Fresh from our (presumptive) maiden win on emperor, let's try our luck at a game where we actually have pesky neighbours. It took a few rerolls before we find a non-isolated spawn. We are Pacal on a standard sized, standard speed, bigs n smalls map with random events and huts enabled. I remembered to save the start file this time, so you can follow along at home. The start location is decent but not amazing, especially for poor old Pacal who doesn't know how to farm or hunt: 1. Start by Lanstro posted Jul 29, 2020 at 11:36 PM We move the warrior west and reveal not much, so we are more or less forced to settle in position. There was the gambling option of settling on the pigs and hoping to reveal more food, but we're not feeling that lucky. Nothing exciting is revealed after settling. Unlike almost all my openings, we build a warrior first before the worker, because if we opened with worker we couldn't even finish hunting -> husbandry before the worker pops out. So instead we tech agriculture -> husbandry, because there are more likely to be farmable resources later, which we thought was worth the 3 extra turns. In hindsight, hunting may still have been better because the 3 turns may have been important, and also it'll be needed for holkans. Our warrior finds a hut that reveals a map, another hut and Mecca. We beat Saladin to the other hut, which gives us 47 gold. We are certainly not alone, having met three neighbours by turn 14: 2. First Neighbours by Lanstro posted Jul 29, 2020 at 11:36 PM Bismarck came from the north, Ramses from the south. The immediate land looks pretty good to me, especially after labouring through the featureless islands from the Montezuma game. By a few turns later it is clear that Bismarck is not particularly close (see later screenshots). So our first preference for initial expansion is the coastal clam/wheat/ivory town. Our worker improves the pig, cows and our three hills. We tech bronze working (no luck) -> fishing (to build a work boat for the expansion town, or if I lost out, to go find people) -> sailing (to trade with our first expansion) -> wheel We decided to go a tiny bit greedy with the capital growth and grew to 4 while building warriors, then settler. Building the settler at 3 would have made securing the expansion spot very high probability given Saladin is a pretty slow starter, but would have left our worker pretty inefficient. He could have built a second mine but it wouldn't have been used for a while. We only have one forest so we don't necessarily want to chop it down yet. If we were beaten to the spot, there were not horrible alternatives. Building the settler at 5 would have been greedy and not even necessarily that much better than at 4 - there was no need for too many warriors given Saladin's proximity and the sea to the west, so we went with the size 4 settler build. Saladin soon founded Buddhism. Surprisingly I don't see any expansion from him, and we found Lakamha, and begin building a monument so we can hook up the ivory asap. Hopefully the way of the Buddha spreads to us at some point so we can buddy up with him. Yes I love to skip having to build military if I can. The capital builds a work boat, warrior, then another settler. The work boat takes a slight detour while sailing around the cape to the new town, and finds that there are landmasses to the west. It is now 1800BC, and our second settler has just popped out, and it's time to decide where he's going to go. Here's a close up of our starting cities and improvements: 3. First Cities by Lanstro posted Jul 29, 2020 at 11:36 PM A wide shot of the northern half of the world as we know it. We're pretty sure Bismarck is just a few squares into the dark to the northwest, but don't want to risk losing that northern warrior / stop fogbusting: 4. North by Lanstro posted Jul 29, 2020 at 11:37 PM And a wide shot of the southern half of the world. You'll see my warrior has just found some Egyptian and Saladin borders - lucky Saladin decided to expand away from us: South by Lanstro posted Jul 30, 2020 at 12:15 AM You'll see we've met Mansa and Qin Shi Huang as well now. They both seemed to have come from east of Saladin. Mansa is Qin's worst enemy, so we hold off on signing open borders with him, and we sign borders with everyone else that we can. Let's be honest though, we probably will end up signing with Mansa, we probably will trade a lot of techs with him in future, and Qin probably will hate us. That's life. That's civ. Nobody has alphabet yet, and not a single wonder has been built yet. So we don't really know how well we're doing on the tech front, but the financial seafood tile and 47 hut gold has to mean not too badly. Our fogbusting is in good shape, and that warrior to the south that just found Ramses and Saladin's new towns can go ahead and explore their lands and hook us up with some sweet trade routes. So that leaves three main questions: where to place that settler slavery or not? what's our general game plan from here?