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Lib -> Steel UGH!


Dec 27, 2009
I ran into a recent snag trying to mix it up in a diety game. I was well ahead of the Lib curve (had education when nobody had paper yet). My goal was to take Steel as my free tech and obliterate the continent with cannons. The problem: Cyrus caught up about 3 turns too early and snagged it, 640 AD.

In retrospect, I screwed up the bulbing. I was at 100% research for at least 40 turns, I even threw Cyrus as many anarchy turns as possible. My last bulb was supposed to finish off Lib and seal the deal, but I realize now that in taking machinery (which is EARLY in the line through Steel), Printing Press takes bulb priority for scientists. I.e. you have to do ALL of your bulbing before grabbing machinery.

The real issue trying to get Steel from Lib is that you're most likely on your own for getting Gunpowder and Chemistry (and remember, you can't even get close to either until you are completely done bulbing the liberalism line).

So there are two ways around this:
1 - You can throw a bulb from a GE into machinery or engineering. Gunpowder and Chemistry won't be possible to bulb unless you can avoid Guilds -- one of the harder techs to trade for pre-Lib.
2 - You can GS bulb through Printing Press. It will only take one bulb and a couple turns, and if you're CE it will probably help you if you do it early enough. *BUT* if you do go this route, your Lib bulb HAS to be pre-chemistry, or else your bulb becomes Replaceable Parts. Also make sure you don't get Compass or you're stuck bulbing through astronomy! So your tech path looks something like this:

Paper->(bulb)education->(trade for machinery)->(bulb)Printing Press->(trade for Eng)->Gunpowder>(bulb)Liberalism to 1 turn > Chemistry > Finish Lib > Free Cannons!:crazyeye::cry:

Granted, it will probably take a few turns into machinery/eng to procure a trade, but this isn't bad way to go about it. I think I'm going to reload and see how it works. If anybody else knows of an easier route to Lib-> Steel let me know.
steel is a tier3 lib tech (tier1 = everything you get on the usual route, like nationalism, tier2= everything that requires ONE pre-requisite like chemistry or rep-parts, tier4 = everything beyond steel/rifling/sci-methods, e.g. assembly line oO or even steam power where you have to follow two paths to actually get it) so there are games where you simply don't get it. finish lib 1 turn to completion and stay at 0% until you can tech through chemistry @ 100%, if that won't work just take chemistry... or anything else, just make sure you get the free beakers from lib. now i realize i haven't said a single word regarding the topic...

erm, well, i find it to be a little hard to bulb with a GE, mainly because you can't rely on one usually and won't save him up from the A.D.s for this purpose. better save two GS for double-bulbing ecucation, gives you time to tech through chemistry. i'd rather do this than burning a GE for bulbing.
erm, well, i find it to be a little hard to bulb with a GE, mainly because you can't rely on one usually and won't save him up from the A.D.s for this purpose. better save two GS for double-bulbing ecucation, gives you time to tech through chemistry. i'd rather do this than burning a GE for bulbing.

Yeah, that's what I have in the order up there. As far as being a Tier 2 lib tech... I'm at whim of the AI and RNG but in this game I was doing quite well. I just wanted to try it because I know there are plenty of games I've seen where good Diety players pull it off.

About the bulbs-
Assuming a decent GPP rate it puts you around 10-14 turns between ppl when your GP farm is online... so it usually matches up with those bulbs. As Phi or an amazing GP farm, you can slip a 5th or 6th in there, but I think you're better off with either a GM or burning one on a golden age at that point (this is why I throw in the PP bulb possibility). Bulbing paper is about a 400 beaker waste (comparatively), same with double bulbing Liberalism.

Rushing to (Liberalism -1) and doing all of the research from Machinery->Chemistry doesn't seem very efficient since Machinery and Engineering are like Prerequisites to AI 101, they all seem to get them (and before the Paper->Lib path at that). I feel wrong teching what will be a guaranteed trade in a matter of turns (for the same reason I avoid mathematics, construction, iron working etc.).

Agreed on the GE, rare at that time butpresumably it would only come from Pyramids... which you were already lucky to get. You wouldn't have to wait too long to burn it on Machinery/Engineering. Mids go pretty low into the BCs even in Diety. I don't think it's out of the question (compared to the relative hammer-worth imperative of similar wonders).
Granted you use only GS's for bulbing you can do it that way:
Selfresearch Paper --> single (or double) bulb Education -->
Do not trade for Machinery so you can single bulb Liberalism -->
research Liberalism to 1 turn of completion -->
trade for Machinery any time after Liberalism bulbed -->
Self research Gunpowder -->
bulb finish Printing Press -->
Trade for Engineering -->
bulb finish chemistry -->

Overall 3-5 GS required.

If you trade for Machinery early - all the same, except you will not be able bulb liberalism.
Btw if you trade for Astronomy in the process, GS will bulb Scientific Method instead of Chemistry.

This post explains what are bulbing preferences for each Great person:


Also BUG mod shows you what Great Person will bulb next.

P.S. If you got spare GE you can bulb Steel with him after finishing Chemistry and take Mil Science from lib.
Both cannons and grenadiers miles before AI :ar15:
Agreed. Forget about GE and just bulb Lib before you trade for machinery. It looks like you are either generating too few (and too late) GS or at least you are using one or two or them to bulb philo and maybe build an academy. If this is the case, consider not using any GS before education if you are going for lib/steel.

On the other hand, generating a lot of them could be excellent. Bulb Philo (gets you in pacifism to help getting the next GS's), double bulb Education, bulb lib and bulb Chemistry. In doing this you would have a huge chance getting to Steel in time. Also, when this is possible, you will want to go binary research while teching the remaining pre reqs, like gunpowder, in order to maximize your trade possibilities.
Yep, chemistry bulb is the key I missed.. got a successful Diety steel from lib this morning, thanks guys!
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