Korea PhotoJournal


Mar 27, 2023
Blessings Be Upon You!

Korea was recently reworked and I've enjoyed playing the new Korea as much as I have enjoyed playing the old Korea. I reached out to @KaoticKanine about potentially doing a duo thing with photojournals, since we were both at the same difficulty. It turns out they wanted to play some Korea, whom I had been playing myself, so it worked out great! I hope one of us is able to win.

As always, I invite you to join me, and now us, as we attempt to win a game of Korea! Any and all advice is welcome, because I desperately need it.

Spoiler Settings :

I am playing on a Standard-sized Communitas map on Standard speed. My game has just the main mod - no modmods. Here are the other settings:


Additionally, I play without ancient ruins and without events.

Spoiler T0 :

T0 Settle.png

I begin with a coastal start and citrus as my luxury, which I'm particularly happy about. It is nice to play a science civ and get a science luxury. Unfortunately, it is going to take forever to get the monopoly going. Once it does get going though, it will be a great boost to science. Speaking of science, something I'm going to try for is Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. I've read some posts discussing its strengths and it will encourage me to focus on WLTKD, which is something I often completely ignore. Additionally, it will get me ticking on GM generation. Even though the bonus is small to GM generation, it will help over time.

The name of the game is "science and great people", so expect a lot of decisions to revolve around that main goal.

Spoiler T36 :

T36 1 Settler.png

The world has been somewhat explored.A few units have been built in-between other buildings to kill some barb camps Vatican City was targeting. I want the early alliance with Vatican City for the early faith generation. Shrine + Vatican City alliance + Sovereignty produces very nice early faith generation. It pays off because I get the first pantheon, but that is for later. As of right now, I have gone Tradition and produced my first settler. I have the Maya far to the East and Arabia closer to the south where the desert begins. France is also somewhere, being French. I shudder at the thought.

There are a number of spots I think are good contenders for cities. A is of highest priority in my opinion, D is of lowest priority.
  • The A blob gets me a lot more citrus (enough for a two-city monopoly, I think) as well as being a great defensive location with many rivers, thick jungle, marshes, and some hills.
  • The B spot gets me more citrus as well as another coastal city. It is also almost completely surround by rivers, with more dense jungle to protect it.
  • The C spot(s) are up in the air, but both are in good defensive spots (marshes, rivers, jungles) with access to citrus.
  • The D spot is mostly for defense alone and is prioritized last because it doesn't get me anything besides a buffer between me and Arabia.
Something I've learned in trial by fire is the importance of defense and proximity to the capital when playing Tradition. The A blob is 4 tiles at the closest and 6 tiles at the furthest. The A blob has great defensive capabilities from almost every direction. The A blob gets me the most bang for my buck, so I head that way.

Spoiler T38 :

T38 Pantheon.png

Pantheon time! The three primary choices have the blue arrows next to them and each option has great potential. Here are my thoughts:
  • God-King: I'll be honest and say that I'm a sucker for this pantheon. It is like a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup - warm and cozy, nothing spectacular, but always enjoyable. God-King is my fall-back every Tradition game if I have no clear other choice. If I feel I am really far behind I will sometimes go God of All Creation. But +2 Faith and Production early is nothing to sneer at, especially when that makes the difference of a Wonder completing a turn earlier. Couple it with the eventual enormity of Tradition cities and you have a late-game monster that turns your already late-game monster capital into a late-game monster-monster capital.
  • Goddess of Beauty: I really like this pantheon for Korea and any other GP-centric civ. The more Great Works and GPTI I can produce, the stronger the Seowon boost becomes. Additionally, it gives faith for World Wonders. I plan to play for MoH and Hanging Gardens early, so there is use there. It also gives faith for Great Works, which complements the already mentioned Seowon boost.
  • Goddess of Springtime: There are 13 plantation spots within reasonable distance - 7 citrus, 5 banana, and 1 silk. That's 13 extra gold, food, and faith, plus a nice science and faith boost from herbalists which I will be building. The only problem I have with this pantheon in this particular game is the nature of my plantation spots. Every single one of them takes over 10 turns to improve, making this an incredibly slow pantheon. That being said, Vatican City is helping in the early faith generation department, so it isn't too bad.
Ultimately, I went with Goddess of Beauty for the Great Works and GPTIs. I feel like Goddess of Beauty synergizes best with what Korea wants to do. I would have chosen Goddess of Wisdom, but that only gives one type of GP points whereas Goddess of Beauty gives two types of GP points and both help Tradition more than Goddess of Wisdom's scientist.

Spoiler T42 :

T42 Busan.png

Busan is founded on the hill tile behind the river, closest to the capital, for the great defensive capabilities. Also, Arabia forward settled me somewhat with Medina, but I wasn't prioritizing that area anyways, so I don't really care. It gets them a gem, but no citrus, so whatever. The next settler is being produced and will head west to the coast for more citrus. At some point I purchase a worker to get the plantations going as well.

Spoiler T74 :

T72 GWA.png

I have my first Great Work of Art with a GE on the way. I have settled my third city in spot B despite some resistance from local barbarians. Busan has grown a lot and it is causing me some early happiness problems, but they should be able to work an early scientist slot at no real detriment to their growth. A Golden Age has come and gone and this early in the game it is a nice science bonus, but nothing to write home about. It helps shave a few turns off of some early techs, for which I'm grateful. MoH has been built and it belongs to me, so now I must pay attention to WLTKD. I may go completely into WLTKD shenanigans once religion comes, but we will see. Overall, I'm feeling pretty good about my pacing with my cities. The happiness is a bit of a bother, but it should come under control soon.

Spoiler T84 :

T84 Map.png

Here's the empire at T84 and the first pause. My 4th settler is out and heading towards the C spot furthest away. This will allow for a city in-between all four already established cities, which I find has benefits. It makes roads better and allows for the capital's GPTIs to be worked by a smaller city to both grow fast and free up the capital to work GP slots. I have already generated a GE.

I'm slated for a religion at T109, which in my experience in the last few patches puts me in the top three overall in the religious race. I'll need to work on getting Vatican City back into an alliance. After the 4th city, besides the "middle" city, I'll probably put another buffer city east of Seoul near the mountains. My other cities are currently getting those +1 science buildings built. Busan may be building me a settler soon to fill that mountain gap.

T84 Tech.png

This is the current tech advancement. I went:
  1. Pottery hoping for fish and to ensure early settlers if necessary.
  2. Calendar for plantations and herbalists.
  3. Construction for MoH.
  4. Bronze Working for spearmen and the production bonus from chopping forests and jungle.
  5. Fishing to get around to improving the pearls.
The plan is as follows:
  • Produce workers to get roads and plantations for the monopoly bonus
  • Build Hanging Gardens for both faith generation and massive food boost to allow me to work more GP (it also synergizes nice w/WLTKD)
  • Produce the last two cities
  • ???
  • Win
However, if you've read any of my other photojournals, a lot goes wrong in that ??? space. We will see!
We continue ever onward!

Spoiler T94 :

T94 HG.png

Hanging Gardens has been acquired! This should free up quite a few citizens to work specialist slots earlier than otherwise. And I have an early garden too. The GP engine can begin to roar, and the Seowon boost will be even greater. The extra yields from Goddess of Beauty are appreciated as well.

Spoiler T100 :

T100 Tech.png

I am being super greedy bee-lining for University of Sangkore, but I have no aggressive neighbors, so I feel safe to do it. If I can snag it, it'll be another nice boost overall.

France is currently the punching bag of the continent, with both Arabia and the Maya declaring war on him. He's on the other side of the continent, so all that warfare is far from me. All I have to do is denounce him every now and again and it'll keep my neighbors quite happy. I'm definitely walking a fine line though, because my military is non-existent for majority of the game. If France wasn't getting his lunch money stolen, I'd be in a far worse position.

Spoiler T105 :

T105 Religion.png

I was third to a religion behind Arabia and the Maya. In Korea's case, the choices are incredibly obvious. However, I was unable to get Divine Inheritance, so I went with Ceremonial Burial instead. I would have preferred the boost to GAs, given Korea's UA, but Ceremonial Burial will be a great help with all the GP I plan on producing. While I didn't get the strongest pick for a Founder, I did get the close second, so I'm happy with it. As for Follower, there really is only one Follower worth taking on Korea and that's Mastery. I could see an argument made for the religious building with the GA points (Gurdwaras?), but Mastery was available so I took it. All in all, I'm quite happy with my religion as it stands.

There is one slight problem with the religious stance of the game though. My two closest neighbors both founded before me, so they have a head-start. Now that I'm in the running, both can out-faith me quite easily as well. The only civ on my continent not to found is France, who happens to be on the other side of the continent. France also loses a number of cities, which then convert to the conqueror's religion. Save for city-states (and there are only two near me), I will have very few cities to spread to that aren't my own. Reforming in this game is going to be difficult, though I do give it my best attempt.

Spoiler T135 :

T135 Tech.png

Unfortunately, I did not get University of Sangkore. However, I did get the Parthenon, which is nice.

Even though I didn't get University of Sangkore, I do get Seowons, and I build one in my capital as fast as possible. The other cities will end up with their own soon enough, but I rush it in the capital. It provides a very nice bump to my science, as well as giving me another GS slot to work. I am aiming for Physics to get the Hwacha. Will I build any? No. I will not. I tricked you. The real reason I'm aiming for Physics is to boost my academies.

Spoiler T166 :


Here's my "neck of the jungle" on T166. Arabia has spread along the bottom for...reasons? I'm not really sure why they did that since they got nothing out of it besides rice and deer. The cities are coming along, albeit slowly. The land I'm in has very little production, so most of the buildings are taking 10-15 turns to make. It has lots of food, but that's about it.

Jeonju is producing the settler that will become Pyongyang and Daegu will produce a pioneer that becomes Kaesong. Pyongyang is going east towards the mountains as a stop-gap city to my capital. Kaesong is going in the middle of Busan, Jeonju, and Daegu as the connecting city. Both are way later than they should be, but I have a tendency to spam only buildings in cities. It is something I need to work on.

And yes, I only have 6 military units and 13 unit supply by T166. If someone declares war on me, I will collapse like a house of cards. But we are living on the edge.

Spoiler T183 :

T183 Enhance.png

I attempted one last missionary push to see if I could break-through to the population needed to reform, but no luck. I was, at best, 4% away from reforming. I waited instead for my next Great Prophet to enhance. I chose Mosques for the science and the culture boost during GAs. I chose Symbolism because it is the most brain-dead enhancer belief in the game. I don't even have to do anything - I just get free yields! And the free yields synergize amazingly well with Korea! Easy peasy, squeeze the lemon.

Overall, minus the inability to reform, I'm very happy with my religion. I have a mixture of Golden Age and Great People.

Spoiler T195-197 :

T195 GA.png

Golden Ages are slappin' kinda hard now.

T197 Tech.png

The goal now is Industrial. I want the improved science everything. I may even be able to pick up a chicken pizza along the way. Unfortunately, I won't be getting the Leaning Tower of Pisa any time soon, but maybe the AI will sleep on it and I'll be able to steal it away later. Thankfully France is still getting beat up, and I've had nothing but good relations with Arabia, so I will continue to taunt death with my six military units. It may be the death of me and this game.


  • T120 GS.png
    T120 GS.png
    3.7 MB · Views: 42
Due to major life circumstances, I will not be able to complete this photojournal. I will have to leave it here. Maybe in the future I will be able to post another one!
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