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Some advice please


Higgs boson
Jun 8, 2001
In my current game, I find myself in a dilemma and I'd appreciate some help deciding what to do. Here's the situation:

I'm playing Americans, Regent difficulty, on a Huge, small land mass, archipelago. My initial island turned out to hold 15 good cities, and there were a couple dinky islands nearby where I was able to establish 3 more, though only one of those will ever amount to anything. I was able to get the Great Lighthouse first (actually, I built ALL of the ancient wonders in my own cities:D), so I started doing some hardcore exploration. To make a long story short, I made contact with all 6 other civs remaining (the Iroquois had been destroyed by the Aztecs in about 2500 BC). Thanks to trading maps and lots of exploring Galleys, I've got a pretty complete picture of the world. That picture is pretty boring - aside from a few one-city islands, ALL the land mass in the world was somebody's initial island! And everybody is separated by sizable stretches of ocean, so I'm the only civ who can even contact anyone else. The problem is that I'm only about half the size of the SMALLEST AI civ, and a third the size of the Egyptians, my only vaguely nearby neighbor, after they conquered the Romans. I've got a lead of about 4-8 techs by almost the end of the ancient era.

So my problem is this - do I go to war with somebody (somebody meaning Egypt)? This would be very very difficult, given our relative sizes and the fact that even getting to the Egyptians takes 6-8 turns of sailing from my closest city. Getting to anybody else takes 20-30 turns on up so it really isn't feasible to do war upon them. Now, they would be unable to retaliate until Navigation/Magnetism, since there are a couple 3-square stretches of Ocean even between me and Egypt. I also have both Horses and Iron, as well as an army of Horsemen and Swordsmen, about 20 each. The Egyptians have no iron, but they do have horses - four sources, two of them in their interior heartland, and all scattered, so cutting off their supply doesn't seem to be feasible.

As I see it, my options are:
1. Switch to Monarchy, build a metric ***load of Galleys, sail over to Egypt, and do war upon them. This would slow my technological advance by a good deal since supporting enough Galleys to keep up the flow of reinforcements over that distance would be very expensive, but since they have no iron and couldn't counterattack it might work despite the size discrepancy. (Oh I wish I'd gone with Persians again - Immortals would be PERFECT for this situation)
2. Same as 1, but waiting for Chivalry - thereby giving them more time to develop, build more units, and catch up with me technologically. Given their size advantage, it's possible they'd hit Chivalry first even with my lead, but without Iron it wouldn't do them much good.
3. Switch to Republic and start praying I can somehow manage to increase my tech lead, have Saltpeter on my island, and try to wait for Cavalry and Galleons to start the inevitable wars.

I would go for your first option, espessialy because you already have an army standing (doing nothing). buid, or rush a s**t load of galley's an go kill them. Stop them as early as possible, thats what I would do! good luck :goodjob:
You definately should launch an invasion before gunpowder. That way, the toughest defender will be spearmen. If possible, find a peninsula on the Egyptian island, and land, at the same time, groups of swordsmen and horsemen next to each city on that peninsula. Hopefully, you will be able to take each city on the next turn. They will have only two defenders per city if they are below size 7, and 3 if 7+. After you have taken these cities, and put the fear of god into them, sue for peace. You might even get another city this way. You will then need to build cultural improvements in these cities to reduce the chance of them reverting, plus courthouses. If, after 20 turns, gunpowder still has not been discovered, and they still have no iron, declare war again, prepared to take two or three cities very quickly. After this, you should have put a big enough dent in their size advantage, that, with some efficient empire building, you should be able to keep up for the rest of the game. You will probably want to build the forbidden palace on your main continent, and then build the palace on the Egyptians continent to preven culture flips. Hopefully, you got a leader during your wars.
I concur. Invade before gunpowder before those 2.4. musketmen appear.

Yeah, but oh those culture flipping cities! That would be a worry.
You might consider razing and rebuilding with your own settler.
Well, as per the advice given, I launched a major assault against Egypt. It actually went quite well, since I correctly guessed their army was mainly War Chariots, and by dint of some deft tactical maneuvering I pulled off about a 10:1 kill ratio for several turns running. After that, Cleo was kind of crippled so I modified my original war plan and embarked upon a war of total extermination. It's going well, about half of Egypt is now razed (I customarily do this because the AI is not too smart at locating cities for maximal efficiency) and the rest is soon to follow. Then I'll do a crash colonization effort to get the entire place settled before any other AIs get Navigation or Magnetism, so they can't interfere. At that point I will be ~33% bigger than anyone else, control abundant supplies of Ivory, Gems, and Incense for trading, and while that major colonization effort will probably mean my cities will be on the small/undeveloped side, I expect to make that up before too terribly long.

I thought I'd explain my tactics that led to that astronomical kill ratio, too, because I'm actually rather proud of them. There was a line of hills bisecting Egypt towards my (east) side of the island, with some roads crossing it. I razed the cities on either side (so I could use the roads) and destroyed the roads to the west (this was the hardest part, but a quick strike made it workable), leaving them running just to the west edge of the hills and stopping. One tile back from the edge, along each road, I sited a group of mixed Swordsmen and Horsemen. When the War Chariots came at me, they naturally stopped just into the hills. There, they were hit by a Swordsman, reduced to 1 HP, and forced to retreat - reliably, since it was a 3 attacking a 1.5 (with the defense bonus). Then a Horseman used the road to get to the edge of the hills, finish off the Chariot, and retreat for cover to the Swordsman who had advanced. Typically I'd lose fewer than 2 HP between those units, and if another Chariot counterattacked, they were attacking a Swordsman on a hill so they usually lost and were finished off by Horsemen. That scenario is where I took most of my casualties, though.

It worked beautifully, really, since I was able to rotate my units somewhat to let them heal up. The only problem was when they sent some Spearmen along, but they didn't do that much.
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