183 The hawks are quiet, so I started on the path of culture and colonization. We'll have to see, but this may make it difficult to choose war in the future, since F and G will only get stronger. Settled 1E. RFC wanted to call it Groningen, but I had a different idea. We got nice buildings for free. Interesting that we got the Harbor without knowing Compass yet. I also went into HR, Vassalage, Caste System, and OR. * Vassalage for better units and better stability with HR. Bureaucracy would be very practical, but we don't have CS yet, wouldn't get the stability from HR+Vassalage, and is a stability- once you get > 5 cities. * Caste System as much for the workshop hammers as anything else. Slavery has a mild stabilizing effect between BW and Constitution, but actually using Slavery tends to be destabilizing (pop loss, unhappiness) if you're not careful. Without Slavery (and with my diplo , read on) we probably should maintain a solid defense for emergencies. * OR because I'm incurring 2 turns of anarchy anyway, and we have no religion yet, so Theo would be dumb. Some civs seem to stabler than others. Babylon for example is less stable. That may be entirely due to its small historical area, but there may be other hidden factors as well. I don't know how vigilant the Dutch need to be. So when I talk about stability in this game, my perspective is paranoia (and I've only begun the ). Sent one galley up to meet Ragnar and found Scandinavia surprisingly lightly populated: This was quite unexpected! 2N of the pigs is a very nice spot for "free": Ragnar is otherwise a good trading partner. In fact when I met him on turn 184 he was the only civ willing to sign OB, and after giving him Monotheism he was Pleased and willing to trade Compass for Guilds. That did get us a -2 from England for worst enemies, not surprising but I saw England as a modest military threat and a just-OK trade partner. Louis would also trade Engineering for Compass + World Map + 10. I put our other settler on the galley to Scandinavia, but on turn 187 Ragnar beat us there and founded Oslo on "our" tile. On turn 187 I also met Augustus and had the option of Feudalism for Compass as a first contact trade. Rome is disliked by Vikings and France, but I took it since it was a first contact trade and everyone else had Feudalism. Augustus went to Pleased and signed OB. It got us a -4 worst enemies from France, worse than I expected. Right now on 187 we have a settler and a crossbow on the galley in Denmark. If we want another city in Europe, it looks like our options are: * Copenhagen * 1E of the marble with the intention of flipping pigs and iron from Rome. We must be looking at culture from Mediolanum/Milan, 4S of that tile. * SW of the lake in Sweden, getting one pigs semi-free and fighting Ragnar for the Danish one. * SE of the lake, getting 1-2 fish + pigs. I propose to grab SE of the lake on turn 189 and then build a settler and try to grab 1E of the marble. SE of the lake bothers me a bit since it's not on a hill and thus less defensible than Oslo. We will also incur instability from ahistorical tiles, and annoy Ragnar for occupying his historical tiles. But land is land, and for us water is also land. I'll continue tonight. Thoughts?