T98 Science Victory with Cooked Settings

Minou

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T73: Our first Great Writer arrives - too bad there are no City States with "recruit Great Writer" quests, but at least he will still be useful for a tiny bit more culture plus more CCD religion spread.

Anansi polishes off another resource, wrapping up Naval Tradition to clear it before we use GM Omar and nearly completing Steam Power which we have been putting all our science into. The envoy from NT allows us to add a tenth vassal to the fold, Zanzibar. This CS is a nice boost to happiness, providing 8 Amenities. Cahokia and Buenos Aires can provide more, but Zanzibar requires no actual work. We actually have a few cities at -1 happiness, which Zanzibar will bring back up to neutral. That's great, but it shows we have a loooooong way to go to get cities to Happy.

This turn we are finally poised to break through in Korea as our Knights have reached the unwalled city of Gangneung and will make short work to it, while our Man at Arms and Caravel can start chipping away at the walls in Jinju. With our Great General, Hercules, and our goof old Eagle Warrior on the scene as well, we are not fooling around!
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Sinbad still hasn't found a Galley to sink for treasure, so we will redirect him to some traditional raiding by pillaging Traders and Harbors in Portugal. However, we will have to wait a turn because he foolishly sailed into the ZOC of Lisbon ending his movement instead of sailing around the margins to hit the Harbor. For some reason I though he could ignore ZOC but obviously that's not the case...
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Civics: Naval Tradition

Culture: 182cpt (+3, very minor gains from happiness)

Science: 87.2spt (+6.2, most from a chopped Library)
 

Minou

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T74: Between turns, that damned Korean Catapult hits the embarked Man at Arms, dealing 48 damage (the unit has 45CP but is reduced to just 30CP due to being in the water). At this stage it may just be worth bypassing Jinju.... To the west though our Knights easily take Gangneung adding another OGO and Campus+Library, plus a Niter.

Some major infrastructure developments. Grandmasters Chapel is complete at last in Tabopolis. I avoided chopping it because we want to save those forests for Ruhr Valley - it is not ideal to have need to build the Government Plaza buildings and Ruhr in the same city, but it's certainly not the end of the world as the special modes mean we won't need to save forests for Royal Society. With all the pillaging we are planning, Grandmaster's Chapel will be incredibly strong. The building gives us a free policy swap, and we can run Land Surveyors for a turn to help with the cost of forest tiles for Ruhr (186g even with the discount).

The capital also competes the Coal Plant, powering up the Factory and adding another 2GE points. Finally, the capital IZ is fully outfitted and can start cranking out IZL projects. This completes Refining, but there turns out to be not a single Oil resource in our current borders.

Not to worry, we instantly capture an Oil tile once we take Seville. Renamed Socks Rig, the city hooks up the Oil to complete Plastics and create a nice 1f/6h/1f tile (and another +2h from Johannesburg). This will finally remove the danger of St. Socks City flipping from loyalty. In fact, that city was due to flip next turn, so we don't have time to pillage the Quarry and Mine outside the city first. Aside from the crucial Oil, the city has a fully intact +2 adjacency Campus+Library and a pillaged Holy Site, as well as several forests.

Anansi completes Steam Power, which is only the 5th tech we have completed with "real" science instead of getting it free from a boost.

Sinbad pillages that Harbor twice for 399g + 30f each time (GMC gives 15f from pillaging improvements but 30f for pillaging districts). Now we are instantly back in the green! The gold is enough to upgrade two levied Swords into Line Infantry for Replaceable Parts (the Civilpedia says Muskets trigger the boost, but either this is wrong or Line Infantry also count).

Techs: Refining, Plastics, Replaceable Parts, Steam Power

Culture: 196cpt (+14, adding another Batay, GWW, and 2 OGO)

Science 90.6spt (+3.4, value of captured Campus x 2 only at 50% until loyalty increases)


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Minou

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T75: We are down to the last leg of the game, with only 25 turns to get the Exoplanet Mission complete! Timely enough, the Era Clock starts counting down at the start of the turn - no worries here as we are at 187/95ES! Diplomatic Service completes, which we had no chance to boost since the AIs are too far behind in culture. We are done with Land Surveyors, so its time to bring in Raid and Professional Army.

It is kind of funny how little impact our "true" science is having, despite all the blue city states and Campus and Libraries being captured / going up like crazy. We are just closing in on 100spt, but if we are going to win by T100 we really only have 20 turns to complete the tech tree so that's worth about ONE late game tech! Sure we can get to 200spt or even 500spt by the end, but the total sum of science we earn this game from real research is going to be far less than 10% of what we earn from free boosted techs and pillaging. Still, it is a game of inches and a few more Universities or such could end up being the difference between a T99 celebration and a T101 disappointment.

We actually don't have an obvious target to even put science into right yet - all of the techs that are open to research can in theory be boosted so we have to pick one and the best candidate is Electricity since the way culture is lagging behind science we probably won't unlock Privateers for a while. This has to be the weirdest boost - most of them make a ton of sense, of course Great People would lead to Enlightenment and mining Iron would lead to the development of Iron Working. But how on earth do Privateers help a people discover Electricity?

So what else is happening as we enter the last quarter of the game?

Amani arrives in Chinguetti, but we will actually need one more envoy to get the 15% faith bonus from Kilwa since their Suzerain deposited another envoy since we sent Amani on her way there.

James Saint George is teleporting around spreading religion, and we are now up to 9.3spt from CCD.

AI trade is drying up, we score a paltry 28g/3gpt and 20g/2gpt for some sales.

In Spain, we pillage a nice 202f (basically every pillage is worth one Builder now given Monumentality). This one will be added in Korea, to finally mine a Niter and hook up Marble which we don't have yet. We also upgrade our first Cavalry with Depredation, a supremely useful promotion. With this, one unit can move onto and pillage an entire Campus+Library+University in one turn rather than three. I actually considered building Terra Cotta Army just to give most of our mounted units this promotion but the Port Oscar was our only city with an Encampment and lacked any chops after building the Armory.

Upgrading an Ironclad gives us Steel and may let us take out Jinju after all. One thing I have been a bit sloppy about is forgetting to do all of these tech-boosting upgrades BEFORE pillaging each turn, as the value of each pillage goes up by a bit with each tech.

At least I did remember to complete Steel before Magnus gets to work on Ruhr, as this boosts each base chop by 2h. Three Builders have been idling around and with Magnus established they each chop a forest for 165h, which is boosted by Brussels. Isidore can finish up the wonder in 3 more turns.Magnus departs to Ginkeropolis where we have 6 chops waiting for IZL projects. We have a great shot at Da Vinci if we luck out and he is the first GE. If not, we are probably out of luck since we only have 3 cities able to run IZL and won't be able to burn through an intervening GE in time. Just north of the construction, our Pike and Shot will hopefully take Boston next turn unless those Catapults roll high and take him down. I've already marked a spot for an Aerodrome in the anticipated addition to our empire
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A little Barbarian Clans mode fun this turn. Instead of using his second charge and disappearing, our Great Writer has been sailing around to explore and stumbles upon the Bear Tree Clan which is only 20 turns from converting to a City State - in fact probably less since the rate speeds up as the game progresses. I don't understand the formula, but it seems to be tied to player progress in the tech tree, which means we should have every convertible clan transformed before the end of the game. The Tiger Claw Clan is even closer - looks like they could convert any turn. Finally, the old Stone Kite Clan is also within 10 turns. We have met all 18 starting City States, but there are some really important ones left to spawn from clans. Hong Kong is the most critical by far as it will make a major difference in chopping the Space Projects and could also help immediately with the IZL churning. Taruga, Antananarivo, and Kumasi are also available and all quite strong.
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Since the final tech sprint will be all about pillaging and posing ice huts, this is a good time to survey exactly how much science pillage is available out there.

Portugal has 1 Campus+Library. They are also GS points though, so possible one more Campus in the fog unless they took Divine Spark.

Egnland has 1 Campus+Library.

USA: nothing.

Spain has 2 Campus + 1Library.

Korea we cab only see 2 Campus + 1Library, but they are producing 6.9GS points so there might be more out there (or they could be running Classical Republic with the Inspiration card and have Divine Spark, which would add up to exactly 6.9 as well).

Sweden has no visible Campus, but 3GS points so at least one Campus in the fog.

Canada has one visible Campus with Library likely one more Campus based on GS points

Brazil has a hearty 4 Campus with one Library plus an IZ (which also yields science from pillaging).

Sumeria has 3 Campus all with Libraries, plus on Campus that has already been pillaged that they could in theory repair.

Poland has a juicy three Campuses all with Libraries.

So, there should be at least 24 pillage opportunities, possibly more depending on which AIs are running Inspiration versus having more districts in the fog. Plus, many cities are actively working on Campus or IZ districts now. An ironic thing about the game is that if we had conquered the whole world by now there wouldn't be enough pillage to complete the tech tree before T100 - and the extra captured districts wouldn't come close to making up for it. Capturing a +2 adjacency Campus with a Library and University boosted by 4 city states and cut by 50% from Babylon ability is only worth ~10spt which would be 250s over the rest of the game - whereas pillaging the Campus and buildings would be worth about 800s! For this reason I try to take over the whole starting continent ASAP and then switch to pillaging only on the second continent.

Civics: Diplomatic Service (no boost)

Techs: Steel

Culture: 198.6cpt (+2.6, from loyalty)

Science: 101.1spt (+10.5, thanks to CCD and loyalty)
 

Minou

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T76: The Tiger Claw Clan "civilizes" into Antananarivo between turns, and offers an Entertainment Complex quest. We should have a pair of envoys from accumulated influence soon, which will let us add them to the fold.
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Two IZL projects complete for 45GE points each. That's not a great return on investment, at this rate will will need to complete 13 projects for the first Renaissance GE.....For now we add Bi Sheng and with overflow we have 47.8/155 for Isidore. We can swap in the Invention card to get another 10GE points and keep praying for Da Vinci.

Enjoyably, we finally chop a University in Tab University (haha) for Astronomy, then throw up another University for 500f with Jesuit Education for Printing (which we could have go anyway with Bi Sheng). We are already overpowering the AIs, but Printing makes things even more lopsided with +3CP from added visibility.

With Astronomy and Printing in the bag, GS Omar can finally activate, completing Square Rigging (which we were blocked from getting because Muskets are obsolete) and Siege Tactics plus boosting Humanism (otherwise possible unless we want to burn a ton of faith for a Great Artist). As a nice bonus, activating Omar also converts several cities to our religion, bringing our CCD yield up to 12.5spt.
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Finally, we wrap up the science sprint by mining the Niter in Korea for Rifling. That's 4,796s from Babylon ability this turn! About 43 turns worth of our domestic science production.

On the military front, in Spain the Depredation Cavalry pillages 416g+15f and 208f+15f in one turn. In America, that veteran Pike and Shot who started as a humble Spear overcomes Boston (renamed Tab Air Base), stealing a 2 charge builder as well. The AI stupidly placed the Campus as far as possible from the Geothermal Springs, but fortunately for us our own Government Plaza will still get it to +4 adjacency.
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Minou

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T77: We recruit our first Great Admiral, Gauis Dulius, this turn. Not too exciting, but as with all Great People he can at least spread religion.

On the new continent, there are just too many old ranged units plinking away at our Line Infantry. They are only hitting for 5 or 6 or 7 damage each, but it's wearing them down.... We may need to get some reinforcements sailing to make sure we don't run out of pillagers.

Speaking of pillaging, in Korea we are having no such issues and gain 229f+30f from a Shrine and 229c+30f from a Theater Square (nice, since those culture pillages are rare).

Exploring units spot two more huts, we are now up to 8. All will be saved for post-Rocketry tech lottery tickets, which means we have to keep an eye on any AIs getting too close. Luckily most are on remote islands that are semi-defended by barbarians - any sailing AI Swords or whatnot would probably be sunk by Quads and Galleys.

Since barbarians track player progress, they are starting to get dangerous. We actually need a Cavalry upgrade to fight barbs off in the old Khmer lands to avoid them interfering with the push for Oxford.
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Minou

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T78: Stupid Portugal suicides a Galley into Sinbad between turns. There goes 300g we could have had with his special ability! On the plus side, they actually repaired the Harbor so Sinbad can sail right back over and pillage 427g.

Imotep uses a charge for Ruhr Valley, but we are actually still 1 turn short as I mistakenly calculated his contribution as 215h instead of 175h.

On the Spanish front, two Cavs finally take Madrid (the new Socksopolis) ending the long-standing loyalty issues. It's a nice city with 5 chops, OGO, Palgum, Holy Site with Shrine and only our second Encampment. This reminds me - although Encampments may seem useless for the late game, we actually want to get a few more built (or better yet captured) because each Encampment building adds 10 to the strategic resource cap. We want to build up our Aluminum cap to at least 120, maybe even more (though at some point the limiting factor will be how quickly we can actually fill the stockpile) for Lagrange Lasers. Meanwhile Spain has founded a city in the heavily wooded region we already spotted for a Mars city, saving us the trouble . of popping out a Settler. Over in Korea, we pillage another 223+30f.

Dumb mistake, we meant to put last turns culture into Enlightenment but forgot to swap. We can use last Anansi's last charge but are a sliver away, ugh.

Science: 123spt

Culture: 216cpt

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Minou

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T79: Good news and bad news this turn. The good news is we complete Ruhr Valley (again, for Flight rather than the production). The bad news is that the first Renaissance GE is the horribly useless Mimar Sinan. We have no hope of burning through both Sinmar and the next GE (who will be either Leonardo or Filippo Brunelleschi), so its best to pack it in and forget our dreams of free Radio and Chemistry. The gambit had only a 33% of working at the rate we were churning IZL projects. Not sure if we were super aggressive (maybe having Hercules lay down a few more IZ, or going crazier with pillaging faith) if burning through two GE would be plausible.

We also complete Enlightenment this turn. In the old days, hitting Enlightenment was important for unlocking the Rationalism card. But, with the crazy +4 adjacency and +15 pop requirements, the policy is borderline worthless in the final patch. However, Enlightenment is still very important to our game because it completes Scientific Theory, unlocking Oxford.

Our Military Engineer constructs a second fort for Ballistics, making this a nice 3 tech turn.

Our military will have to "research" Radio with Leonardo lost, and get right under way pillaging for 729s total this turn, along with 415g and 75f.

With about 10-15 turns until it is time to pop those icy huts, we have obsolete units sailing towards many of the island spots. Unfortunately, the Archer we sent to pop two closely huts is being harassed y barbarians and may need reinforcements. So many threads to worry about late game!

With flight unlocked we can place two discount Aerodromes. The first can be chopped instantly after Boston is captured (and gets a nice +2c from Nan Mandol) and the second is a good project for the isolated city of Gisselle Crossing which flipped at the end of the Scotland war.

Isidore can easily complete Oxford in Chloe Crater without any chops thanks to Ik-kul, so we can actually use one of the forests the our first Entertainment Complex which comes with a free and a DL double envoy to Antananarivo.

This sets up a big turn for city state progress. We also hit 150 influence this turn so we have two more envoys to play around with. The first of course goes to Antananarivo for Suzerain status. That provides a whopping +24% culture thanks to our 12 great people to date. The other gains control of Chinguetti which provides +23f from current Trade Routes and also 15% faith from Kilwa! Interestingly, the city state has an army of Immortals, carried over from it's days as a Barbarian Clan. They are a bit outdated at this point in the game, but should be fine to use as levied pillagers once we get more gold.
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Sinbad continues his string of bum luck as he finds a Trader but is one movement point shy of plundering it this turn.

One dumb mistake this turn, I spent 255g for tile to chop a Bank, but looking at the timeline for when we need Economics, I could have just hard-built it in five turns and saved the gold and the forest.

Civics: Enlightenment

Techs: Flight, Scientific Theory, Ballistics

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Minou

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T80: A major breakthrough this turn - we hit the Future Tech era!

First, a little infrastructure development. The second Bank is complete for Economics, allowing good old Fort Oscar to start Big Ben. This was our second city, captured off England way back on T22. It has since contributed a ton, building the first Palgum for Construction, hosting the free Holy Site that secured our Religion, and popping out a CH to help with many boosts and inspirations. Now, the city's final mission will be Big Ben. It would take 30 turns to hard build, but we have 5 chops to speed it up.

Mercantilism is complete, allowing us to swap inTriangular Trade for a tiny boost of +16g/4f. Sinbad plunders a 120g Trader with more in range next turn - this is why Portugal is so nice, they make many Traders and they tend to be worth more fro pillaging (still not sure what determines the value, but I assume it is related to how far they are traveling on the route).
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In Korea, we capture the Etemenanki, the only wonder we wanted that got scooped up before we could build it (it always goes very early, so there was no point to even try). Overall, Etemenanki provides an instant +22s and +12h. Pretty nice, even if will provide less science than a single pillage by games end. Man, I hate how overpowered pillaging is relative to infrastructure! Capturing a science wonder and holding it 20 turns should be be worth 20x the value of pillaging one Library.... The city also has a Campus, Theater Square, and Holy Site.


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The wonder is especially helpful in the south, where are cities captured from Scotland have tons of Marsh nearby. Those Pyramids looks really odd in front of a pile of boosted Marshes and faith-yielding Iron, but this area is really developing well.

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Speaking of pillaging, we do lots in Korea and Poland, adding up to 984s and 120f! This let's us complete Radio, which in turn boosts Mass Media (very hard to do in normal games). You can see even our Infantry are not invincible due to the piles of Catapult and Crossbows plinking away.

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We have plenty of Aluminum in our lands, including one that we can mine immediately for Nanotechnology. That's 5514 in free science from boosts. Just like that, we’ve unlocked Seasteads! Once we complete it we can see where Smart Materials is on the tree.

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We declare war on England again this turn, just to pillage a bit there with Anansi. Soon it will be time to raid Canada, but I really hope their waves of Missionaries will convert one of our cities first so we can declare a Religious War and get the Nationalism boost.

Civics: Mercantilism

Techs: Economics, Radio, Nanotechnology
 

Minou

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T81: Colonialism is complete. We get 1h boost to fishing boats (woo-hoo), 2 envoys and most importantly Raj. One envoy secures Suzerain over Fez and the other goes to Nalanda (doubled with DL). We still need a few more envoys before the end game, at least 4 to gain control of Nalanda and Hong Kong (with some help from Amani perhaps). Taruga would be nice too but is probably not going to make a full turn difference at this point.

With 18 vassals, the Raj card is worth 36s/36c/36g/36f - like Cross Cultural Dialogue, the science from Raj is not impacted by Babylon's -50% penalty. We can also use a wildcard slot for Merchant Confederation, which is a whopping 53g due to our crazy amount of envoys.

Shared vision with Fez reveals the rest of Sweden, which has some nice pillage opportunities - 3 Campus, 1 Library, and 1 IZ in progress, plus HS, Shrine, Pasture, and 2 mines. Once we mop up Korea, our Knights (which will be Tanks soon) can head over there.

We score our second GG, Sun Tzu, who is not really that useful on his own but will give another +2% culture thanks to Antananarivo and let us spread a little more religion.

Curious about one AI move. Our Infantry is redlined and at 42/45XP. One Catapult shoots it raising it to 44/45XP but another in range does nothing. This is either a bug or smart play by the AI avoiding handing out the promotion.

Giselle Crossing chops our second Aerodrome, completing Synthetic Materials.

The barbs are really raging near Oxford, so much so that our single Cavalry wasn't able to clear them all. They are actually occupying the tile next to Ik-Kil we need for Oxford! Just goes to show you can ignore the AIs, but don't sleep on barbarians. We can actually use them against themselves by hiring a Man at Arms for 382g to kill one offending unit (which would exert ZOC on Isidore), and use a Cavalry to take out the Archer on the intended Oxford tile. Crisis averted Isidore uses his first charge to blast 374h into the wonder thanks to Ik-Kil plus Brussels boosts.
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Sinbad plunders another Trader, this one for a fat 150g. No more Traders are visible in the area so we should probably teleport him near some barbarian camps so he can actually use some charges (all he has done is normal pillaging so far).

Now that we control Fez, our first Missionary attempts to covert the 5 pop city of Oscaropolis but falls short.
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Magnus was set to chop IZL projects in Giselle River, but since we have abandoned the Da Vinci project, he can instead chop a Factory to boost Class Struggle with overflow into an Entertainment Complex to unlock the Coliseum which is somehow still available. Magnus then heads over to Socks Rig, oil Oil depot, where we should have enough forests and stone to chop Earth Satellite and Moon Landing. The city has 9 forests, and we can add a tenth if we raze Cordoba and purchase the forest that is currently in that cities first ring. might now, that would be worth 2007h of the 2400h needed for the two space projects. If we manage to gain control of Hong Kong the bonus will make 10 forest worth 2400. If not, we can use one charge from Crassus to add an 11th forest which will be fine as long as we complete a few more techs to raise chop values.

One mistake - we had a Cavalry under construction for a while now in the Spanish theater but when I tried to chop it in, it switched into a Helicopter that will a dozen turns to complete. Should have chopped the Civ before unlocking Synthetic Materials! I have been good about this type of issue for Iron-using units but you can't play the same games with Oil or Aluminum because those units only need 1 of the relevant strategic resource to construct.

The tech we are now putting pillage and domestic science into is Sanitation. We are about halfway done with Electricity, but there is time to get the two Privateers out whereas Neighborhoods won't unlock for the Sanitation boost for many turns. Pillage hauls this turn:

Poland: 520g+15f, 259s+30f, 15f (note this is from a farm, a nice thing about GMC is let's you turn all those AI-spammed farms into a little faith. We need to upgrade another levy into an Infantry to keep rolling as our units are being chipped away.

Spain: Depredation make for a nice 259f+30f, 259f+30f double Holy Site pillage by one Cavalry.

Canada: The missionaries are nowhere near our city, so forget the Holy War plans. War opens with just a Knight and Cavalry to play with, but we start with juicy 520g+15f. More importantly, we had sniffed Quebec out as having at least 5 chops, but additional scouting shows it actually has at least 13! Looks like a key city to race to for use as a space project site.
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Korea: Our veteran Eagle Warrior takes out a Man at Arms for a third Builder (sad to have only captured 3 Builders in 40+ turns, but with escalating costs every one counts).
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Inspirations: Class Struggle

Civics: Colonialism

Techs: Synthetic Materials
 

Minou

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Messages
759
T82: At this phase, there is almost no point in taking another city or building most things aside from science buildings and projects. we need to be laser on these focused things:

1. Boosts. We want to boost Combustion, Electricity, Advanced Ballistics, Advanced Flights, and Telecommunications. We don't actually need all of these techs to complete the space race, but crossing them off the list makes it more likely we can get a tech we do need from Oxford, Nalanda, or one of our many stored huts.

2. Science. For the techs we can't boost like Smart Materials and Offworld Mission, we need to blast out science fast. That means pillaging hard, preferably with fast-moving Depredation units (a Helicopter can reach that backline Campus turns and turns faster than an Infantry for example). It is important to have enough units - we can't easily replace those overseas so don't want to risk a key pillager getting taken down too early. Pillage will be the majority of our remaining science but every bit matters so Galileo, Fez, Anansi, spamming Universities, and balancing happiness all have the chance to make a difference of a turn or two.

3. Forests. We want four or five space cities, each with enough forests/stone/deer to at minimum chop a space project in one turn and preferably enough spare for one or more Lasers. We already hold two good space cities and have anther spot in mind to settler plus one to conquer.

4. Gold. This will also come largely from pillage, but Sinbad, harvesting Crab/Copper, and Big Ben are important too. We need gold primarily to buy tiles to chop, but in some cases might need a Helicopter upgrade and if we get enough surplus can also consider buying a Spaceport with Reyna.

5. Faith/Builders. Faith is mostly for Builders to chop the space project but we need some to recall Hercules and Anansi too. To be most efficient we need LOTS of Builders. If we want to chop 12 forests for Space projects in a city, its much better to have 12 one-charge Builders than 4 three-charge Builders. We have been saving all one-charge Builders for the last 20 turns or so and slowly transporting them to the right spots, but it will be tight. Note, Military Engineers, Toa, and Legions (which are possible to get from Barbarian Clans) count too.

6. Hong Kong. They will help a ton with space chopping, but we have not found them yet! Not sure if they are hiding on the map or have not yet converted. It is even possible they were conquered, in which case it may be a mad dash to liberate them......

7. Escorts. Chop cities are often in isolated wooded areas, and a single barbarian Spear exerting ZOC or worse standing on a Spaceport can wreck the best plans. To be safe we want a fast-moving unit or two patrolling each space site.

8. Power. Finally, we need power for each Laser project. The most efficient way is to stockpile Aluminum, because Lagrange Lasers contribute instantly. Terrestrial Lasers are less efficient because they "power down" the city that chops them each time one is added. So, if you chop 4 Lagrange Lasers the spaceship will travel 4 extra light years next turn and 4 the turn after (8 total). If you chop 4 Terrestrial Lasers, the city will power down and travel 0 extra light years next turn and 4 the turn after (4 total). Worse, if you chop 2 Terrestrial Lasers and then 2 more Terrestrial Lasers next turn, the Spaceship will travel ZERO extra light years! This means that in cities that chop Terrestrial Lasers we need to (A) make sure there is enough power available and (B) chop them all in the same turn if possible

All that being said, we have units out all over the oceans and icy north/south searching for Hong Kong and are sending Builders out to hook up Aluminum (the first comes south of Fort Oscar in some third ring jungle) while also working on Barracks/Armory/Military Academy buildings to increase our capacity.
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A Barbarian Clan converts to Taruga this turn (Nuclear Fusion quest), and all other Barbarian Clans on the map show "progress disabled" which means Kumasi and Hong Kong must already be on the map.
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Speaking of barbarians, we finally clear theYellow Goat clan which was threatening Oxford, gaining a promotion for our Cavalry who will now rush to hit Canada, and an invitation to join Sanguine Pact. We hadn't really cleared many camps this game so this is a very late invite. I actually though Sanguine Pact would be the best clan for the Cooked Space Run at first, but then realized you can't build the super-fun Vampire Castle until very late in the game.
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Fez is starting to show it's power now. With help from James of St. George, a Missionary converts Minou City for 200s and another converts Oscaropolis for 100s! That's about 1.5x as much science as we are producing each turn from domestic sources! This completes Sanitation - a minor note, by using Missionaries to complete the tech before we start pillaging, we will squeeze a little more out of pillaging this turn. Fez and Vatican City are great together, as a GP can bomb some cities to get them near conversion and then Missionaries can rush in and score the final conversion with a single charge instead of 2-3.
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Port Oscar got a Nan Mandol-boosted Campus up and now can hard-build a Military Academy, while Socksopolis starts a Barracks as we work on Aluminum storage.

We chop our first Biplane - one thing I learned to be careful about is not placing a Campus in every captured city by default. Small late game cities with a few chops are often prime spots to either chop a Aerodrome/Biplane pairing, an Encampment for Aluminum stores, or a random district the completes a quest (for those odd times when 3-4 city states all want you to build a Preserve).

In Canada, a lone Knight slams Quebec for 53. May be just enough to take the city in 4 turns even without sieging it....

In Korea, we pillage 262f+15f and then sign peace which let's us sell 183g/12gpt worth of luxuries and levy up Fez to hit Sweden next. In Spain 526g+15f plus snag a 4 charge Builder on way to Murcia.

Techs: Sanitation
 

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Minou

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759
T83: Natural History completes (boosted it earlier), unlocking Archeologists. We can purchase one with faith ASAP. We also get 2 more envoys, which can gain control of Taruga for +40spt. Taruga is way better than Geneva since we have been at war almost the entire game. Our capital for example has Horses, Iron, and Coal for +15% and many other cities have at least 2 strategic resources hooked up (and we have not yet unlocked Uranium). We have plenty of gold to levy them too, and can send a few units to pillage Sweden and the stronger Man at Arms to go pop a hut in a barb-infested area.

James of St. George converts a small city and gets another larger city close to conversion for a Missionary. We are up to 24.8spt from CCD.

Pillage yields a huge gold haul this turn of 1672g + 45f. We also harvest a Maize for 281g. Racing to maximize our stash before we chop Big Ben.

Our Great Merchant Colaeus has been exploring the map for dozens of turns but with Earth Satellite about to reveal the rest of it, we cab expend him to grab Incense, a rare resource we won't be able to capture otherwise. Right now we are still at empire-wide neutral happiness.
 

Minou

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T84: This is a HUGE turn for boosts. Our second Biplane completes for Advanced Flight.

Then, our fresh Archaeologist unearths my favorite artifact, the Cat Mummy completing Combustion (this is probably the second weirdest boost - how does a mummified cat trigger inventors to think up an engine?).
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With Combustion unlocked, we can shell out 900g for three tank upgrades and complete Composites. As a side note it is very important to (A) make sure to chop or buy at least 3 Chariots before Knights unlock, (B) make sure none of your Knights dies, and (C) make sure at least three Knights end their turns in your or your vassals territory the turn Combustion unlocks to time this boost.

Finally, we chop a second Privateer to complete Electricity.

This unlocks Oil Plants. We can chop in a Factory in Ginkerpolis with the spare forests we were going to use for IZL projects. We are out of chops, but the city is up to 56hpt and with overflow will complete the Oil Power Plant in 2 more turns, crossing off Refining right before we complete Oxford.

That's about 6400s in one turn (considering Electricity was about half complete already).

To run up the score, we can also upgrade two Field Cannons for the Scorched Earth inspiration (this raises city defenses so high that we can one-shot catapult). And, Chloe Harbor uses Jesuit Education to grab an Art Museum for the Opera and Ballet Inspiration.

Down in the ice southwest, a single Cavalry smashes the 1-pop outpost Spain founded, saving us the trouble of rushing a Settler down there (actually, one was getting close before they founded but was re-directed). It's a perfect space city with 13 chops in range, and a forest/deer tile in the fourth ring plus 2 more forest adjacent that Crassus can add if needed. The city even comes with a captured 3-charge Builder and gets +2c from Nan Mandol thanks to the tiny lake, which may save us some gold if it adds at the coal or deer forest (rather than the Iron) before chop time.

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Speaking of Great Merchants, Marco Polo arrives and adds a free 1c/8.5g/5f trade route, but accidentally converts Port Oscar due to Vatican City's bonus, wasting an opportunity for 100s from Fez. Sloppy play!

We also recruit our second Great Writer, and our sailing Great Artist discovers another hut.

Another minor setback occurs as our Buenos Aires levy expires, teleporting our levied Line Infantry out of Spains borders right before we would have taken the final Spanish city, Barcelona. We have to pay a 650g to levy them back, otherwise we risk the last Spanish city revolting into a free city, which will cause it to spew out Rebel Infantry!

Sinbad FINALLY gets 300g blasting a barb ship. Man, it took a looooong time for him to find a target this game. A sailing Man at Arms is trailing him, but that barb camp is swarming. Luckily, he can climb ashore onto the forest and should be able to kill the barb Man at Arms if it attack, then promote and ignore the Archer/Slingers for a turn or two until we are ready to pop the hut.
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Two Cavalry take Winnipeg in Canada. We don't actually want the city, but siezing it will prevent Loyalty issues in Quebec which we want as a Space City.

Pillage report:

Poland 1122g+30f
Spain 280f+15f
England 561g+15f
Canada 561g+15f

Nan Mandol only has one Chariot, but we can levy it for 65g and upgrade it to a Tank to hit Brazil.

One more Aluminum mine is added - up to three but we want to get closer to ten if possible, and quick.

Inspirations: Scorched Earth, Opera and Ballet

Techs: Advanced Flight, Combustion, Composites, Electricity
 

Minou

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T85: Opera and Ballet, and we enter the Medieval Era (pretty hilarious with helicopters flying) and start a second Monumentality Golden Age (pretty safe with 245/95 Era Score). Unfortunately, we were not very careful planning for Bolshoi and I don't think there is a good spot on the map to chop it since the three cities we have with Theater Squares are already clear-cut. Oh well, it would probably just give us two random useless Civics like Democracy and Fascism.

Finally, we find Hong Kong. Hilariously, they were on our home continent all along, though its unclear how recently they converted from barbarians. We get a free first contact envoy (doubled with DL) and can use one of the free envoys from Opera and Ballet to gain control of them.
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Sinbad scores a second hit on that Galley - the bright side of him being so slow to find targets is the the changing era boosted the value from 300g to 400g.

In Canada our rapidly advancing troops redline two cities and gain 15f from a random farm. Yum, farm faith!

In Spain, an upgraded Helicopter makes good use of the "ignore terrane" ability to pillage a farm for 75 health (plus 15f) and one-shot the city of Cordoba, capturing a Builder. This city is the first we raze in the game, as doing so gives one more forest to Socks Rig.
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In Poland our troops slog on through the rain of primitive arrows, pillaging 561g and 325f.

We hit Sweden too for 295f, pausing before hitting the Campus as the value will increase after we complete Refining plus Oxford next turn.

More Fez goodness as a Missionary converts Socksopolis for 120s. We didn't gain control of Fez till relatively late but I wonder now if we should have got more some extra Missionaries on the map earlier to be in position once we did, since Fez is providing so strong.

Just for kicks, we can create a Dye Industry in Tab University which now is producing 30fpt thanks to Chinguetti trade routes and a few 1f tiles.
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Time to make a play for happiness. Swap in, Retainers, Liberalism, and Republican Legacy gets 4 cities to Happy so far. If we start spamming Cahokia Mounds we should be able to get all cities to Happy, but whether we reach Ecstatic is up in the air (and to be honest probably irrelevant to victory time at this stage).
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Civics: Opera and Ballet
 

Minou

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T86: The annoying World Congress convenes this turn, and votes to give Sweden a free trade route (who cares) and ban Citrus (annoying). I have always thought it should be possible to ignore World Congress resolutions at cost of a Diplomatic Penalty. I'd gladly go to war with every AI and their obsolete armies than stop eating juicy oranges!

Citrus aside, this is a BIG turn because we are ready to complete Oxford. First, Ginkeropolis chops out an Oil Power Plant for Advanced Ballistics and we use Jesuit Education to buy a Broadcast Center (the capital completed one this turn as well) and knock off Satellites.

Oxford yields......

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Chemistry and Seasteads! I could have SWORN Oxford never provided Future Era techs. Had I known this was incorrect, I would have pillaged in Seasteads which was already half complete before chopping the wonder.

We were hoping for Rocketry, but we can still pillage it in next turn. But the great news is that Smart Materials is unlocked AND better yet Cybernetics is the only additional tech we need to unlock Offworld Mission. This means we can skip Advanced AI, Advanced Power Cells, and Predictive Systems - and also a whole slew of earlier techs - Nuclear Fission, Lasers, Combined Arms, Nuclear Fusion, Guidance Systems, and Robotics. This is literally the second best tech tree possible (the best would also exclude Cybernetics). We are extremely lucky here, because many of the skipped techs are both unboostable and very costly.
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Pillage yields: Canda (15f), England (297s+30f), Sumeria (297s+30f), Sweden (622f). Our good old Pike and Shot has made landfall in Portugal too, adding (312f).

In Canada, we take Quebec City (an intended space city). We then take Winnipeg, one-shot a Canadian Catapult with the city ranged defense, and then raze it (fun trick). The city is large enough to be a drag on happiness if we keep it, so razing it is the best solution to removing Loyalty pressure on the smaller space city.
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In addition, we can convert the Etemananki City for 120s and Sinbad scores another 400g.

Two more Aluminum mines are sunk this turn.

A random misclick this turn - I went to move a Biplane and accidentally upgraded it to a Fighter, wasting 190g, plus the unit itself as I decided to just delete it rather than wasting precious Aluminum on maintenance.

Looking at the final stretch, we need approximately 9000 more science to wrap up the remaining techs and want to leave 5 turns for the spaceship to fly. We are producing 286spt, which will yield about 2500s over the next 9 turns - probably a few hundred more as we keep adding Libraries/Universities. Dwarfing that, we have ~7800s worth of pillage left on the map, provided we are fast enough and don't have a key unit killed or levy broken. Anansi can add another 720s if we really him next turn and find a path that let's him hit a resource every turn (probably not possible, so we may lose 120-240s there). Fez can get us another ~300s. Galileo is worth another 1000s. Finally, Nalanda will also give us one free tech and we could potentially get a few more from huts, each of these could be worth as much as 5000s (if we hit instant Offworld Mission) and as little as nothing (if we hit a tech we don't need like Guidance Systems).

So, we should be fine! Even if we badly botch something, we have at least 3000s in slack. Incidentally this means if we needed one more tech on a less generous tech tree we would be safe, whereas two would have us sweating and three would probably mean we would fall short of a T100 victory without a lucky roll on Nalanda or a hut. Kind of scary to see how much luck is involved here - we rolled EXTREMELY well on the tech tree.

Techs: Advanced Ballistics, Telecommunications, Chemistry, Seasteads
 
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Minou

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Messages
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T87: Ginkeropolis completes an Entertainment Complex and gets started on the Arena next. This boosts Professional Sports.

First order of business is Rocketry. We can pillage 594s (+30f) in Korea to finish up the tech. Hercules then drops a Spaceport in Socks Rig. We also get a free envoy for the Spaceport due to Babylon's ability - forgot about that!
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Time to pop the first two huts, since these are in places where a single unit is assigned two huts and needs to start now.
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The first yields the Sandals of the Prophet relic. Would have been amazing in the first 10 turns, but meaningless now.
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The second yields the coveted double tech boost! We score Combined Arms and Computers. This would have been amazing if we needed those techs, but we can actually complete the space race while ignoring both of them. Still, getting two more techs increases the odds Nalanda might give us a tech we DO need and to also increase the values of chops/pillages. And, Computers will let us upgrade two Drones to complete Lasers if we want (another skippable tech, but it likewise increases the Nalanda odds). So basically we had great luck on this hut but it is mostly cancelled out but the even better luck we had on the overall tech tree.
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Combined Arms reveals Uranium. We don't have a single mineable one in our territory somehow, but don't need one anyway. Aluminum is more important, we add yet another mine and also remove a farm in the territory of our vassal Hatusa so we can mine their Aluminum for them and gain another 2 per turn that way.

Actually, since we had such a great tech tree, we would have probably been better off chopping Oxford and popping all the huts earlier and hoping we hit Rocketry closer to T80.

With three techs added, we can do the rest of the turns pillaging at increased value. We clear 310s+695f in Poland, 310s+621g+355f in Spain, 340f in Siberia, 310s+30f in England, and 621g+15f in Sweden.

We can also chop the Earth Satellite easily in Socks Rig - only takes 3 forests with Magnus already on hand and Hong Kong's bonus. The rest of the map is de-fogged, revealing Kumasi (providing a first contact envoy) and another 6 huts, 5 of which are in the deep icy south. Crassus adds one more forest to Socks Rigs borders so he can teleport to his next assignment and we can chop Moon Landing next turn.
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Finally, I realize we made a mistake last turn by burning Winnipeg. Somehow, Rupert Exobase is at -20 loyalty despite having a Governor. I expected the -20 from population but neglected to factor in another -3 from religion and such a high occupation penalty. It will be a flat out race to take another city before this one flips!

Inspirations: Professional Sports, Space Race

Techs: Rocketry, Combined Arms, Computers.
 
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Minou

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T88: Nationalism completes, and since we have entered the Medieval Era, we can upgrade our Voidsigers membership with Voidsingers Chorus. We're churning out over 300fpt so this will be worth roughly 60s/c/g per turn, a nice boost - too late to make big difference but could probably have shaved a turn off our victory time if we had a worse tech tee.
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Time to pop some more huts. There are 3 techs left that we need and 11 total. Each hut has a 1 in 7 chance of yielding one (or two) techs, and we have about 10 left so there's a modest chance of making a hit. Our Man at Arms near the Bear Clan was actually driven back to see when another barb MAA spawned, but our veteran Eagle Warrior can make one final contribution by popping the hut.
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Hut 3 yields..... Nuclear Fission! Not a tech we need, but it does unlock the Nuclear Power Plant which we could chop to clear Nuclear Fusion fro the list. However, this would take 2-3 turns so it's probably better to keep going.
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Hut 4 yields an Urbanization boost.

Hut 5, popped by a spare Great Writer, yields a Special Ops unit.
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Hut 6 yields an envoy.

That's all of the huts we can reach this turn but there are 2 more we can reach next turn and 4 more in the next 3 turns.

The most critical battle in ages takes place in Canada. Two Cavalry rush Hamilton. The first whiffs horrible, hitting for 68 damage which is close to the minimum possible. The second though manages to deal 94 and take the city. Rupert Exobase swings from -20 to -7.2 Loyalty, and we can use GE Bi Sheng to convert the city thanks to Vatican City, changing the -3 religion penalty to a +3 bonus. Now the city is at 11 Loyalty dropping -1.2 per turn, plenty of time to burn Ottawa and end the issue. We might have to buy a unit here though, since barb To a are prowling around in the forests we want to chop.

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In Spain, we plunder a 310g Trader (what a juicy one, wonder why it was so valuable) and our re-levied Line Infantry finally take Barcelona which is renamed Socks Laserport. We really need more Aluminum, right now we only have 33/70 and +9 per turn (3 of our 12 are being consumed by Helicopters). Builders are rushing to any unimproved sources and Encampment buildings are going up too, but we are definitely slow here. Luckily we have unlocked Resource Management which will let us squeeze one more Aluminum per turn out of each mine.
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Minou

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T88 continued

Pillaging continues, 321s+120g+30f in Portugal, 316s+30f in Sumeria, 640s+414f in Sweden, and 632s+60f in Poland.

All that pillaging actually leaves us a sliver short of Smart Materials, but Fez comes through for us with the last 300s as we convert Chinguetti and Jeonju.
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In Poland we capture Gniezno just to add Spice to our luxury list.
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Magnus chops are now up to 307h with the Hong Kong bonus, so we can chop the Moon Landing in Socks Rig as well. The burst of 3635c completes Conservation which gives us the final 3 envoys we need this game to take Nalanda (some random AI had like 8 envoys there).
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Now we can finally take our guaranteed free tech from Nalanda. Ginker Fen places a pretty +4s Mahavihara and we score....
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...Cybernetics! An excellent role, as we have 10 possible techs left and only need 2 - Cybernetics and Offworld Mission. Obscenely good luck on the tech tree and random rolls. In fact, if we knew things would be this nice it would have actually made sense to start popping huts and pillaging Campuses ten turns earlier, because now we are going to be running up against space projection bottlenecks rather than science bottlenecks. There should be just enough science pillage left to complete Exoplanet Mission but I don't think we can do it in less than 3 turns considering movement time.
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Magnus heads over to Rupert Exobase and Cingula is already established in the Mars City, where Hercules has just teleported.

Inspirations: Cold War, Urbanization

Civics: Nationalism, Conservation

Techs: Nuclear Fission, Smart Materials
 

Minou

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Messages
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T89: It's rare to lose units in the late game but we have a pile of levied Warrior and Immortals and about 5 units are killed between turns. Most of these are irrelevant, except for a Man at Arms that is taken our before it can hit a Ziggurat, costing us some gold.

Scorched Earth complete, time to replace Raid with Total War. In many games I forget to do this as the start of the turn and lose the 50% bonus on a few pillages, but now this time. I also slot Logistics, Resource Management, Praetorium, Liberalism, and Republican Legacy. Then, I kick myself because I forgot to slot Land Surveyors! That will waste a few hundred gold as we need to buy space chop tiles this turn.

Our Aluminum productions is up to +20 per turn net (24 minus 4 for Helicopters) and we have 51 in the stockpile. Two more Barracks complete this turn, raising our storage to 90.

The big moment of suspense is popping two more huts, which yield a Builder and a Trader. Great pops in the early game but pretty much useless this late.

In Canada we rack in another 354f and conquer Ottawa for the Loyalty.

Sweden yields 648g+15f

Portugal yields 648g+723f

Sumeria yields 648g+30f

Poland yields a rich 1296g+30f

Brazil is our only science provider, yielding 324s+30f

Our Archaeologist excavates an Apsis just for kicks.

Hercules blasts out a Spaceport in Socks Mars Base, the forest-rich city in the icy southwest. Our first chop is 173h, converted to 258h thanks to Pingula plus HK. We can chop one more forest t this turn and then finish the project next turn.

Socks Rig has 3 chops left which is enough for a Laser with the Hong Kong boost once we unlock it, so the leftover Builders from Moon Landing set up a Windmill and Geothermal Plant to power it.

We need to buy another barbarian Man at Arms to help clear the barbs out of the Rupert Exobase forests - this is one extra area where Barbarian Clans are helpful. At this stage all the affordable units are obsolete so we can only buy things like Infantry or Special Ops for 1000g+. But, we can hire a perfectly acceptable barb unit for a fraction of that cost.

Speaking of Barbarian Clans, things have gotten completely out of control in some of them. The Ghost Fish Clan is selling Battleships! For 1,027g they are actually a real bargain, though we have no need of one at this stage. This was the only time I actually laughed during a game of Civ - can you imagine a bunch of barbarians huddled around a fire in the Arctic whispering "Hey pal, want to buy a Battleship?"
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Another Barbarian Clan has captured one of our Builders and will sell him back for 712g. That seems pretty outrageous give we can buy a new Builder with more charges in any city for under 500g. The "ransom unit" and "pay to not attack city" options are grossly overpriced for whatever reason, which seems like a design flaw.

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Minou

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T90: Civil Engineering complete - guess the Land Surveyors error did not matter after all since we can now swap in Expropriation before we buy those forests for the Mars Colony.

Hercules teleports to Rupert Exobase.

More faith and gold keep flowing in, as we prepare for Big Ben next turn.

Canada yields 354f
Portugal yields 648g+15f
Brazil yields 324s+30f
Sumeria yields 648g+15f
England yields 339f
Sweden yields 324s+648g+45f

Sinbad also clears a camp for 400g

Even though it is too late to matter, we are moving closer to empire-wide happiness as our first Zoo is completed in Chloe Crater (reaching 4 cities).

Mining Coal in the Mars city creates a 7h tile with another +2h from Johannesburg. This should give us enough wiggle room to chop 4 lasers here after the Mars Colony. We chop 2 more forests in the city so we have clear land for Solar Farms.

Socks Rigs meanwhile is fully powered up for Lasers with a third Solar Farm.

Two additional Encampment buildings up for Aluminum storage, now at 110.

GE Isidore is still hanging around an uses his last charge for the Colosseum. I though this would one-shot the wonder as it provides 175h * 2 (for Ancient/Classical wonders) with 15% Brussels bonus which should be 402.5h total. For some reason though, the wonder will still need 2 turns to complete. Oh well, at least we get a little more religion spread - CCD is up to 36spt.

One odd play this turn. I have never bought a Supply Convoy before, but we have an issue to address. Hercules is about to use his final pair of charges, but he won't expire until past T100 so we want to delete
and recall him. However, we can't do that unless he is at 100HP. The Convoy should speed that up by 2 turns.

Civics: Civil Engineering

T91: Urbinization complete, with should be our last 1-turn Civic from the Moon culture boost. We actually lost a pillaging Infantry between turns, since we never got a second Oil source hooked up it was not able to pause and heal.

For the second time this game, an enemy Hero fights us. Hippolyta bravely attacks a Tank, dealing 12 and taking 62.

A new Barbarian Clan appears, selling Galleys. This is interesting to me because I though they could only spawn in fog and we have revealed the whole map with the Earth Satellite.

We recruit Galieo this turn and teleport him over to Tab University where he can activate near 4 mountains. We also boost Environmentalism. Our Archaeologist uses his last charge to dig up a Cahokia Javelin. Meaningless, but can't resist the fun of artifacts.

Two more huts popped this turn as we reach the remote ones revealed by Earth Satellite - one yields 100f and the other a Special Ops.

On the space race front:

Most importantly, a Helicopter in Brazil pillages in Offworld Mission!
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Hercules places a free Spaceport in Rupert Exobase. Magnus will be here in 2 turns to chop the final space mission.
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GM Crassus adds a 4th ring Forest+Deer in our Mars city.
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Builders sink 2 final Aluminum mines and 3 more Solar Panels in Socks Laserport.A half dozen old 1-charge Builders have also reached their assigned space stations by now too. I was not nearly as careful as I could have been saving and moving old Builders, since we have so much pillage faith we can basically buy unlimited amounts.

Pillage yields:
Braxil: 324s+90g+30f
Portugal 330s+661g+45f
Sweden 661g+360f
Polanf 661g+15f
Sumeria: 330g+30f

And another 400g for Sinbad

Civics: Urbinization

Techs: Offworld Mission
 
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