Nobles' Club 341: Washington of America

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Last curve-ball is a little bit too hard to swallow...
I do the double city gift to shaka and we have a short period of pure Juda love on the continent.
Then I try to leverage the AP by whipping monasteries and temples everywhere. (a very small bonus, debatable at least)
Then Shaka switches to buddism and takes the AP resident seat.
Can't win this cheese :cool:

Thanks @AcaMetis for this interesting map :)

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Is it really so bad as that? I’ve certainly reassessed my views on the difficulty of the map now I know how much land Shaka has but he’s not the sort of AI that reaches a victory condition and I feel I’ve got a chance with the other continent although, admittedly, the diplo isn’t great. Willem will go free religion soon and Shaka is bound to attack somebody.

I always play chose religions so I see an Islamic bloc fairly often.
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I don't handle deity difficulty very well. Don't take my words too seriously.

What would I have done... when Shaka declared war on Asoka, and Asoka bribed Mansa in, I would have declared on Shaka. You can attack Shaka, but Shaka cannot attack you back, because Asoka and Mansa are in his way. I think?
T127 Deity

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Initial phase similar to the other reports here except I maybe pursued a more aggressive research to Construction. I waited to work the gold before stopping growth in Washington, settled the same rice-cow-ivory and rice-copper spots as others, built libraries in all 3 cities (they're not cheap, but the cheap granaries mean you save yourself a whip for the library) instead of a Myst detour. Put 3 scientists in ivory city since there were not good tiles to work.

I eventually got a 4th city out in the SW corner just before Construction, but that was only to get the chops there. T80 Construction which is what I usually aim for (not bad for all self-tech). Got an academy in Washington around the same time which cut two turns from HBR. Declared on Mansa on T93 with 7 phants and 13 cats.

(The Mansa and Asoka cities were similar to @soundjata's map, with 7 for Asoka and 6 for Mansa, but contrary to that map, they were both in Buddhism which I adopted as well. So I went to attack Mansa due to better geography + knowing Asoka cannot be bribed at pleased. Also unlike @soundjata's game the AP is on another continent, thankfully.)

Got 4 cities and made peace with Mansa on T105, got his money and Metal Casting. After a few turns attacked Asoka (who was already at war with Shaka), ended on T127 (screenshot below) with Shaka taking 2 cities, while I took 4 and Asoka was left with 1. I'm 1 turn away from Engineering and on part with Shaka's cities so it seems relatively safe right now: elephants + trebuchets will be useful until he gets one of those 12:strength: units, which shouldn't be anytime soon.

Surprisingly no one vassaled to anyone here. Also even if Asoka had longbows Capitulation did not appear in the trade menu... I thought a Civ with Feudalism could capitulate even if the attacking Civ does not have it.



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I think backstabbing one of the other 2 AIs is still better than the 3 vs. 1, because you are boxed in with mediocre land, and want Asoka's or Mansa's cities to keep growing rather than weakening Shaka (in the meantime, the two other AIs would be teching away and their defensive position would be too strong).
Additional info...

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Shaka's stack on India's last city:
11 elephants, 11 HAs, 12 cats, 8 swords, 6 impi, 3 chariots.

Ideal situation would be to surprise him there with trebs after he takes it, but not sure he will park his stack that long.


Usually after an AI has finished warring, the stack stays idle in the last city taken.

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I’ve been playing here and there over the last week so a bit sketchy on the details but here’s where I am and here’s (how I think) I got there.

Where I am
I think this is probably won but it's going to be a grind.

25 cities (some marginal) and just started a 12 turn golden age for factory building. The plan is artillery and infantry on the other continent.

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How I go there
I used the rest of the golden age to tech feudalism so I could trade engineering for guilds with my good friend Shaka. This allowed me to trade guilds for civil service with Mansa and paper with Ashoka and get to pretty much tech parity (once you ignore the junk the AI techs) while maintaining a monopoly on astro. I switched to bureau at the end of the golden age but otherwise stayed in my civics because I needed to finish off a great person for the next MoM golden age. I also got going on galleons and settlers because there was a lot of land and iron to be had.

I triggered the next golden age teched towards steel and got some nice trades like gunpowder and a couple of 1k techs for nationalism with one city Mansa. I then used nationalism to get printing press from two city Ashoka. The AI tech costs are absurd on deity. I eventually gave up my astro monopoly to get chemistry from WvO and eductation from Ragnar. I gave Shaka chemistry for replaceable parts and then I gave him steel and astronomy for lots of money plus rifling. I could have given him education instead of astronomy because it would have helped him less but I wanted to get him warring ASAP.

My plan had been rifles and cannons on Willem or Ragnar but I decided I didn’t have the production to build and transport an army sufficient to crush either of them given:
- motherland happiness lowered my effective happy cap;
- I had 12 cities but a chunk of those were culture crushed;
- I didn’t have a good globe city (ie lots of food and at least some production to build it) to compensate for lack of cities to draft from;
- Shaka had ineffectually attacked Ragnar so he was in unit production mode and was losing anything given Shaka's stack got wiped out in a couple of turns;
- Willem was teching fast and even if he did Willem things and avoided rifling, he was always going to get the military techs he skipped in trade from a friendly Ragnar or Sal.

Therefore, I decided to grab the two islands and go for communism and then attack somebody when I had more production. The military tech path I'd embarked on was not wasted though as I got some good trades. I was able to trade rifling for the communism prerequesites, plus economics, and got it first. As well as the econcomy salvaging civic, I got most of physics and constitution for communism. I teched steam power and corporation and Shaka gave me most of assembly line for physics.

This is Shaka's stack. It hasn't moved since declaring war on Ragnar, triggering Saladin to declare war on him under a defensive pact. He just had a stack of knights and rifles wiped out. The AIs' naval invasions in this game have been every bit as awful as I've seen it.

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This seems like a good position for a number of different victory conditions.

With that much land and state property you could probably get space, or even diplo win before that if one of the other AIs (Willem...) builds the UN and Shaka is still friendly to you.

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I’m going domination/ conquest but I agree that it’s diplo that means I feel the game is won. It’s almost inevitable that Willem will build the UN and it’ll be me against him with Shaka’s votes. This means I can always bail if the warring goes badly or the Islamic bloc sign defensive pacts and I can face fighting them all at the same time. I’ve never gone space in a situation like this. The lack of experience means that I worry I’d get beaten due to the deity tech discounts. I can’t really tell how safe it would be in this situation.
Played to turn 155.

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So that stack eliminated India the next turn (made sure to trade Engi for CS with Asoka before), then did not wait 1T before moving to attack Mansa. I took Mansa's city in the middle of my land before moving my army next to Mansa's last city. Attacked Shaka just after he took it on T145, good material trade (taking something like 80 units for 10 and getting a bunch of Trebs to CR3), and then moved to take one of India's cities from him.

But then the demographics screen:

T145: 497k soliders to Shaka's 1093k
T150: 480k to 819k :cool:
T155: 476k to 1069k :run:

I need to heal so peace treaty while giving him back one of 2 cities taken. I thought at equal tech and # of cities you could beat a deity AI, but I'm not sure even good tactics can make up for that production gap (while building enough wealth to avoid bankruptcy) and the fact he can keep teching in the meantime.

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You often can take an equivalently sized AI but this looked a very difficult situation in which to attempt it. I was very keen to avoid it for a number of reasons:
  • it’s effectively semi-iso which means that once war is declared, you have no resource trades, no foreign trade routes, no help and no other targets for him if you get bogged down and would rather peace out. It also means you need to meet the other continent to try to control them a bit;
  • it’s also semi-iso with Shaka who will build units in every city when at war - unlike (say) Pericles who’ll still try to build the Parthenon or similar while losing cities - and in most cities even if you ceasefire for a few turns. He’ll also beeline military techs so, even if you get to engineering before him, he’ll be there soon despite a junk economy;
  • also, once you’ve attacked him you’re committed to a fight to the death because he’ll hate you and he’s not a man to live with an uneasy peace. In my current game I took 7 of Joao's 16 cities with elephants before he got to engineering but the -3 for declaring is offest by shared civics and he's cautious so I feel reasonably safe. With Shaka:
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  • it’s not a good era to fight in. You’re fighting with one movers so it’s going to be a grind and, assuming the city settles are more or less the same as in mine, Ulundi is a long way. Also, as soon as he gets engineering and castles, the grind will slow down even more. Once he gets knights and starts flanking your trebs it’ll become a crawl. Engineering, and also guilds, are such popular techs with the AI that even if you were fighting Darius, you probably wouldn’t have a military tech edge for long.

It’s hard to say without seeing a save but you may still be able to grind him down. Is ceasefire cheese possible or does he think he’s winning? You’re never going to be able to repair the diplo so there’s no problem with taking lots of ceasefires and redeclaring. And, if you can take him, you’ll have so much land a victory condition is likely possible.
1848 domination

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Built factories in the golden age. Then dispatched Ragnar and Willem with artillery and infantry. I didn’t want to capitulate them because that would have dropped me to pleased at best with Shaka so I wiped them both out which was time consuming.

By this point both Saladin and Shaka were getting some nasty toys. I had made it to tanks while fighting Willem and, with so many cities, it was easy enough to get mobile artillery, mobile SAM and modern armour for a late game showdown with Shaka. I went for him because Sal wouldn’t have given me enough land for domination, he was closer to launching the spaceship and Mecca was coastal whereas Ulundi was right in the middle of Shaka’s empire so I was pretty confident I could stop Saladin’s spaceship mid flight but less so with Shaka.

Charismatic plus Pentagon (thank you Willem) made for a lot of CR3 mobile artillery fun. It was as you'd expect given my productino dwarfed Shaka's and his vassals) but here are a few particularly enjoyable moments.

I got to use Navy SEALS and showcase their favourite matchup against grenadiers.

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I also got some tank vs longbow action which is a rarity on deity.

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Clearing this culture made me very happy. Even if Kumbi Saleh had already got its first ring wheat back in 1806, which I'd felt worthy of a screenshot.

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I also saw India wiped out by a Shaka culture flip which was something I never thought I’d write! I think once the war started he moved the units he was suppressing revolt with to attack me and Agra flipped.

This was a really fun map. I completely misread the level of Shaka spice added by @AcaMetis I'd expected a one chili rating but it was more like two to three. The first time I've used modern armour on deity was my soothing mango lassi

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I thought I would try my hand.

City flipping after conquest
Raging barbarians
Aggressive AI
No tech trading
No vassals

An additional restriction I play with is no slavery or gold begging.

I thought there might be a seafood resource west so I went that way, but saw the river and resources northwest and settled there.


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Turn 50. I probably could have gone without the Great Wall, but I'm always a sucker for it as I play with raging barbarians.
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