his buddy Mao. Mao doesn't field a single unit but Pacal manages to cause trouble and steal a total of 3 workers in the heartland with his mobile 2-unit stacks. (Yeah I suck at micro)

    I lose more than half of my garrisons in both Hadrumetum and Kerkouane and would undoubtedly have lost atleast one of the cities had it not been for this:



    And am I glad he didn't defy.

    To further add to my security, Bismarck removes the border threat:



    And finally, the mandatory shots of the empire:

    Overview:



    Core cities:







    Demo:



    Diplo:



    Conclusions:

    I plan to use my GA in the next segment to switch my civics to Caste System and Theocracy to support my upcoming military buildup. I also have a second GG, which I plan to settle in Hadrumetum. I can build a WM3 unit out the box and support it with a regular medic to get a makeshift supermedic. I'm undecided on who to declare on first but I'm leaning towards Gandhi because that way I could fund my military operations with the shrines of Vijayanagara. My production and research are taking off nicely and I plan to leverage that by first building a cannon/mace/musket army for my initial targets and the follow through with cuirassier/cavalry army for my second stack later on. I will manually tech Chemistry, lib steel and then go for nationalism->mil trad for cuirassiers.
     
  17. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    Despite the lack of commentary, I go on!

    Long round this time, from 500 AD all the way to 945 AD, that is to say to turn 489.

    Trading with HC:



    Golden Age, and my spare scientists on their way to settle in Carthage. I should've settled them earlier but I suppose I was saving them for a bad day. Switched to Caste System and Theocracy during the GA.



    And more trading, this time with Gandhi:



    Khan commits diplomatic suicide by accepting Monty's willing vassalization while he's at war with practically everyone else on the map:



    I opt out:



    660 AD, Liberalism and Steel. Won't bother posting a Lib shot, Steel will do.



    675 AD, Monte pays the ultimate price:



    Gandhi still helping me on my path. Little does he know I'll use that technology against him:



    Castle in Hadrumetum pays dividents. The city also received a source of copper earlier on in this segment:



    I know you won't believe me, but that was the only reason I even bothered with the castle in the first place. Fingers crossed and it worked.

    765 AD, Khan joins the Russian federation. From a top contender to a weak vassal in no more than 100 years. That's what you get for taking Monte onboard

    780 AD: Gilgamesh folds to Cathy.

    800 AD: Bismarck next on the chopping block. Federation forces move in.

    815 AD: Mil. Trad. is in. Upgrade my few Numidians to Cuirassiers.

    845 AD:



    850 AD: My stack divided to two ready to take on Bombay and Varanasi. It's the perfect time to declare since Cathy is at war with Bismarck, reducing the chance for a bribed dogpile.

    http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/1531/civ4screenshot0184.jpg

    865 AD: Cities fall. Nothing useful in them so forgoing screenshots.

    870 AD: Cathy demands Education. The next turn Bismark asks for Liberalism. Refused both - no screens. Drop to pleased from Friendly with Cathy.

    880 AD: Gandhi sweetens the deal.



    More on the same turn: Bismark joins the Russian federation.

    900 AD: Delhi falls. Sweet.



    910 AD: The federation wants a piece of my action and declares on Gandhi.



    925 AD: Vijayanagara falls and my future wars have a financier:



    940 AD: Cathy asks for me to join in a war against HC. I comply. The next turn, 945 AD, the last Indian bastion of Pataliputra falls and Gandhi is no more:



    Current situation:









    So the course of the game is pretty obvious from here. Cathy and her federation is a monster so I'll need to tackle them down sooner rather than later before they get some teching going. Furthermore, I no longer have any real friends left since Bismark is now under Cathys rule and HC turned Jewish and became the next pariah. I'm doing ok on the power rating and rather interestingly, Pacal declared independence a the end of the segment so I might just go ahead and take Mutal (laden with wonders, most importantly for my long term goals, Notre Dame.) And from then on, park a stack of cavalries on both German and Sumerian borders and proceed to rifle/cannon Russia.
     
  18. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    Despite the lack of commentary, I go on!

    Long round this time, from 500 AD all the way to 945 AD, that is to say to turn 489.

    Trading with HC:



    Golden Age, and my spare scientists on their way to settle in Carthage. I should've settled them earlier but I suppose I was saving them for a bad day. Switched to Caste System and Theocracy during the GA.



    And more trading, this time with Gandhi:



    Khan commits diplomatic suicide by accepting Monty's willing vassalization while he's at war with practically everyone else on the map:



    I opt out:



    660 AD, Liberalism and Steel. Won't bother posting a Lib shot, Steel will do.



    675 AD, Monte pays the ultimate price:



    Gandhi still helping me on my path. Little does he know I'll use that technology against him:



    Castle in Hadrumetum pays dividents. The city also received a source of copper earlier on in this segment:



    I know you won't believe me, but that was the only reason I even bothered with the castle in the first place. Fingers crossed and it worked.

    765 AD, Khan joins the Russian federation. From a top contender to a weak vassal in no more than 100 years. That's what you get for taking Monte onboard

    780 AD: Gilgamesh folds to Cathy.

    800 AD: Bismarck next on the chopping block. Federation forces move in.

    815 AD: Mil. Trad. is in. Upgrade my few Numidians to Cuirassiers.

    845 AD:



    850 AD: My stack divided to two ready to take on Bombay and Varanasi. It's the perfect time to declare since Cathy is at war with Bismarck, reducing the chance for a bribed dogpile.



    865 AD: Cities fall. Nothing useful in them so forgoing screenshots.

    870 AD: Cathy demands Education. The next turn Bismark asks for Liberalism. Refused both - no screens. Drop to pleased from Friendly with Cathy.

    880 AD: Gandhi sweetens the deal.



    More on the same turn: Bismark joins the Russian federation.

    900 AD: Delhi falls. Sweet.



    910 AD: The federation wants a piece of my action and declares on Gandhi.



    925 AD: Vijayanagara falls and my future wars have a financier:



    940 AD: Cathy asks for me to join in a war against HC. I comply. The next turn, 945 AD, the last Indian bastion of Pataliputra falls and Gandhi is no more:



    Current situation:









    So the course of the game is pretty obvious from here. Cathy and her federation is a monster so I'll need to tackle them down sooner rather than later before they get some teching going. Furthermore, I no longer have any real friends left since Bismark is now under Cathys rule and HC turned Jewish and became the next pariah. I'm doing ok on the power rating and rather interestingly, Pacal declared independence a the end of the segment so I might just go ahead and take Mutal (laden with wonders, most importantly for my long term goals, Notre Dame.) And from then on, park a stack of cavalries on both German and Sumerian borders and proceed to rifle/cannon Russia.
     
  19. silentounce

    silentounce Chieftain

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    Great work so far! You've got at least one avid reader so please continue.
     
  20. roberteriksson

    roberteriksson Chieftain

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    Don't be discouraged by the lack of comments, great game!
     

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