On Island, being outteched. What to do?


Oct 14, 2006
In my current Prince Level game, playing as Boudica of the Celts, i found myself on a island with the ottomans. After a short early war, I wiped out their empire and captured there cities.

However, all the other civs are located on a massive landmass and appear to be easily outteching me. My economy is in a awful shape, my research rate is around 250 beakers a turn, much lower than I am used to at this point in the game (Though I usually play with financial civs).

I was orginally planning to win by domiation, but this now looks impossible, as not only would a overseas war be hard, but also any captured cities would have to be made into colonies to prevent my economy collaping.

However, a space race victory would be difficult due to my low number of cities (I have 8, Cyrus, the score leader, has 15 cities), and it is too late to go for a culture victory.

So, thoughts? My save is attached.


  • WTBCzero AD-1545.CivBeyondSwordSave
    358.4 KB · Views: 43
Unfortunately I don't have the game on this computer to look at the save but it sounds like a lot of my games in which I realize it's too late and I stop. You can knock down a stronger rival but only within a certain window; eventually it reaches a point where they simply outpace you and you miss the window of opportunity. Did you get caravels out at the soonest possible moment to get involved in tech trading? Did you build cottages and financial infrastructure to make up for no trade and to buoy your research while in isolation? You need to get into the tech trading as soon as possible but until that point, you will have to supply your own beakers so it's important to develop a supply of commerce quickly.
In my experience, the other continent usually has mixed levels of tech. If you can find SOMEBODY on the other continent to trade even 1 tech with, you can sometimes bootstrap yourself up. Trade that one tech for a couple of simpler techs, then research another tech that nation doesn't have, eventually the two of you can bootstrap yourself enough to catch the next country, then you have 2 trading partners.

In this instance, beelining unpopular techs is the right way to go, even if they are not techs you particularly need.
I've checked your save and you aren't so bad at all. You're clearly aiming to a religious economy ( Spiral + Sankore ( I would not do that if I where in your shoes ( your nearest neighbour is a notorius religious fighter ), but now that you directed your research towards that goal.... )) and If you play your cards well, you may have a pretty good chance on space ( too many people alive for UN diplo, maybe not too late for a corp fueled Cultural win, domination looks hard ( but doable ) as well as conquest ( conquest may even be easier than Dom: if you vassal everyone alive ( colonies included) you win by conquest too ), AP diplo is completely out ). If you try space you should focus on research ( that means Education and Astro in the moment ) while getting a credible military ( big stack in the middle of the island, but completely outdated ( remainings of the last war, I assume ) ). I would suggest also to buddy with cyrus by now ( he's not you biggest threat, Ragnar is ). If you need more ideas, check the links of this post ( I suggest the Lonely Hearts 3: Elizabeth : one of the players ( pigswill ) managed to get a domination win out of a far worse situation than yours )

Some minor quibbles:
-your workers are working alone... that is a bad policy ( as soon as you have the improvements done, the better ...)
-Tolosa is stagnant at size 10 with :) cap at 12, because of not having farms. If you farmed 2 of the 3 remaining Grassland tiles in the BFC, you could work more cottages......
-You have some unclaimed sites in the southern shore. Land is power, and more cities means more everything....

P.S You don't have enough money to face good/bad events....
Haven't seen the save, but I have a standard decision tree when I find I'm truly isolated.

1. Split up the other island with religious strife. If you're on an island, and you aren't set up for a cultural victory (i.e. there is a fast path to claim three of the religions for yourself), then don't hog the religions, so there is a higher chance that the other continent will waste resources in "religious wars".
2. Your cities have to be up and growing as large as possible, as soon as possible. Which leads to...
3. Your Happy cap needs to go up as fast as possible, and far as your food will allow. Monarchy/Hereditary Rule (i.e. "your happy problems are solved through soldiers") is a very early beeline when I'm alone. There are posts on how to count how much food you need to get enough pop to work the most tiles possible... and your happy cap needs to be able to grow to that level.

From the post above, it looks like you are past that point, though. Get to your Happy cap and fill out your landmass with cities seems to be the short list right now if I read what r_rolo1 says correctly.
Okay, thanks guys. So is Ragnar my biggest threat in terms of a invasion? I don't think Cyrus is a particularly aggressive civ.
^^I think so. He is right next to you, doesn't like heatens and is a a agressive leader. He has a advantage in terms of nval strikes as well, and, being financial, has a very good teching potencial. His power is much bigger than yours as well and he doesn't even need astro to tackle you ( in spite of being researching it ). I would bet a GG than he will try to attack you unless he's attacked before by someone else
The only way to avoid getting creamed is to expand qiuickly .. 8 cities is not enough to compete any way - just build a lot of troops with galleons and attack someone.
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