Moved scout to the PH NE of gold, and wound up settling there after I saw the sheep. Second city was a tough decision. I'm noticing I struggle with barbs on Imm so I thought locking up barb safety by settling for horses was the best play. Unfortunately this cost me the pig/bronze spot in the northeast to Ragnar. Third site went just south of the flood plains, to claim the southern copper.
Went for 3 city HA's (Baba Yaga is a horse girl). Attacked turn 81 with 13 ponies. Wound up getting currency off the capture gold. Was able to power a good deal of chops with math, too.
Ragnar was dead by 400BC. I was making +7g per turn at 0.
Now the recovery. Nidaros would eventually become my capital, shortly after finishing CS sometime in the mid-AD's. I needed monarchy and CS ASAP. I didn't win Code of laws, but I did manage to trade for it with something (currency maybe). Popped a GS in one of Ragnar's old towns and bulbed philo. Here's a 1AD shot and save:
I whipped three settlers in unhappy cities, one to claim the norther wheat in the corner (lower priority) and one to claim a riverside cow side on the border of Ragnar and Musa's land (high priority), and one to claim a gems/ riverside between me and monty's land (high priority. I couldn't exactly afford these cities, but I knew I would soon once the cottages kicked in. Seriously, most of the cities I captured made decent to good cottage spots, and these kinda did their thing. Had a scare with Montezuma at a rather tender time. I had just captures the barb cities and begun developing the south, when I see a smallish stack come toward me:
But he marched right on through and declared on Mansa. Idiot. Was unsure whether to go cuirs or rifles, but Monty made that decision for me. He took the southeast gem site with a dastardly attack about twenty turns before I was ready, and it did slow me down a bit. Fortunately, I held the second one, whipped longbows and war elephants, and teched to cuirs in time to defeat him. I could have stalemated there forever until rifle/cannon, but I had so many war elephants and decent gold income so I thought cuirs would be faster, at least as far as this backwards phallus was concerned. Here's a shot of his second suiciding stack, just after I reclaimed Pheonician with elephants against his HA/longbow in 0% defense. That jerk almost cost me lib (to Boudica of all people, tsk tsk Mansa and Willem). Cities on the south were whipping longbows while Moscow calmly build Taj. Didn't have any GS to help with Education, which was probably a mistake. I didn't want to pick a religion and wound up staying in free religion almost the whole time. I also didn't want to go caste when there was a war on.
"The strong, iron-hearted man-slaying [Montezuma], who would not live long..." Weird that there is still culture after he's dead, but it cleared up quickly enough I suppose.
After that, I had to decide what to do. Mansa Musa helped me by peace-vassaling to me. He was going to be next! But now that took care of my eastern flank and I didn't have to worry about Willem at all. I attacked Boudica, who I didn't realize had a defensive pact with Pacal, who had Assembly line but not rifling (typical). He sent all of a chariot and a horse archer to aid his ally, and boudica, who was at grenadiers and researching rifling (probably) vassaled to me just in time. I had enough cuirs to take her anyway, but that just helped put a tidy end to things and get me started on the next tech level. I thought artillery and infantry would be enough to take Pacal or Willem, whoever I wanted to go for.