- May 16, 2015
Spoiler Short version, this is my Poland guide: :
I set for myself the goal to win a space victory with Poland on Monarch difficulty, which is certainly more difficult than a mere UHV, and so I took a very different strategy.
Which is why, again, I started a game as the Vikings, hastily settled Riga and a few other cities in the Polish core, developed them a bit and defended against Barbarian Magyars, and
Spoiler then finally the Polish spawned. :
So, after securing the core, I next needed to drive away all contestants, namely the HREans and the Russians. Vikings were no issue, since I had started with them and had not built up their military, in favor of lots of workers and settlers. So, Vikings got conquered right after rebelling against them. With Russia, I shared some healthy wars. As a matter of first things first, I settled the Crimea, and razed Kiev in order to build another settlement 2E of Kiev, right at the Russian border to limit their influence. This enraged the Russians a lot, but I never attempted to further intrude into their sphere.
Instead I dealt with the HRE Germans: Vienna needed to be razed (to fully develop Krakow), and then we had a long period of peace (in order to wait out the razing penalties). Meanwhile, France settled Buda. After building up a lot, I got lucky in some alliance weirdness: Spain, France and Byzantines began a war against HRE, and I was asked to join in that endeavor. The HRE put up a valiant defense against France, but when my Polish knights swooped in, they could catch Frankfurt and raze it. Hamburg then capitulated to Spain, which again declare war on the rest of the alliance, meaning France and Byzantines. Hamburg collapsed (I razed it, too), and France was conquered by Spain while I narrowly managed a peace treaty with Spain.
Spoiler Spain became an outright superpower. :
(In the meantime, I frantically developed my huge core area, but was still almost caught by surprise how large my three medieval cities needed to be. Only managed Goal 1 with a margin of 1 turn, despite having six core cities with plenty of farmland. In retrospect, I should have focused on Great People more, as Polish Golden Ages are simply superb. I'm totally not into GP-golden ages, but Poland's are worth it. I only used golden ages (4 times!!) later after already having UHV fulfilled already.)
Spoiler The core cities in 1570, and example of the bountifulness of the Polish core. :
It took me some time, but with enough cities and libraries therein, the Tech goal for Civil Liberties was easy, as I became (ever so slowly) one of the Tech leaders.
Then I screwed around a bit with the discovery of Protestantism, around 1550. The goal states you need 3 christian cathedrals, but these have to be all of the same faith! Not two catholics and one protestant, nosiree. That means, a polish Empire of 12 cities needs to be carved; and I had my additional ambition of surviving the UHV. I had to replay a bit and settle some more locations to get enough cities: settling Finland and Copenhagen (with Stoczholm and Oszlo: --> 4 scandinavian cities), 2E-of-Kiev (Lodz in my game) and Crimea (--> 2 russian cities) and Solnograd (Saltburgh). This remained my basic empire for centuries afterwards: I had to deal with Russian incursions, and also battling a bit against Spain who crusaded when Italy, England and me switched to Protestantism. Italy was subjugated like France, and as my military was just threatening enough, Spain went after Byzantines and then Ottomans next.
Having the cathedrals prepared, and having won the UHV around 1600, I now needed to prepare for the Prussian arrival. Even with all German core cities fully removed from the game, the Prussians start right in my core. They wiped out Gdansk when they arrived, and they take Ryga immediately, and of course settled Berlin. Now, they are ALL arquebusiers and bombards, and they don't mess around. I got lucky at least that they started to launch their forces right at my bastion in Wroclaw. And I had prepared lots of Winged Hussars who still died like fruitflies. And then I razed Berlin and recaptured Ryga... and when my military forces were completely down and the Russians knocked on my door. A plague event also didn't really help.
So again I needed to rebuild, and it took a long time. But at least I had completely vanquished Prussia even before the year 1730. Which meant: Homestretch. Build up all cities, rebuild the military so that Spain and Russia remain quiet, and finally begin to posture for colonies (I founded some cities in South Africa, Australia and was the first to settle Java!). Byzantium collapsed (quick conquest by me) and Greece appeared (peace-vassal I later regretted). Then I built the Palace of Nations and congressed the hell out of the Spaniards: From them, I took Belgrad (Venice collapsed and I took it), then I congressed Milano, Rome (Rhym) and Neapolys, later even Marsilia and Bordeaux. By that late development, we're already talking about Tech Superiority, and a conquest of Russia turned into child's play.
I even scored a war alliance with the Spaniards, which then allowed them to take all the Tundra Russian cities while I gobbled up all the grassland and steppe cities.
Yeah, it was basically game over in my favor right then. I was trying a bit for the Protestant URV, but that last condition was hard. So I just wasted a looooot of time boosting up my Polish World Empire, and developing Space technology.
Spoiler Afrycka Kraj! :
Only in the last turn, the Mughals respawned which immediately started a world war with a pretty unlikely alliance system. I have no idea how this war was possible. Anyway, my Polish Astronauts barely escaped the violence, and I stopped the game there.
I also completed two of three Protestant URV conditions; was scheduled to win a Culture Victory 10 turns after the rocket start; and could have conquered some more lands for a Domination victory. Thanks to Eiffeltower, I got 5 Golden Ages, with another two GPs already lined up for a 6th. Not to mention the 3 Golden Ages triggered by UHV2, Lunar Colony and Deep Space Probe.
My cities got this large (53!) thanks to the Republic civic which is much better than Democracy at a late point in the game. Of course, I first needed to grow to size ~20+ first and arrive in the late Global Age before switching back to Republic.