The Immortal Challenge 1: Apocalypto

I don't think you will be declared on. I usually don't bother building any more military in this kind of come-from-behind space race because the greater danger is that the AI tech leader will launch first.

It´s not about beeing declared upon... ...sorry for beeing not clear about that. What I ment is this:

I think aelf should inflict some wars to slow the AI´s tech pace down. This is the most efficient way... ...but when doing so, he will be very likely asked to join and should do so (fake war) to keep relations up with the winning team... ...and then some additional defences aren´t a bad thing, to avoid (or counter efficiently) enemy landings (as always, in my opininon)... no huge defences are required, but a solid navy and a landbased "taskforce"
You had ideal traits for Conquest/Domination :(
Yeah, but not ideal conditions. It's no fun taking on a civ like Rome when your weaponry is one tech era behind them. Besides, I don't think I've ever managed a C/D win first time out on a new level.
You had ideal traits for Conquest/Domination :(

Nah...that's vanilla Tokugawa. I think aelf did a good job using his traits and UB, but after the opening there weren't too many opportunities for aggression. Besides, without enough land on the home continent for Domination, either would have been a pain to achieve ;)

Yeah. Praets eat Jags for breakfast :lol:
Pithy, but accurate. ;)
edit: and it's not quite older weaponary :lol:
Not at first; I was thinking of a point later in the game, when Augustus had Cavalry, IIRC, to aelf's Macemen. Scary. When that happens, you want to get warm and cuddly with the AI and beg them not to squash you like the pathetic little bug that you are.
Round 9: 1740AD - 1912AD (Part 1)

This update is really long and, as such, it would be divided into 3 parts. The second and third parts will be posted tomorrow and the day after.

Thing seemed to be going well so far. As I was supposed to mention at the end of the last round, the Statue of Liberty and Mercantilism boosted our research with all those free Representation specialists. A good number of them were merchants, and as a result, we were also rolling in money. For this round, science rate was constantly either 90% or 100%. We did lose money at 100%, but often techs would be researched in the same number of turns at 90% anyway (a sign of significant contribution from specialist beakers).

The situation in Lyons, meanwhile, seemed to have stabilised. Thanks to the Spiritual trait, we were able to switch to Slavery for several turns and whip crucial cultural buildings there. The city eventually became almost 40% Aztec and chances of revolt fell to about 1%. Before that, though, the city did experience an annoying 7-turn revolt. I immediately posted more units as garrison to reduce the chances of that happening again.

I heeded the recommendations and did not build the Eiffel Tower and Rock and Roll immediately, opting instead to build factories first. The Eiffel Tower would be built in Paris after it had completed the Ironworks (the Tower would be useful for pushing back Roman borders). As for Rock and Roll, we'll see.

Research-wise, I decided to go for Fibre Optics after all. The techs along the way are necessary for the space race anyway, so why not? The only question is how long we'd take to build the Internet. It had to be relatively quickly built if we wanted to benefit from it. So we went Computers -> Artillery -> Rocketry -> Satellites -> Fibre Optics.

One turn into this round, things stopped looking so pretty. As feared, Augustus wanted out from our alliance:

Well, if he's going to let the Turkish issue come between our countries, then we'd let him be. We could not risk hostility with the Turks for this alliance. Despite this, I was still pretty sure Augustus wouldn't just attack, though, because of my study of the SDK. But I built more infantry units just in case.

Unfortunately, now we're open to attacks from the other continent. Prompted by this consideration, I decided that we should indeed stir up trouble on the other continent:

That should keep them busy for a while (remember, Shaka had two vassals). And, as you might expect, somebody started asking for our help in the war almost immediately:

What's all your military power for if you need our help, fool? Of course I didn't agree to this ridiculous proposal. I mean, look at our power graph :p

Shortly after, Mehmed came again with another demand:

Gosh, this guy is getting annoying. I told him to get lost, naturally.

And then something bad happened. No, it's not war. Far from it:

Lyons peacefully seceded and joined the Roman empire, despite the low odds. Wow, culture is really out of whack in Civ4 :rolleyes: If you conquer a city late enough in the game, you can basically forget about keeping it unless you take all the other cities around it too. Despite the best efforts, it might still revolt and join the neighbouring empire. Another factor in favour of total war and early warmongering, I suppose. Forget limited war, it's either those or you can hardly benefit from war. I guess a 'genocide' option might alleviate this problem :devil:

Ah, well. Our costs did fall and we were in a better strategic position after that, so it's no big loss.

We got our next GP, which wasn't something I expected:

Crap. Now we have 2 prophets. Should have settled the first one, but hindsight is 20/20. I settled the earlier one in our capital for the extra wealth and saved this one for a future Golden Age.

And then it was Shaka who came to us with a demand:

Wow, what did the Romans do? Other than just being Catholics, of course. Here we have a guy who was getting beaten up by his brothers-in-faith and was even losing cities, and yet he still hated heathens from the other side of the world who had never even touched him more :crazyeye:

We completed a wonder next:

The Eiffel Tower in Paris. How apt.

And another:

I figured extra happiness is always good. And the Hit Singles would give us something to trade with (we had traded all our extra resources away).

And, finally, after Fibre Optics was discovered, we began our grand project in the coal-powered Ironworks factory city of Paris:

Not bad. With all those mines and engineers, we could complete the Internet in a reasonable amount of time. And now we're off to beeline for Fusion and the free GE.

[to be continued...]
Do not be afraid if war spreads to your continent. AI's send small amount of troops. Nationhood and Railords are good enough to defend. I would not be afraid of Augustus too. He has never attacked me yet. Just be caraful not too switch civics too often.

btw. The Eiffel Tower in Paris sounds nice :)
I Apollo underway? Don't let that bottleneck you. Maybe even build it before the Internet (it doesn't matter so much when you get the Internet, does it?).

Of course, you've already played on, so my advice maybe isn't very useful.

I Apollo underway? Don't let that bottleneck you. Maybe even build it before the Internet (it doesn't matter so much when you get the Internet, does it?).

If you want to conserve hammers and two civs know Industrialism, building Internet first is best. Industrialism reveals aluminium which gives double production speed of many space ship parts and Apollo too (IIRC).

In the end, however, one wants to launch asap. Sometimes it may be quicker to build Apollo first. I usually begin Apollo, switch to Internet, then complete Apollo afterwards if I only have one high production city. I have never been bottlenecked this way. Cities with nothing to to can build wealth or workers. Workers are useful for a civic switch to state property and massive terraforming when most of the research is almost down.
Round 9: 1740AD - 1912AD (Part 2)

Thanks to all the specialists we were getting from SoL, Mercantilism and citizens that had no good tiles to work, GPs were practically coming out our ears (hmm... imagine if we were Philosophical). A GS was born in Paris:

And this was the second GS to be born after the last prophet. I used one to lightbulb Fission (required for Fusion), and one to lightbulb Fusion next. Yeah, they only took one turn off the research each, but, hey, a turn or two could mean we beat Augustus to the free GE.

Ironically, the next GP we got was a GE:

Wow, these guys are popular in Mexica, aren't they? Maybe it had something to do with having to build the capital city over a lake... no, wait - that's in a different reality. Oh, well :p

And we got the free GE from Fusion:

Now we could use 2 GEs to rush the Space Elevator in 1 turn (you can't see them in the screenshot since they were already in Paris) and still have one left to trigger a GA :goodjob: Not a bad deal at all.

After Fusion, we researched Ecology (which, in case you didn't know, enables SS Life Support) while waiting for the Internet, which would give us the techs required to start researching Robotics for the Elevator.

And on the same turn as the Apollo Program was completed in our capital, we built our next wonder of the world:

For the next few moments, I had to listen to multiple quotes being said over each other, which was quite a surreal experience.

The most valuable techs we got were Railroads, Combustion, Industrialism and Plastics. It's great considering we don't have to give anything in return for those, as opposed to tech trading, which might be limited by WFYABTA anyway. Speaking of that, check out the tech trading screen now:

Yes, it's wonderfully clean. Finally! :lol: Augustus still had a few techs on us, but we had a few on him too, including the expensive and crucial Fusion. And who needs Fascism and Flight anyway?

We got another GP soon after that. Guess what he was:

:crazyeye: This guy was settled in Paris, our main production city, for the lack of a better use.

And the collective genius of so many distinguished engineers made possible the overnight completion of a significant element in the space race:

I know some of you think that it's overrated, but this was certainly another step towards our goal. Of course, we didn't neglect building units for protection in the meantime. Upgrades were made and infantry had replaced older units as garrisons in all our cities. And now that we had oil, many of our coastal cities were constantly contributing to the construction of a modern navy to protect our offshore resources.

Anyway, several turns later, Mehmed came once again asking for help. I turned him down as usual and, as a result, he dropped to 'Cautious':

But, hey, I didn't care. He might be beating the crap out of Shaka's team right now, taking cities here and there, but he certainly didn't escape unscathed. Even if the war ended on the next turn, I'd really like to see him attempt an intercontinental invasion and succeed before we launch.

However, interestingly enough, Augustus (IIRC) built the UN later on. This was an alarming development. We weren't populous enough to be a candidate in the elections, but Mehmed, being #1, certainly was. I wondered if he could actually win a diplomatic victory, so I checked with the foreign advisor:

By then, the war had ended and Mehmed, besides having added more cities to his empire, had taken two vassals (remember, vassals are obliged to vote for their masters). And Ramesses still had the same state religion as him. Would he be able to garner enough votes for a win and finally quash our hopes? Or did Augustus and us have enough share of the votes to prevent his victory? Find out in the next update.

[to be continued...]
Round 9: 1740AD - 1912AD (Part 3)

Well, as it turned out, Mehmed didn't have enough votes. Ramesses abstained and we voted for Augustus, and both the Romans and us had enough votes to veto Mehmed's diplomatic victory. So we were safe after all. But I'm sure many of you suspected that ;)

Our empire went full steam ahead, towards the launch of our spaceship. We did not convert our cottages to workshops, however. We were building parts quickly enough in our production cities. All we needed was to get the necessary techs asap, and our cottages performed admirably in that regard.

And then the time came for the final push. We initiated our first Golden Age in this game:

Things went quite crazy. Productivity in Paris was at its height:

Perhaps not the best you've seen, but it's pretty darn respectable in my books. The Docking Bay took like 8 turns to build in total.

And, finally, it was one turn to the launch. I checked how close Augustus was:

Yes, we had a comfortable lead over our main rival. And so....

The first Aztec to set foot on Alpha Centauri:

He must've been thinking: "Ooo... Shiny!" :p

And thus ends the first Immortal Challenge :king:

Now for an overview of our empire. Let's start with the power graph:

We never quite caught up there, but it looks like the AI's propensity to attack isn't as high as what is widely reported. And Mehmed is not exactly the most trustworthy guy. As you can see, diplomacy really makes a difference.

The GNP graph:

Not something you're unfamiliar with by now. The Democracy beeline worked like a charm. The turning point for our economy, I would say, was the adoption of Emancipation. Look at how the graph climbed. And when it came to the end of the game, there was quite a literal meaning to our 'Golden Age' ;)

The production graph:

This isn't our strong point either, but the GA really contributed a lot to our final push, as you can see from the graph.

Those who said that research is the bottleneck for a space race is spot on. This game shows that you can have the highest production and still lose if your commerce/research can't compete.

Anyway, our capital was recognised, as it had been for most of its history, one of the top cities of the world:

It didn't boast many wonders, but being a holy city, it had a lot of culture. And shrine income from the city was significant, enough to cause to our science rate to be 10% more than it would have been.

Lastly, the score:

This is our highest space victory score, and it's only bested by the domination victory with Rosevelt (EMC3).

I think it was a great game and I learned a lot. I didn't even expect to win halfway through. Thanks for your contributions, guys! I hope you've learned something too. I'll post an analysis of the game tomorrow to put things in perspective.

Well, now that I've gotten my first Immortal victory, what next? Should we have another Immortal Challenge? Needless to say, the gods are pleased and would give their blessings for our next adventure. I'm tempted to try my hand at an SE on this level. What say you?
One question: did I understand well that you voted for Augustus for Diplo victory? Why?

As for the rest: great game! Diplomacy sure didn't let you down this time either! Otherwise it would have been a very messy affair, wouldn't it? I'm for another Immortal Challenge, whether SE or CE, doesn't matter.
Woot! Well done. Democracy saves the day again, once you have enough land.

I think the other key was getting Mehmed and Shaka to fight each other. If you look at the power graph right before that, it's pretty clear Mehmed was going to go after someone. It he chose you, it could've been ugly.

Well, now that I've gotten my first Immortal victory, what next? Should we have another Immortal Challenge? Needless to say, the gods are pleased and would give their blessings for our next adventure. I'm tempted to try my hand at an SE on this level. What say you?

Congratulations :goodjob:. I think an FE/SE would be fun...I'd suggest Gandhi.

Congratulations! Yet another game that shows the utility of the Internet project, especially when pursuing a Space Race win. It's also fun to see all those techs appear in one turn, isn't it? :D

Masterful use of diplomacy, as usual, especially handling the two super-powers, Rome and the Turks. That showed a good use of the Spiritual trait, being able to effortlessly switch to favoured civics and religions to rack up bonuses with the AI.

Mehmed is turning out to be quite the slippery eel, isn't he? I tend to kill him off quickly now--not as quickly as when I see your avatar in this game, but post-haste nonetheless.

Another awesome win! :clap: What/who is next?
Congratulations Itlan!

Aztecs walking in space, who would have thought Itlan?

And yes, stirring up Mehmed and Shaka was a nice move - Shaka sure took a pasting, didn't he? That war probably also ensured Mehmed wouldn't get the votes he needed for a diplo win, too.

Again, well done Itlan!

(What's this Itlan stuff? Anyone remember the cartoon version of The Tick? :) )
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