Nobles' Club 327: Gilgamesh of Sumeria


May 21, 2018
The Nobles' Club series started out as a way for Noble-level (and below) players to improve their game. Most of the original participants now play at much higher levels, so this has become a way for advanced players to help others learn to play better. You can play your own game at any level and with any mod, but it would be nice to comment on the games of other players and give them advice.

Our next leader is Gilgamesh of Sumeria, whom we last played in NC 269. The Summerians start with Agriculture and The Wheel.
  • Traits: Gilgamesh is Creative and Protective. Creative gives every city +2:culture: for free, and gives a +100%:hammers: bonus to Libraries, Theatres, and Colosseums. Protective gives all Archery and Gunpowder units a free City Garrison I (+20% City Defence) and Drill I (+1 First Strike chance) promotion, as well as a +100%:hammers: bonus to Walls and Castles.
  • The UB: The Ziggurat, a Courthouse which requires Priesthood instead of Code of Laws, and is 25% cheaper to build (90:hammers: instead of 120:hammers: on Normal speed). Courthouses are usually regarded as a low priority build even under good circumstances, but Ziggurats can make a case for keeping a lid on a larger empire's city maintenance expenses.
  • The UU: The Vulture, an Axeman with 6:hammers: instead of 5:hammers:, but only +25% vs. Melee units rather than +50%. This actually makes them potentially weaker than regular axes against melee units, so be careful not to throw these guys at other axes recklessly.
And the start:

Spoiler map details :
Inland Sea, Temperate climate, Medium sealevel, +1 AI to balance the field.
Spoiler edits :
A few strategic resource swaps to give AIs nearby strategic resource.
The WB-saves are attached (zipped; they are bigger than standard saves). To play, simply download and unzip it into your BTS/Saves/WorldBuilder folder. Start the game, and load your favorite MOD (if you use one, if not, check out the BUG MOD), select "Play Scenario", and look for "NC Gilgamesh 327 Noble" (or Monarch, etc., for higher levels). You can play with your favorite MOD at the Level and Speed of your choice. From Quick-Warlord to Marathon-Deity, all are welcome! We stuck with the name "Nobles Club" because it has a cool ring to it.
Spoiler what's up with specific difficulties :
In each scenario file you can select your level of difficulty, but that doesn't give the AI the right bonus techs by itself. Use the Noble save for all levels at and below Prince. The Monarch save gives all the AI Archery. Emperor adds Hunting; Immortal adds Agriculture; Deity adds The Wheel.
Spoiler what is demigod :
The difference between Immortal and Deity difficulty is akin to the difference between Noble and Immortal. Players eventually reached a point where Immortal was too easy, but Deity was still out of reach, and so neither difficulty provided a fun experience. "Demigod" is an otherwise standard Deity game where the AIs are only given their Immortal level starting units, in an attempt to bridge the gap.
Spoiler for players on Monarch or above :
You should add archery as a tech for the barbarians (if you don't, the AI will capture their cities very early). This cannot be done in the WB save file and must be done in Worldbuilder as follows:
Spoiler how to add techs to the barbarians :

  1. Zoom in all the way so you can't see the rest of the map.
  2. Use the CTRL-W key (or the menu) to enter the worldbuilder. Avoid looking at the mini-map in the lower right corner.
  3. By default you're in "player" mode (look in the box in the upper right; the icon that looks like a person should be selected). You'll get a drop down menu labeled with your leader's name. Barbarians are at the bottom, so cover the rest of the list with your hand if you don't want to see who else is on the map. Select "Barbarians".
  4. Select the "Technologies" tab in the box on the left.
  5. Find Archery (the arrow head icon; 8th row, 3rd column from the right) and click it.
  6. Exit the worldbuilder.
  7. Zoom out again after the map fades, and start playing.
If you're playing at higher level than Monarch, consider also giving them Hunting at Emperor, Agriculture at Immortal, and The Wheel at Deity.
Spoiler huts and events :
Note: The standard saves have no huts and have events turned off. If you want tribal villages and random events, choose the saves with "Huts" in their names. If you want huts but no events, select the Huts saves and use Custom Scenario to turn on the option that suppresses events.


  • NC 327
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I am liking the look of this start commerce wise, but the singular plains cow for visible food is not ideal. I'm assuming move to settle the PH 1NW regardless, but I'm wondering where to send the Warrior to scout for any last minute food. The Settler can be moved 1W -> 1N to check the plains tile 2W1S without delaying getting on the PH T0, and the Warrior is out of position to scout the south. So send him up the grassland hill to the east, or send him rushing over to the west in the hopes of finding something? He can move before the settler moves T1, so we do get two Warrior moves before we need to settle (ideally).

Of course realistically I'm assuming that people will just settle the plains hill and be happy with it, plains cow isn't ideal food but it's not like there's a shortage of grassland tiles to make it work. Or production, thanks to the plains cow ;). In any event, what do the experts think :)?
Moving the warrior 1E onto the grass hill should spot 6-7 tiles currently in the fog of war, most of them unforested grassland (some riverside). Decent chance of finding something useful in all that.

Settling 1NW, 1NE, or 2N all look like places I might end up considering depending on what the warrior saw.
I've always had terrible luck playing as Gilgamesh. Either no metal or something insane like that. :crazyeye:

Will try and give this one a go.
Spoiler :
I suspect that someone with good patience and micromanagement can win this map by domination stupid early.
Spoiler :

A bit unsure how to proceed here (T22 on Emperor). Took AH then Mining to improve cow and gems. Worker then 2 warriors when waiting for capital to grow to size 2.


BW seems to be the safest choice for next tech. I'm thinking of starting a worker which should be done about the same time as BW researches (9 turns accounting for speedup when gems are improved). At the same time one warrior would scout west/southwest to see city spots or find Ragnar. Depending on the copper situation and how close he is a vulture rush would still be an option? There are good city sites to the north (rivercow + horse, fish + floodplains) but they seem a bit far, with the improductive jungle belt between them and my capital. Dry corn seems the best near site depending what's in the fog west.

Longer term plan: If I decide to not rush, I would probably tech Pottery and Writing next for the economy (maybe Masonry between them since the stone would help production in capital?). However, it also looks like a good start for Pyramids, and although the capital is food poor, other cities might be able to use the specialists. In that case, how would you approach building them? Masonry immediately after BW, but then do I save all 5 forests for pyramids or use 1 or 2 to get a settler out earlier?

Spoiler :
I would go settler, though I guess worker intending to chop all is also possible. Dry corn is the safest best now, but especially on emperor I'd just go for more - cow+horse+fp. Use both warriors to secure, scouting south is too risky in that case. Or just go for the safe spot 1st, pretty sure you can get the cow+horse as 3rd. And copper can change things, this being NC I'm sure there is claimable copper nearby.

Strategywise I'm sure with such a strong start you can do pretty much what you please. Vultures, HAs, cats+vultures, cats+WEs or just chill with stone. If Mids in cap I'd probably save all the forest for it and consider getting maths before chops.
I mostly played below Emperor before so it was a good challenge to manage happiness and also the more competitive AIs. I'll try more of these NC games at Emperor to Immortal.


Spoiler :

Thank you! I followed your suggestion for the Pyramids and since I already had Masonry and Math researched then, followed up with Construction for a Cata+Vult rush to take out most of Darius and Ragnar's cities.

I eventually used the GE to start a Golden Age, but knowing I was probably winning Music, I could have waited to use the GA for that since the GE can start a 2nd golden age alone via Taj Mahal. Only got 2 GS after that which I used to bulb Edu and Lib.

Helped by the really good commerce situation for this start, I was first to Lib around 1000 AD, but also by then Joao had peace-vassaled both weaker AIs on the north side (Darius and HC) and is already at 30% of the population. (It's interesting that he would be the runaway AI with all these Fin leaders on the map, and Gandhi too.) I am pleased to friendly with all 3 of them by sharing a religion, so the fastest way to win by now is probably taking Cuirs (then Cavalry) to conquer the south side (Ragnar, then Gandhi who everyone hates and Mao) for domination.

EDIT: I was able to conquer/vassal those 3 with Cuirs but fell just short of the Diplomatic Victory limit by the time I build UN. So I had to do one more war in modern time (1800s) to vassal Ottomans and get 60% of the vote.
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Spoiler T15 :

Eh... admittedly I didn't have time to play BTS for many weeks, so when I finally got some time to play this week end, I decided to try this NC, as both the leader and the start looked interesting but not too overpowered :yup:.
But you know, when people haven't played this game for a long time, they often forget about some basic details :blush:.PH for 12 turns worker seemed to be nice, but when I sent my first worker to improve the cow, my fingers moved wrongly the mouse. As a result, instead of moving my worker on the cow tile, I moved the worker on the tile 1S of the cow, in a forest outside my borders 😵. To make things worse, a lion just walked nearby:

Next turn, "while defending, your worker was destroyed by a barbarian lion!" :cry:

Rage quit on T15 :wallbash:

Maybe I'll start the second attempt of this map some time later, after recovering from this tragic misclick 😭.
Started the second attempt of this map :eekdance:
Spoiler Emperor NH NE :

Settings as below, no tribal village:

The land nearby had many riverside tiles, which was a good news for Giggle, as Pottery was just one step away from Sumerian starting techs. I met Capac and Darius' scouts quite early but I couldn't see their border for a long time. Ragnar, Gandhi and Mao's scouts came from the west, but I didn't know which one of them was my neighbour. That meant all my neighbours seemed a little far. There were many commerce rich spots to expand plus several :c5happy:-resources (spice, dye, wine, gold), so I chose the peaceful expansion before the renaissance era.

Capital stone made me think about the mids, but Ragnar built mids before I got masonry :hmm:. Maybe that was why I couldn't see Ragnar's border for a long time, as building mids slowed down his expansion for a while. Missing mids was a regret but no the end of the world, as Ragnar, Capac, and Joao all liked HR.
After building Mids, Ragnar ignored Myst, beelined HBR + construction and quickly started plotting :hmm:. The situation became very suspicious when some Viking horse archers were wandering around my western borders :hmm:. On the same time, a few swords and Axes of Ragnar protected a Viking worker building roads towards me (for sending his troops faster?) :hmm:. The diplo situation showed Ragnar was pleased towards Mao, Mehmed, and me; he was annoyed towards Gandhi and Darius, but I was his land target and had the lowest soldier count. The situation looked indeed dangerous, as I only had one vulture and some warriors. To buy some time, I put one turn :science: into Hunting and begged the rest from Ragnar (impossible to beg :gold: as it was still early, none of us had currency). Maybe this beg looked a little paranoid, but I had some bad experience in NC 304, getting attacked by Ragnar in 675BC . Workers chopped archers, vultures, and spears for defence. Promoted some archers on drill 2 to reduce the upcoming collateral damage from Ragnar's catapults. After 10 turns peace treaty ended, Ragnar's units kept wandering around my borders but just didn't declare :confused:. A few turns later, he moved his units away and DoW Gandhi :whew:. Admittedly I didn't know Ragnar and Gandhi shared borders: I met Ragnar and Mao's scout on the same turn so I thought Mao was Ragnar's neighbour.

The religious situation was chaotic. Capac founded Hinduism and spread to Darius and me; Gandhi founded Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity, but Buddhism randomly spread to Medmed; Judaism spread to Joao and Ragnar; Christianity randomly spread to Mao. When I met Joao's scout, he was already at war with Mehmed. Joao was annoyed towards me due to different religions + trading with his worst enemy Mehmed. Joao's attitude returned to cautious after HR, so I could finally open border with Joao. Even I couldn't get resources trade from Joao, I needed the trade routes from his cities. Got marble trade from Mao and had some nice failgold.

In the medieval era, AIs' tech situation was indeed weird. Mehmed was the first to Music :dubious:, and Gandhi was the first to Feudalism :eek:. Mehmed kept losing cities to Joao while Ragnar's Elepults suffered heavy losses under Gandhi's longbows :crazyeye:. Gandhi got dogpiled by Mao. After a long war, Gandhi capitulated to Ragnar in 1100AD:

Mehmed capitulated to Joao in 1350AD - they had been busy killing each other for thousands of years, by the way.

After Gandhi's capitulation, Mao's real attitude to Ragnar dropped to annoyed, as he was pleased towards Ragnar but furious towards Gandhi. Mao started plotting a few turns after making peace with Gandhi. But this time I knew Mao's target was unlikely to be me, because he had no open borders with Ragnar (Mao needed Cautious to open borders), no OB with Darius, so Mao's army couldn't reach me through land.
(Also, it was a little bizarre to see Mao was still under Despotism in 1370AD :hmm:. He had CS and Feudalism long time ago.)

Mao's target turned out to be Ragnar and Gandhi. On the same turn, Ragnar bribed Joao into a war against Mao :crazyeye:.

They made peace after a dozen of turns.

Peaceful expanded to 10+ cities. Attack with Cuirs. Darius and Capac capitulated quickly, as both of them were push-overs. After Capac's capitulation, I was thinking about the next target. Ragnar had 10+ cities, got Grenadiers and he would soon finish RP. OTOH, Joao had 10+ cities as well but he was the most backward AI: he had no Gunpowder while Ragnar got Grens; Joao had no banking, no nationalism when Capac was teching corporation. In such a situation, attacking Joao was quite tempting :think:. So, after healing my wounded units in the captured Incan cities, I moved my stack towards the north west to attack Joao. Before DoW Joao, I tried to beg 1 :gold: from Ragnar but he refused :sad:, probably because I had begged twice from him before.

The result of that failed beg: 2 turns after I DoW Joao, Ragnar dogpiled me 😱: (I don't think Joao or Mehmed bribed Ragnar to attack me, as their techs were one era behind Ragnar and had no tech or :gold: for bribing)

This dogpile dragged me into a two-fronts war against 4 AIs :hammer2:. We have enough on our hands right now :ar15:

As shown in the mini map, my main army was in Joao's land, namely on the other side of the world. Even with the movement bonus from Engineering, my cavs couldn't arrive in time to save my cities near Ragnar's border. Adopted slavery and nationhood. All the cities whipped and drafted PRO Rifles like crazy. Ragnar's Grens suffered heavy losses under PRO rifles on hill cities. After losing his stack in my land, Ragnar was willing to talk. Immediately made peace with Ragnar so that I could concentrate on the war against Joao. Joao and Mehmed capitulated soon.

Built rifles, cannons, and cavs to attack Ragnar and his vassal Gandhi. Ragnar had rifling and steel as well. He also had a giant AGG army. The war was tough. Lost my great medic during this war, because I put my medic into a stack of 30+ units and the whole stack was whipped out by Ragnar's army, my medic included :o. Ragnar and Gandhi capitulated after losing most of their land and units. Sent inf. + arty for the final war against Mao. Conquest on T286

Lost 40+ cuirs and 20+ cavs, because I threw my cuirs onto Ragnar's AGG rifles and threw my cavs onto Mao's PRO infantries :blush:. Some people would suggest I should have built tanks instead of cavs after Industrialism. The truth is, eh...after Industrialism I could build Marines but couldn't build tanks, so I thought I had no Oil. But during the war against Mao, when I saw Mao's well on an oil tile, I realized I couldn't build tanks not because my land had no Oil, but because I had no Combustion :o. I haven't played BTS for several months, so I completely forgot that Oil needed Combustion. SMethods only reveals Oil, but to make use of the oil we need to research Combustion. Tank as a unit needs Industrialism and Rifling, it doesn't need Combustion technology. But Oil, the resource necessary to build tanks, needs Combustion. When I realized that and hastily researched Combustion, it was too late to have any significant effect on this game :o .

Got 8 GGenerals with a leader who was not IMP - there were a lot of wars for sure :sniper:.

Killed many grens, rifles, and cavs of Ragnar the unit-spammer. Capac and Darius tech very fast but they tend to ignore military techs, so they only had medieval units when I attacked them. In this game Joao had large land but teched super slow, perhaps the long war with Mehmed exhausted Joao's :commerce:. Mao had infantry but I didn't meet too much resistance, probably because Mao was too busy with Apollo programme. Besides, my vassals cleaned up most of Mao's army.

Thanks for the map :)
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