We are soon going to need to consider strategies for keeping the pace of capturing cities with significant culture moving. The emphasis on the build orders is going to change a little from just tanks and the odd mech, now to more bombers, start building armies, and also a few cruise missiles. The missiles are one use wonders, but with range four, a handful can give a similar result to an artillery barrage, but without the need to wait for slow artillery to advance to within range. Of course if Gil reseaches radar artillery, that would be nice too! Rotterdam can build armies in seven turns. The cities with airports are switched to building bombers (most were building tanks). A couple of sites are now building cruise missiles. Dordrecht is founded. We have advanced a SOD one tile into Akshak's territory. It will take another turn to get this into position, and then another before the artillery can strike Akshak. Meanwhile, our base of ops has moved to Tulum. We have moved the bombers up, and the flak, plus we are using the barracks there to repair troops. IT - My suspicions about the AI's use of air power seem well founded. It appears that the AI uses bombers to attack other bombers on the ground, and armies. Three bombers attacked Tulum, and all three were shot down by our flak. One bomber attacked our SOD approaching Akshak, probably because a cavalry army is there - no flak available there this time, though. Gil now only has one bomber left. My paranoia over where Gil can attack seems justified. His units have pushed through where there used to be infrastructure (and now there are craters), in an attempt to get to my more poorly defended rear areas. In the process he has left a bunch of units out in the open to be slaughtered! 1735AD - Gil's units are a lot easier to kill when there are out in the open. The other bit of news is that he hasn't landed anything on Portugal this turn, although his raider fleet is still in range. Of the two visible Sumerian SODs, the one by Tulum has two mechs and two tanks. The one by Mansura has six mechs, two tanks. 12 artillery attack the first SOD, 17 the second. Our advancing SOD now has a further 32 artillery pieces, but none can be spared to slow the advance. Therefore, these units are not all redlined, but they are out in the open, unfortified! The smaller SOD is readily dispatched with bombers finishing the mechs, and tanks taking out the tanks. On the second SOD, we run out of bombers before killing a single mech, but they are all yellowlined. Then a tank is shown, so our elite dispatches it. A vet tank dies to a 2 hp mech. We decide to use a tank army. It costs 9hp to kill three yellowlined mechs! It takes three more tanks to finish the remaining defenders, no further losses. IT - Not much. The Zulus make peace, and it seems the Mayans have researched Amphibious War. Marines, big deal! The Sumerians sink one of two transports headed around my coast in case I need to reinforce Portugal. 1740AD - The Sumerian destroyer is bombarded twice by our destroyers and then sunk by a third. Our force is now within range of Akshak. I investigate the city. It is building culture at 33 per turn, has 4 mechs defending, and does have rubber. So we were not able to disconnect his supply after all. Gil is on 100485 culture now, less than 30000 to go. Must be around 600-700 cpt. 33 should help a bit! Seige of Akshak - 32 artillery are enought to redline two and yellowline two of the mechs. The bombers finish redlining the enemy, and also destroy the barracks, temple, marketplace anf finally one mech. That is the end result of 14 bomber runs! We use ordinary vet tanks in the attack, losing two. It turns out that Akshak has Smith's. Smith's is huge for us, so I am going to risk keeping the city. I will have to be careful with what I leave in there! We start manufacturing workes to help strip population as fast as possible. Income has just jumped over 200 gpt! The Sumerians have captured 5 cities up the remianing Mayan penninsular. These have zero cultural expansions, and are in range of our artillery move and fire strategy. We may as well take them. The Mayan penninsular - We can stem the floe of reinforcements to this area if we take Piedras Negras, so we concentrate our efforts there first. Seige of Piedras Negras - The city is defended by one mech and one TOW. We have 29 artillery able to strike. It only takes six to redline the defenders. Two tanks take the city with no losses. We keep it, since it is now size one, and has no Sumerian culture. Seige of Uaxactun - Another eight artillery are used to reline the two mechs in the city. A vet tank kills a redlined tank on the city outskirts, and then takes out the first mech earning a promotion! A second tank takes the city. It is size one with a single Mayan citizen! Tikal is now brought into range of our artillery. Again our investigation reveals two mechs defending this size 6 city. Seige of Tikal - It takes twelve artillery this time. Again two tanks, no losses and Tikal is liberated. This city now has five Mayan residents, no resistors. We will starve them out. anyway. We investigate Palenque. It has a mech, a TOW, a tank and the last Sumerian bomber. We still have unfired tank armies, so we decide to push on for one more. There are only three unfired artillery left! As we approach Palenque, we uncover a huge Sumerian SOD camped on a hill near the city. There are 10 mechs, a TOW and four tanks in this SOD. Decisions, decisions. Do we still attack? Do we use the remainder of the artillery? How are we going to defend our positions after this attack?