Nobles' Club 341: Washington of America


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 Washington of America, whom we last played in NC 303; we last played the Americans under Lincoln in NC 317. The Americans start with Agriculture and Fishing.
  • Traits: Washington is Charismatic and Expansive. Charismatic gives every city, Monuments and Broadcast Towers +1:), and decreases the exp required for units to level by 25%. Expansive adds +2:health: to all cities, gives a +100%:hammers: bonus to Granaries and Harbors, and a +25%:hammers: bonus to Workers (note that the worker bonus doesn't apply to excess :food: directly converted to :hammers:).
  • The UB: The Mall, a Supermarket with +20% :gold: and +1 :) with Hit Musicals, Hit Singles and Hit Movies. Generally regarded as a useless UB that comes far too late to make any sort of difference, it nevertheless manages to be a welcome addition to a rush-buy strategy for it's increased gold output, or a standard Caste/State Property hammer economy to help offset Emancipation anger.
  • The UU: The Navy SEAL, a Marine with 1-2 First Strikes and a free March promotion, allowing the unit to heal while moving. Usually dismissed as irrelevant since few games ever reach the era in which these guys show up, Navy SEALS nevertheless set a new standard for terrors from the sea that Ragnar's Berserkers only manage to reach due to taking City Raider promotions into the gunpowder era.
And the start:

Spoiler map details :
Fractal, Temperate climate, Medium sealevel.
Spoiler edits :
The usual strategic resource swaps and un-ruining of otherwise useless seafood.
Spoiler isolated? :
Not isolated.
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 341 Washington 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 341
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Well...this start could be better. Game recommends moving to the plains hill, and maybe it's right about that since that is a 2:hammers: city centre and access to a plains forest tile for another 2:hammers: to get the EXP bonus on the first worker, but that is an awful lot of water for a capitol you spend two turns moving to. I'd actually be tempted to move...probably 1N of the Warrior's starting position? Somewhere more inland, while keeping the coast open for any potential fishing villages (or, failing that, helper cities to take some of the food off the capitol when convenient). The lack of hammer tiles to get the EXP bonus on the first worker is decidedly not great, I'll admit, but I do prefer moving inland if possible. And an Oasis tile is a nice consolation prize, I suppose.

Anyway, that's my take on it. What do the experts think :)?
I wouldn't SIP at least. 2N seems like a pretty safe choice, though it hurts to move away from the mighty fph. I wouldn't want to lose the river wheat, it's a pretty great tile. Maybe move 1N 1NE first and then decide whether to go 1E or 1W from there? Warrior NE NE in this case.
2N to keep the Wheat is a good point, I was looking at the coast and wondering how to place the capitol without risking any lost seafood. Though looking closer...2N would only risk lost seafood on a single tile, as far as I can see? Would suck to lose it if that's an ocean Fish, but getting a better capitol T1 is almost certainly more valuable than a second or third (possibly even later, depending) city getting an ocean Fish - that it would need a border pop to reach, mind - while it's guaranteed to have access to wet Wheat at least.
Yes, ideally, I prefer to upgrade Wheat before Corn : both grow to size 2 in 6 turns but wheat gives extra hammers and gold albeit a little less (wasteful) food.

2N1E or 2N2E are both fine.
The latter would be mostly based on a gamble though : exchange a few bad tiles (including the desert with hut) for a few unknown tiles.
Apart from fog-gazing, only a hill resource 3N1E of wheat could help decide...
Lastly that gamble should cost 5:commerce: because working a floodplain instead of the oasis in the earliest turns :eek2:

Need to wait for @konata_LS exotic settling suggestion first though :cool:
Need to wait for @konata_LS exotic settling suggestion
Agree about Wheat before the corn 🤪, settling on the corn would keep the riverside wheat in the capital 🤪. Settling the capital on the plain cow would be nice as well 🤪; the second city can be founded on the wheat for the immediate +1:health: <-- just joking :joke:

2N or 2N1E of the settler looks good, but I don't dislike AcaMetis' suggestion about 1N of the warrior :think:. Judging from the start, the tech path looks a little tricky. Mining - BW would be the safest choice. AH for a single plain cow is risky: if one of these bare tiles has horse, that would be great; but if there is no horse in the capital, the worker would have to waste several turns while waiting for BW. :commerce: seems a little low, so delaying TW-Pot is probably not a good idea. Maybe the warrior will find something on T5 or T10 that changes the initial decisions..? :think:
Deity T68

Spoiler :

I took Sampsa’s advice and moved 2N1E with the settler to have options. I found gold to the east (albeit of the desert variety) so settled where I was.

Scouting revealed a wet rice, ivory and plains cow cluster and not too much else. It also revealed a very close Mansa and pretty close Ashoka. I eventually met a more distant Shaka too.

I went mining, BW, hunting, AH, TW, mysticism, pottery, writing.

Built a settler at size three working the farmed wheat, corn and oasis and adding a chop. The gold could wait and I really needed to get the ivory and food cluster or this could become a tough game. Two pop whipped a worker and then chopped a settler. It meant quite a few turns not working the gold but I figured commerce could come later. The next settler went a far way east to get the copper and the rice - once I’d built a monument to get it back from Ashoka, hence mysticism before pottery. Settler number four went west of Washington to share the corn and cow and to grab some more forests.

It’s been obvious since I met Mansa on turn 4 that I was going elephants. He will already trade maths so I think I will go HBR and give him that for maths. He shouldn’t go early HBR and I don’t care that much if he has horse archers even if they can flank catapults. Neither he nor Ashoka are big and they’re about as squishy as they come. It looks like quite a straightforward map, even if T0 didn’t look amazing. The sort of map which shows why rerolling to get a really good start is a fool’s errand.

Spoiler :

Deity T77
Spoiler :
Very similar game to @Mr_Trotsky. Albeit one more city and a slightly more aggressive New York.
I went for archery instead of AH just in case (un-necessary precaution eventually)
Self researched Math and Masonry. On the way to Construction.
Asoka is my target of choice. He's alone in his religion, lucked out on a very early great engineer last turn :crazyeye: and rushed pyramids.
Asoka is also plotting... I think it's on me. Lame!

Shaka cruising on 11 cities. He will become monstrous :scared:
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For the record,
Spoiler :

It looks like quite a straightforward map, even if T0 didn’t look amazing
Short term the map indeed is pretty straightforward, at least on these higher difficulties where sufficient peaceful expansion is not a viable option, but...
Shaka cruising on 11 cities. He will become monstrous :scared:
I made sure to add some spice :devil:.
I played the first 60 turns the other day and reached similar position and conclusions :
Spoiler :
I opted to settle 2N, so as to keep the cows vs the desert gold. There is something to be said about having the wheat and cows in the 2nd ring, as it gives more lattitude in the placement of helper cities, although this is not necessarily apparent from T0.

Tech path : Hunting (! hoping for Horses and a clean HBR rush before Construction), AH, Mining, BW
Worker improves corn, wheat, cows, get ready for city two
Washington : grow to 3, settler, worker

Tech is then The Wheel, Pottery, Writing.
New-York grows to 2 before starting on another worker
Washington grows to 4 to get the extra Warrior, then starts on a settler for city 3

Finally getting The Wheel, possibly as an unnecessary consequence of getting Hunting so early.
The late road network is just now getting started. I will have time to road into Mansa before starting on cottages, so there's that.
Boston works the Wheat tile so as to claim the gold asap.
Seeing how we're boxed in and there's only one location left to settle, Washington goes straight into another settler.
I don't think the location is very good : it's far away, it's dry rice, it's a drain on the economy. But I do believe it is compulsory to get the extra production.

Eventually, T60 Writing. Now up to 4 workers.
Philadelphia was mismanaged and I chopped its granary too soon. Seeing how I don't control the rice, I probably should have just mined a grassland hill. It would be easier to build the Library with a mine and a chop available. India claimed the rice just a couple of turns before I settled and I didn't realize I would need culture that early. Hopefully Buddhism spreads once we OB and all is forgiven.
Washington, otoh, will get its Library in a decent timeframe.
Late Pottery leads to some late cottages, although I am now properly set up to plant some more, especially 1E of Washington.

Diplo : Mali has been royally screwed, claiming 3 whole cities while building the Stonehenge and the Great Wall (only wonders so far). India is looking pretty strong with early metal.
Although there is no other conceivable route in this situation, an Elephant attack does not feel very satisfying. It's not clear to me that India can be killed while retaining a healthy economy and I would like to keep Mansa alive as a puppet state. It may be that Mansa has to be killed so that decent progress can be made without crashing the economy entirely.
It would be, in fact, ideal, if Shaka DoWed India and I could sandwich Asoka.
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Spoiler :
Asoka is gone. He was nice and popped a GE (rush AP) before going poof.
I ceased fire after taking Vijay because I thought I needed elephants.

However Mansa promptly peace vassaled to Shaka so the rest of the war went really easy. I whipped 6 elephants to disband them in the end, along with units of level 1 or 2.
I've got several CR3 axes. Hopefully I can use them somehow in the future.

Pillage gold aplenty : Asoka land was mostly cottages. 4 workers gained.
Switch to Rep as we got pyramids.
Get MC and Sailing in a peace treaty while India still alive.
Trade MC for Calendar with Shaka.
Create another city in the East to share the abundant food.

What do we do now that we are the Jewish AP leader, on this Afro-American continent? Zulu can plot anytime on me now... :hmm:
- Aim for Optics / Astro to try and mess around with the other continent(s)?
- Aim for Cuirassiers / Rifles?
- Other possibilities?
- Can I get friendly with the Zulus?

Addendum: We still don't have iron in our borders. Are you kidding me @AcaMetis ? :lol:

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Spoiler :

Addendum: We still don't have iron in our borders. Are you kidding me @AcaMetis ? :lol:
Huh. Usually Iron is so common it's hard to roll a map that doesn't have any nearby, so I've largely stopped paying attention to it (bar civs that have an Iron-based UU). That you've ended up taking out a civ and still lack Iron is downright impressive :crazyeye:.
@soundjata :
Spoiler :
Nice progress although the Research + Zulu situation is a little worrying.

"I ceased fire after taking Vijay because I thought I needed elephants."
Am I missing something, here ? Asoka is a very intimidating target but you've already taken 2 cities and have Mali warring on your side.
You also still have a very capable army with at least 10 catapults and that many melee units...
It would seem to me that the hardest part has been done and you are in a very good position to keep pushing at this point :clap:You're practically at the gates of Delhi...

Is this a : "Asoka just got Feud, I need to peace out" situation ?
There is real loss with cease fires, namely all your war success goes to waste and there is a lot less to be gained in the subsequent peace deal (Alphabet, I'm looking at you).
I always try to avoid them, if I can. (Not saying you could have, just that it's a pity :lol:)

If I'm reading the map correctly, the sequence goes :
- You cease fire ;
- Mansa now feels like he's losing and peace vassals to Shaka ;
- That triggers a Shaka DoW on Asoka ;
- Shaka proceeds to capture 3 Indian cities.

That is a very unfortunate sequence of events :mischief::lol:
I do hope you re-DoWed Asoka immediately after the Zulu DoW.

"Can I get friendly with the Zulus?"
It really depends on your Shared War modifier, doesn't it ? But I can see it is only a +1...
Shaka does not look like a trustworthy neighbour, not in the slightest :nono:

You could try to trade with Mansa so as to slow Shaka's advance (so don't research CoL, trade for it).

"- Aim for Optics / Astro to try and mess around with the other continent(s)?
- Aim for Cuirassiers / Rifles?"
That is a tough one. I'm really not sure how to approach it.
I think aiming for Optics is logical if we say : "I need a little bit of help, here." It's higher risk, higher reward. Unlocking trades is very big and would help getting further ahead of Shaka.
Could you go Optics and defend against a DoW ? Well, there is a very real possibility that you unlock a Civil Service trade with Mansa quite soon and have access to X-Bows + Macemen. That doesn't seem too bad. edit : okay, no iron. Still Elephants, Maces, L-Bows for defence.

On the other hand : could you conceivably rush to Rifling and be so far ahead of the AIs ?
This actually could be more irrealistic. Rifling is a loooong way away. Can you really get that long term tech advantage with the land you hold ? You do have the Mids and the AP but jumping to Optics is like the room next door in comparison and will get you very comfortable trades.

Just my 2 cents,
gl gl
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Spoiler :

I’ve played on to astro and I’ll write up when I’m allowed but I “solved” the Shaka problem by begging the moment he vassaled Mansa and then rushing two settlers up to the tundra. +3 for liberation and +2 more from trade relation got him to a solid friendly. Unfortunately the cities weren’t total junk but he’d have got them anyway and a small price to pay for safety. He’d crush me.
Spoiler :
yes the cease fire (and the subsequent research of HBR) was totally a bad decision.
I was scared of his war elephants when I had just taken his only source of ivory :lol:

Spoiler :
Nice solution indeed. I can try that :thumbsup:

Spoiler :

Teched HBR and traded it for alpha with Mansa and then traded alpha and HBR for IW and maths with Ashoka.

Shaka obviously hadn’t been feeling quite himself and only attacked Ashoka around T95. Predictably Ashoka bribed Mansa in and I backstabbed Mansa T99.

Spoiler :


Shaka took one Mansa city and I took four before taking peace for MC, mono and calendar plus gold.

Spoiler :


Meanwhile Ashoka and Shaka made peace with no cities changing hands. I closed borders with Shaka so he couldn’t get to the last Mansa city while I got ready for Ashoka. This backfired when Mansa peace vassaled to Ashoka and Ashoka declared war on Shaka. This was absolute suicide because Ashoka had 6 cities and Shaka was already at 12 with a Shaka has been in a fairly successful war for twenty turns stack. I would have DOWed Ashoka earlier if I'd thought this was a possibility but I couldn't believe that he would accept a war bribe given the power differential. Live and learn I suppose.

I took four Ashoka cities, including Delhi (Great Library) and Vijayanagara (Shwedagon, Mausoleum and Oracle) but Shaka took quadruple holy city Bombay (including very valuable buddhist shrine).

Spoiler :


Unfortunately Mansa broke free and Ashoka then vassaled. Mansa vassaled the next turn. I've got 12 cities but a lot are culturally crushed and, like soundjata, no iron for me - although I know where I can get some. When Mansa vassaled I begged from Shaka and then sent two settlers into the tundra as gift cities. He's at +15 friendly so I'm safe for a while. His stack was huge and at tech parity he would crush me.

I popped an MoM golden age and got two scientists for astro double bulb and a great engineer for another golden age. I think I should have tried to generate more GPP for later golden ages but I'm not used to such long golden ages. I've still got six turns to somewhat rectify that and I've just bulbed astro.

Post-astro spoiler

Spoiler :

The other contient isn't too scary so long as there are no peace vassals. I''m hopeful that there won't be because Mansa and Ashoka should be dragging down the average power. I think I need to mess with the other continent because - with Ashoka founding all but one religion the other continent is an Islamic lovefest so I need to break up that tech trading party. Also, given it's Shaka, I suspect he'll beeline military science and fighting a 16 city shaka is unappealing without a significant tech or land edge.

Spoiler :


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