Shadow Game: Immortal w/ Sitting Bull


Jul 22, 2020
Hi again, fanatics! Happy Easter, and all the best to you and yours :)

I'm back to learn, this time on Immortal. As a long time Prince/Monarch player, this is way out of my comfort zone, as is playing a Philosophical leader - but, great! Let's have fun!

My plans/goals for this run:
  • go all the way - otherwise, what's the point?
  • no save-scumming - maybe to try a recommended strategy, but never for RNG
  • 2 posts per week, a few turns each - will be slow, but that's what life allows at the moment
  • end each post with my plans and thought processes - will be embarrassing, revealing my ignorance, but is the best way to correct my assumptions and understanding
  • prefer long-term strategies - my last shadow game ended early with cats and elephants; I need exposure to the middle- and end-game
So, here we go! This is a steam game, beta branch, no mods (BUG/BULL in custom assets, along with Blue Marble).

As from the title, RNG gives us:
Spoiler Sitting Bull :

Map settings are:
Spoiler settings :

and, the start:
Spoiler where to settle? :

Initial thoughts:
  • Fresh from the most recent 'Trait Rankings' post, I now know that PHI is generally considered top tier, and PRO is usually ranked low if not last
  • I have practically never played a PHI leader, never run a specialist economy, so, yay! Learning!
  • settler starting on a plains hill, with cows and crabs in the first ring, dry corn in the second - seems a SIP no brainer?
  • scouting-wise - S-SW first instinct, but does SW-SW reveals more map?
  • first few techs - SB starts with Fishing + Agriculture. AH for the cows. All these forests means Mining->BW sooner rather than later; before Pottery, I'm thinking, since I need to chop those river tiles first anyways.
Thoughts? Corrections? If you assume I know nothing, you won't be far off :) thanks in advance for your input!


  • MrBungler BC-4000_SB_immortal.CivBeyondSwordSave
    28.9 KB · Views: 32
SIP seems like the safe bet. Maybe move Warrior 1 NE since you'd be able to see further down the coast? If nothing there justifies a second city site, then double back to your original hill suggestion.
Can SIP without waiting imo, workboat or worker discussion will be interesting if there are no hills to mine after corn.
Early AH isn't very likely with BW being so important.

Specialist economy is an ancient term and not really used anymore ;)
Welcome back!

SIP and worker first.

Don’t select a tech for five turns for discount if you meet an AI that already knows the tech you choose. It’ll depend on what is revealed when you settle but I’d be thinking mining > BW over AH if you only have 1 AH resource. Your worker would likely run out of things to do after building a pasture otherwise.

I don’t think the first warrior move is particularly significant here because it’s implausible that it would change where you settle. I’d probably move the warrior 1SE and then south and circle around the capital. East looks a bit dry - although I guess that desert looking tile could be a floodplain - and I’d be most interested in the river heading south from your capital.

Philosophical is awesome - best trait in my eyes - but there’s no such thing as a specialist economy. Any article on the forum advocating such a thing should can be safely ignored!
Definitely SIP, juicy plains hill, river, coastal seafood, high chance for a strategic resource 1N.

There is no such thing as a "specialist economy", you should be using specialists at some point in all your games. With PHI you can generate the great people more quickly and thus get a few extras out, maybe some additional bulbing, golden ages or merchant missions.

Things to consider with this start: Sharing off corn to another city when the crab is improved. Great lighthouse potential if 3 or more coastal cities. (Don't do it until 3rd settler (city number 3) is done on immortal as its not crucial here).

Bronze working first to chop settler and fishing boat should grant a fast start. I would say animal husbandry before pottery because you have coastal commerce and more production is gonna help you expand faster. But you can decide that later with more info.
Hi danjuno, Fippy, MrTrotsky, Henrick! Heavy hitters chiming in early doors!

No specialist economy, got it :lol:

Spoiler capital :

Bear with me while I slowly think this through
  • wait five turns, hope for tech discount
  • Mining > BW
  • assuming working 2:food:1:hammers: tile
  • worker possible in 12 turns, workboat in 10
So, worker or workboat?

worker case:
  • mining techs in 8 turns, BW 12 turns later i.e. turn 20
  • worker pops, start workboat
  • worker farms corn on T19? Finishes mining hill 2W of captital T27? Or, starts chopping T20 when BW techs, instead of mining
  • workboat finishes T24, improves crab -> 3 improved tiles when mine complete, but still pop 2 for some turns, i think
  • if mine first, then worker starts chopping ~T28?
workboat case:
  • workboat improves crab just in time for city growth
  • start worker at 2 pop on turn 11?
  • worker still needs 12 turns? 6-4 = 2:food: + the 1:hammers:?
  • if so, then worker finishes T23 -> finishes farm T28? then starts chopping? or finishes mine T35?
  • additional commerce from crab speeds up BW, guessing T18
  • So, worker could start chopping first, instead of farm, to crank out a settler
Assuming above, I'm leaning towards worker first? What say the experts?
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If wb-route, definitely work 1:food:2:hammers:-tile to get the wb out in 8T, then immediately worker. Intuitively wb first is better as it's a :commerce:-starved start.
Crabs is only 4 food. So 10 turn worker after workboat. Getting corn soon after will be nice. 18 turns. Plus 6 for corn.

Vs 12 turn worker. 6 turns for corn with travel. 5f resource. Problem is BW could be 28 turns? So what does worker do for 10 turns?

So maybe crabs first does work here.
195*0.8/11=15 I assume 20% discount for mining. 11 commerce with crabs.
Otherwise 18 turns. without. So maybe 28 turns was too much.

Half asleep here been a long day.
Hi sampsa, Gumbolt, good to see you both!

workboat first working 1:food:2:hammers: case:
  • wb improves crabs T9, starts worker, city working 4:food:2:commerce:
  • worker completes T19, start warrior, grow to size 2, then settler
  • farm complete T25
  • Assuming Gumbolt math above, BW completes T23
  • In any case, would need BW after T25, so some wiggle room
This is looking solid. Will leave it for today, let others chime in if they want - if nothing changes my mind, will go this route.
Might work out 14 turns if you get O/F from mining. Either way once farm is done you can chop straight away. Chop the grassland river forest first.

Cancel tech for first 5 turns too in case you meet an AI with mining.
Hi sampsa, Gumbolt, good to see you both!

workboat first working 1:food:2:hammers: case:
  • wb improves crabs T9, starts worker, city working 4:food:2:commerce:
  • worker completes T19, start warrior, grow to size 2, then settler
  • farm complete T25
  • Assuming Gumbolt math above, BW completes T23
  • In any case, would need BW after T25, so some wiggle room
This is looking solid. Will leave it for today, let others chime in if they want - if nothing changes my mind, will go this route.
Hey! :high5:

Why T9? Wb is done T8.
Spoiler T22 :

  • Izzy scout from the W
  • Willy from S
  • Mansa borders visible S
  • Math works, who knew?: BW in 14 turns, wb T8, worker T18, farm finished in 2 turns
  1. Next techs: AH or Wheel->Pottery?
  2. Settler immeditatly or warriors + growth?
  3. Where are my next cities?
My gut answers: 1.Wheel->Pottery, 2.Settler, 1W of Wheat

Am I lacking imagination, or is the map looking city-poor? Where would you put 2nd, 3rd, further cities?




  • MrBungler BC-3120_SB_immortal_T22.CivBeyondSwordSave
    50.2 KB · Views: 13
I see 3 more obvious cities (wheat, fish/deer, crabs). Beyond that the land does look a bit sparse for now.

I’d suggest 3S of the capital for city 2. Vs the spot you suggested it’s instantly connected (+2C) and has more green tiles to work.

If you go for settler first you’ll want to bring round your warrior to secure the next site. But i think with dog soldiers incoming no harm with an early settler. Indeed suggest wheel next, at least. Worker should chop forest 2S of capital next.
Hey Nick!

3S from capital makes a lot of sense, as for the other spots, guess I've got a habit of discounting a little food, looking rather for a lot.

You and Gumbolt agree on chopping grassland river first; what's the efficiency there? Is it the extra food when worked? The less worker-turns to travel, or the beginning of an efficient work-route? Need to understand the why, so I can apply it later.

Henrik mentioned possibly AH first, since I'm lacking hammers. I see the argument, but I'm thinking the cows would usually be the third-worked tile, meaning 3-pop in city - which will sometimes happen in the early game, but often I'll be whipping that 3rd pop away. Also, 3rd pop could be working a cottage anyway. Anyone want to check my thinking on this?
I’d be leaning towards AH. Commerce is not too bad with the crab, riverside wheat and auto-connected second city. City three is also likely to be coastal and therefore auto-connected and working seafood with commerce. With production coming from chopping - if you don’t go AH - I don’t see cottages being built soon either.

The cow is a nice tile and even nicer when you consider it can be shared with the second city.

There’s also a decent chance that the tile 1N of the capital is horses given that it was suspiciously the only uncovered non-resource tile in the BFC and you know it can’t be copper. A reasonable gamble in my eyes.

I’d also look at timings and think about hunting first. You’ll want it for the fur and the deer and it gives you a discount on AH. It probably won’t work that well but worth thinking about.

Interested to hear what others think.
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