The Space Race


Archiving Civ3 Content
Mar 17, 2007
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Civilization III is a game that I seemingly never grow tired of - I play other games from time to time as well, but I always end up coming back to CivIII. Thus it was inevitably a short-lived situation I found myself in earlier this week when I had no current Civilization game. And sure enough, rather than play a new game I've hardly played tonight, I found myself starting up another game of Civilzation, with a variant I'd thought of several months ago. Without further ado in the introduction, here's the details you'll want to know about the game:

Game Details

Size: Huge (15 opponents)
Barbarians: Roaming
Continents, 70% water
Wet Climate
Temperate Temperature
4 Billion Year Age
AI Aggression: More Aggressive
Regent Difficulty
Cultural Linked Start Off
Respawn AI Players Off
All other options default (except if listed in variant)

My Civilization: Korea (Scientific, Industrious)

And the variant:

Victories Allowed: Space Race ONLY
My Starting Age: Ancient Age
Opponents' Starting Age: Middle Ages

So as you can see, the challenge here is technological. Not only do I have an inherent and significant Space Race disadvantage, but it may well be a struggle simply surviving if my neighbors decide they don't like me a whole lot.

Table of Contents

Part One - The Early Days (4000 B.C. - 1600 B.C.) - Immediately Below
Part Two - The First Punic War (1600 B.C. - 470 B.C.) - Pretty close below
Part Three - The Iron War (470 B.C. - 10 B.C.)
Part Four - The Second Punic War (1 AD - 476 AD)
Part Five - The Age of Discovery (476 AD - 950 AD)
Part Six - War is Brought Upon Korea (950 - 1240 AD)
Part Seven (1240 - 1290 AD)
Part Eight: Three New Wars (1292 - 1305 AD)
Part Nine: The Taking of Hastings (1307 - 1317 AD)
Part Ten: Steady Progress (1320 - 1327 AD)
Part Eleven: Elite Warriors (1330 - 1337 AD)
Part Twelve: One War Ends, And Another Begins (1340 - 1345 AD)
Part Fourteen: La Guerre avec France (1360 - 1365 AD)
Part Fifteen: The Invasion of the Aztecs (1370 - 1380 AD)
Part Sixteen: Completing the Aztec War (1380 - 1392 AD)
Part Seventeen: Skirmishes with Mongolia (1395 - 1410 AD)
Part Eighteen: The Beginning of the Second Mayan War (1410 - 1432 AD)
Part Nineteen: Vanquishing the Maya (1435 - 1475 AD)

Part One - The Early Days

I click the start button and hope for a good start. The one I get doesn't look too bad.

I send the Worker south and find that my Settler is not near a coast. So I settle in place. The culture pop reveals nearby Wines.

All in all not a bad start at all. I set research to 50-turn Writing. I want Literature quickly, both for culture and research, and this will allow me to accumulate some gold that I can use to help lessen the tech gap.

My first encounter with another civilization comes in 3550 B.C., when I rather inconveniently disturb some Zhou Warriors with a scouting Warrior.

Only one attacks that turn, losing without damaging my Warrior. Excellent. By the end of the next IBT, all three are dead and I have a 4/4 Veteran Warrior.

Wines are connected in 3050 B.C., the same year I find a very lucrative-looking area south of Seoul.

Three Cows and a Wheat? Sounds great! The area to the north is pretty good as well, with lots of green and another Wheat, so land-wise I can't complain.

P'yongyang is founded southwest of the Wheat in 2800 B.C. Once we get a bit of productivity there it'll be an excellent worker/settler factory.

I encounter the Carthaginians to the northeast in 2590 B.C. and the English to the southwest the same year. Both have all the Ancient Techs - good, the mod worked! If I go to war early, it'll probably be against the English - don't really feel like challenging Numidian Mercenaries.

England offers me Pottery for 110 gold the next turn. I consider it, but decide to wait awhile to see if the price falls after I meet a few more civilizations. I don't plan to use it right now even if I did have it.

By 2310 B.C., P'yongyang has given me two Workers and a Cow has been irrigated, and I switch it to Settler factory mode. Seoul will produce a mix of military units and Settlers, and my third city may well become a military hub.

In 2150, Carthage builds a third city, Leptis Magna. For a Regent AI, that's a very good pace, but I'm not too surprised when I take a look at the tiles around Carthage.

Two Wheat and a Silk, with at least five Bonus Grassland to boot? If P'yongyang didn't have such good terrain I'd want to switch starting locations!

In other news, at this point Carthage has already switched to Republic, while England remains a Despotism. Carthage probably got a really low revolution time given the small size of their empire. Regardless, I already have a feeling they're going to be dangerous.

Forty years later I take out some Avar barbarians with an Elite Warrior for 25 gold after first losing a free Aryan Warrior to them while promotion fishing. Still a net gain of 25 gold, so I'm not going to complain.

In 2070 I meet France to my east, who offers me pottery for 100 gold. I still don't accept the offer, but it looks like my decision not to buy tech from England is going to pay off :D!

That same year I discover that the large body of water to my west is in fact just a really big lake and not an ocean. Somewhat disappointing, but I can certaily build a canal city to make it an effective ocean.

I meet an Aztec Warrior coming from the south in 1950 B.C. Montezuma offers Pottery for 120 gold. Looks like maybe my cheaper-with-more-contacts theory won't work out after all :(.

At this point the idea occurs to me to build the Great Library and forget all about buying techs. But a little voice tells me that would rather defeat the point of the variant. Fortunately Montezuma is working to solve this dilemma already - he's building The Great Library in Tenochititlan.

In 1750 B.C. I discover Writing and set research to 25-turn Literature. I establish an embassy in Tenochtitlan and find that they are indeed to my south, in somewhat marshy terrain, and have 91 turns left on the Great Library. They'll likely cut it down to about 60 turns from now with population growth, but as a Republic, happiness will limit them beyond that. Looking at the tiles around Seoul and my more generous happiness limit, I estimate I could complete the Great Library about 54 turns from now. But I won't go that route. That would defeat the entire point of the variant, and what's the fun in that?

Actually I rather hope the Aztecs don't complete the Great Library - I'd rather it not be a factor at all for me, and it certainly will if they complete it. Perhaps I should've disabled it entirely in the options - oh well, never think of all the ideal settings the first time.

At this point my small empire looks as follows:

For the immediate future, expansion will likely focus on the northwest and the furs it offers, though I may try to nab one more city north of Wonsan to deny Carthage yet another excellent city location. Here's a picture of our rather meager World Map:

I suspect someone resides south of the Aztecs and French. Someone may also be southwest of England or east of Carthage - only time will tell.
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WOOHOO! First to Post!!!!! Another Quintillian story!

The start looks great, it definitely should help you achieve your goal. The GLIB is a must have, obviously.

It looks like, W, NWx3 of Seoul would be a good spot, and maybe keep expanding from there?

I think you'll need to colonize the strip of land above London, or else the English will take it and send boats across the sea to attack you. Or else achieve naval supremacy fast.

What governments are the AI's in? Have they switched to Rep and Monarchy, or are they still in Despotism?

The AI's research will be 50 turn, until they get 10 or so decent cities, so you'll be catching up.
WOOHOO! First to Post!!!!! Another Quintillian story!

The start looks great, it definitely should help you achieve your goal. The GLIB is a must have, obviously.

As much as it would help me win the game, it would defeat the whole point of the variant. Tempting certainly, but for the sake of the variant I must resist.

It looks like, W, NWx3 of Seoul would be a good spot, and maybe keep expanding from there?

Landwise not a bad place, but it won't be able to take advantage of the sea tiles like a coastal city would (remembering that lakes of size 21 and larger require a Harbor for 2 food). Certainly has enough tobacco! Expansion in that direction certainly will continue, though, far too rich of land to ignore.

I think you'll need to colonize the strip of land above London, or else the English will take it and send boats across the sea to attack you. Or else achieve naval supremacy fast.

Definitely. There's huge strategic importance to getting that land, it's just a matter of getting Settlers there.

What governments are the AI's in? Have they switched to Rep and Monarchy, or are they still in Despotism?

Everyone except England is in Republic. England remains in Despotism.

The AI's research will be 50 turn, until they get 10 or so decent cities, so you'll be catching up.

True. I'm not sure yet how close I'll be able to catch up, but this will no doubt help - I shouldn't be seeing Knights before I have Swords.

Next update coming up in a few minutes. And it's got some action, the AI made sure of that!
The Carthaginians settle Hippo by the Wheat I was thinking of poaching from them in 1600 B.C. It's a small loss; there's plenty of land to expand to.

By 1275 I've realized that I won't be able to prevent the local AI from building the Great Library - every single one of them is building it! Apparently even though it will go obsolete soon they all still value it more than any other Ancient Age wonder.

In 1250 I finish research on Literature and go for Iron Working. Half my empire begins building Libraries.

I encounter the Maya in 1125. They reside south of the swamps by Aztec lands. Sure enough, they're also building The Great Library - but they're building The Hanging Gardens as well. I feel a Wonder Cascade coming on...

Everything is going quite smoothly, with expansion picking up nicely, until 1075, when Hannibal threatens me.

Whew! I probably could've held Carthage off, but an offensive would've posed a serious problem. We save 33 gold by not giving in as well.

P'yongyang completes our first Library in 1025. Here we come, tech leaders!

Iron Working is discovered in 1000 B.C. We find two sources in the known world:

Carthage doesn't have any - that's good. France and England do - so much for them being easy prey. I want to raze Hastings and build a canal instead, but that may not be so easy anymore. Lyons should fall much easier, but with less reward for its capture.

The same year we establish an embassy with the Maya and pay 24 gold for rights of passage. Normally I wouldn't pay for rights of passage, but I'm quite curious as to what's south of them and there's no other easy way to get there.

In 950 B.C., The Venerable Bede completes his Great History of the world:

We're in second place! No doubt thanks to our Wine and our military police (nearly everyone else having switched to Republic).

The English start Sun Tzu's Art of War in 900 B.C., the first medieval wonder any of my neighbors have started. The five of them are building a combined twelve wonders - a true Wonder Race.

I discover The Wheel in 875 B.C. and find two sources of horses:

One is in Carthaginian lands - small chance of getting it. The other is in free lands. I send a Settler there immediately.

In 850 B.C. I see that France has already hooked up their Iron. Rats...

I meet Arabia in 825 B.C. They're somewhere south of the Maya, though since I ran into a Warrior of theirs, I don't know exactly where.

Warrior Code is discovered in 750 B.C. I'm thinking it's about time to take some French Iron! Research is set to Masonry to help against the anticipated counterattack of Medieval Infantry.

The Dutch complete The Hanging Gardens in 730 B.C. I brace myself for a Wonder Cascade...

690 B.C. -

!!! I was entirely NOT expecting that!!! I hit the "O" and see what happens.

Go figure. Undefended city on the frontier - no more. Well, looks like our plans against the French will have to wait.

The next turn, I establish an embassy with France and sign a Right of Passage deal the next turn that includes them giving me Masonry for 1 gold. That ought to ensure they don't declare war on me, and even if they do, I'll have walls.

In 650 B.C., I trade extra Wines to England for Pottery and Ceremonial Burial. Excellent, another neighbor placated. I set research to Math - a few Catapults might be quite useful against Numidian Mercenaries.
590 B.C. - I complete Walls in Pusan just in time. Fighting is about to break out.

Two Archers are a Warrior are ready to attack Pusan, defended by a Spearman and a Warrior. To the south, a Warrior is at the gates of Inch'on, where a Spearman just arrived from Seoul. I consider that accepting peace at a loss may not be a bad idea considering the odds and the Numidian Mercenary on the heels of the attack force, but Carthage refuses to negotiate. So I attack one of their settling parties instead.

Free workers! And yes, they did just trapse halfway through my territory while we were at war :blush:.

In even better news, we complete a road to bring Furs to our cities this turn. Yeah, I know that doesn't help our defence, but we're trying to keep a positive outlook here.

580 B.C. -

Oh good! We could use a few horse units, even if Carthage's defence makes them less useful.

Carthage sends the Warrior and one Archer at Pusan, but both are rebuffed without loss of our Spearman. Pusan is relatively safe for now.

I also notice that my Spearman fortified in the walled city of Inch'on attacked a Warrior that was walking by. I didn't think Spearmen had Zones of Control. Maybe the Wall gave that to him? Certainly an unusual occurence.

570 B.C. - One crises has been dealt with, but another has come up.

I didn't consider that Numidian Mercenary a big threat until I realized it has an attack of three. Oh well, can't do anything about it now.

I meet the Iroquois south of the Maya. They seem benevolent enough.

560 B.C. -

Curse those Numidian Mercenaries! Wonsan is lost. Perhaps it is best that it was burned; at least they don't have it. But it's certainly not good!

A Warrior is lost at Pusan. We're left with one Elite Spearman.

550 B.C. - We take advantage of a rare opportunity to go on the offensive.

:sad: We fail to take Hadrumetum. They'll likely have a Numidian Mercenary by the next time we get there. This won't be an easy war to win - we may be able to break even, but winning will be difficult.

470 B.C. - We complete research on Mathematics, and start on Horseback Riding. Chariots just aren't effective enough. Meanwhile, the Ottomans complete the Mausoleum of Mausollos in Edrine.

We decide to take on a Numidian Mercenary for the first time this turn.

We lose three Archers in the process. We're left with one Chariot as our entire offensive force, an unguarded capital with a Warrior two squares from it, and Carthage has a Golden Age. That's what I call bad.

Hannibal knows it, too. For peace, he wants either Pusan - my frontline city - or 543 gold, which would nearly bankrupt me for the next four centuries.

We could continue to try our luck. We could bring a Spearman from P'yongyang to Seoul, hunker down in Pusan, and try to hold off their soldiers while somehow coming up with an offensive. But that doesn't really get us anywhere. So we swallow our pride and accept the peace offer.

My empire now in disarray, I check the information screens and find myself rather ironically leading in score. In fact, our Land Area still is the largest in the world. But that won't last too long with too many wars like this one.

At this point, our empire looks as follows:

We have one settler ready to found a new city southwest of Paegam, and another two hurrying to replace the cities we lost to Carthage. Further expansion likely will be slow as we seek to address the major military holes Carthage so unkindly exposed.
I didn't consider that Numidian Mercenary a big threat until I realized it has an attack of three. Oh well, can't do anything about it now.

Numid. mercenary is actually 2/3/1, so it was not a common occurence that a reg mercenary beat a fortified veterean spear across a river.

What will you do now?

Why not sign a MA with France against Carthage? Their iron could help.
Very interesting so far. Brutal war against the Carthaginians. Not something you were expecting or prepared for.

And I don't think a military alliance with France would've helped him much, honestly; too little short-term gain.

Totally bad luck.

You should proofread the title before posting and then more people might look at this.

You should start posting your story when you get past all the boring city planting and building stage. Everyone knows what city planting looks like. Like start it when a big war starts or something would be better.

OK, you're getting a bit out of hand here.

*I don't mind if you bump an old thread if you've got something useful to say, even just to say good job if the thread starter is still around or the thread is for some reason relevant again. But bumping two threads that are six years old with hardly anything to say, certainly nothing that adds to it, in a week? Is it necessary? I couldn't find the other one, probably just as well. This alone I'd overlook, say perhaps I'll load up that ancient save and see what I can make of it, but the other things are more jading.

*It's certainly an odd form of praise to suggest a thread should have more views but then blaming the thread starter for it not having more views. Though from your comment I'm not sure you even imply that it should in fact have more views. You've been here long enough to know that titles can't be changed after a day, and everyone makes typos even when they do take the time to proofread. If it's misspelled, etc., so what?

In this case, the grammatical error is intentional. See the following Wikipedia article: . I wouldn't have expected you to know that, but at the least you could've asked more along the lines of, "Did you mean to say 'are belong to panzers'?" at the end of a post with something else to say besides just about the grammatical mistake. Something along those lines would've seemed appropriate, but the way you put it is belittling.

*Maybe it's the "You should" that bugs me. I certainly don't mind when stories do start partway through a game, and almost went that route with my other current story. If you want to write your stories that way, go right ahead. Even saying, "Why did you start with 'The Early Days' instead of 'The First Punic War' would've been a fair question. But to outright say I should start with the first big war? I've read enough stories here to know that a good number of them start right at the beginning, so I know I'm not alone in thinking this is a good place to start. Go ahead and give your reasons why you prefer them to start later, but don't outright say stories should start then.

If you prefer stories that start later, you can only read those. Or you can skip the early parts of the stories that start at the beginning and jump to where the first big war is. It's your choice how you read stories and which ones you read; this isn't assigned reading here. I don't care if you give suggestions, be it about in-game play or writing, but I don't like the "you should" tone, at least in the context of the two quotes above. I don't care if you don't read my stories, either - I think nearly all of us pick and choose the ones we like.

To answer the question of why I started the story where I did, it is to give a backdrop. I rather like the "humble beginnings to powerful empire" storyline, and you need humble beginnings to have that. Plus this way readers will be familiar with the empire, the land, etc. by the time big conflicts start, rather than being thrown in. And I don't think it's that boring of reading - sure it would be if I listed every little thing that happened, but I try to keep it to the more interesting parts of the game. Is this way superior to jumping right into the main events? No, but it's not without merits.

The early stages are an integral part of a Civ game, and while they shouldn't necessarily be a majority of the story, I don't think they're undeserving of being part of a story, either.

I don't think this story even focused on them that much. By a quarter of the way through part two a war had already started, and certainly not a minor one at that, so was this complaint even really necessary? If there'd been ten sections with no war whatsoever and just a regular report of peace time activities, sure, I can see saying, "Is anything big ever going to occur?", but it was a mere one peaceful section here.

3Davideo, do you agree that these were a bit out of line? I probably care too much, explaining why things are out of line in the small hope that it will cause change for the better rather than just hitting "add to ignore list" right away.

I can see an excuse giving a reason to overlook the last two somewhat, given that they were near the same time, but given the two other megabumps it can't excuse them entirely.

Now for a random cowboy smiley...:cowboy:


Back to the other comments...

You're right, killerkid, Numidian Mercenary is attack of two. Don't know how it ended up saying three in post, maybe space aliens were changing it :shifty:. But two was still enough for them to be a threat, even if their victory was unlikely. I'd been thinking regular spearman until it was too late to get reinforcements there.

I'm at peace now; I didn't want to sign an alliance with France in case France overpowered Carthage - or vice versa, for that matter. Even if it had won me the war, my territorial gains would've been small at best - it's hard to gain ground with Archers against Numidian Mercenaries.

@general, because I don't feel like quoting:

No doubt we want to get back at Carthage. But when that'll happen, only time can tell. In the short term, all we can hope for is resettling the razed cities - our military is too weak. And without Iron it'll be hard to get a military strong enough to win against Carthage. I updated my other story today, but there ought to be an update here soon.

It certainly was a brutal war. And Carthage didn't even take advantage of its tech advantage! Good thing, I don't think I could've held off Medieval Infantry at Pusan. But that's what I get for "More Aggressive" AI.
I'm at peace now; I didn't want to sign an alliance with France in case France overpowered Carthage - or vice versa, for that matter. Even if it had won me the war, my territorial gains would've been small at best - it's hard to gain ground with Archers against Numidian Mercenaries.

As Nietzsche once said, "The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy." Let France do the wearing down, and you do the final attack.
*cough* why does it not surprise me that unscratchedfoot continued acting inappropriately.. *rolleyes* anyways, Quint, I want more. MORE MORE MORE. :D
:sad:, that was some bad luck with Carthage there. First target for the tanks, I see.
At this point Korea is certainly in recovery mode. Carthage just handed us a hearty defeat, and our military is a mere twenty units - including three Settlers and six workers. But we've still got more than a chance at this game (if not a fighting chance right now), so we'll certainly continue!

430 B.C. - I found Kaesong on the location of Wonsan. One lost city recovered. I send a Chariot there to make sure it is guarded - don't want a repeat of the First Punic War.

410 B.C. - The Aztecs complete the Great Library in Tenochtitlan. So much for that question. I wouldn't be surprised to see a small wonder cascade.

390 B.C. - France completes The Colossus in Paris. Not particularly big news.

350 B.C. - We replace Pyongsong, the first city Carthage razed. Looks like the war was just a temporary, and somewhat costly, setback!

In 290 B.C. I am surprised when my scout discovers the Mongols to the southeast of the Iroquois. We've got at least nine civilizations on our continent.

250 B.C. -

Uh-oh. You know what happened last time there was a strife between the Carthaginians and I. But recalling the time they backed off after I refused their demand, I decide to call their bluff.

Whew. He was bluffing again. Now we won't be worried at all when he comes demanding stuff - and we'll might be in real trouble when he actually does grow a backbone!

While we're at it, we trade Wines and 10 gold to Carthage for Philosophy. We've two excess wines, and two trading partners (the other being England), so we figure, why not?

By the end of the day, Hannibal is Polite with us. Go figure.

230 B.C. - The Vikings complete The Great Lighthouse in Trondheim. This could get interesting if they focus their research towards Invention, with Berserks and all.

We trade Wines to England this turn along with 10 gold for Mysticism. I like these techs for 10 gold. Once again the trade increases diplomatic standing to Polite.

170 B.C. - What do you do when you can't defeat the Carthiginians in a fight?

You declare war on the French!

The main point of our war with the French is to get Iron. It just so happens that the French have a very nice Iron source by a city near our borders. And we just so happen to have nine archers within range :mischief:.

Oh yeah, they have pikes. It'll only get worse with time, though, so we're biting the bullet now.

Biting the pike?

We end up losing five archers to defeat one pike. Pitiful. But the city is razed, and the iron falls within the radius of Taejon. Our cities begin making swords at once.

90 B.C. - Having seen a mere one Archer of French offensive thus far, we send our Archers on towards Rheims. The war is going quite well, and we've already got three Swords trained.

80 B.C. -

I think I jinxed myself writing that last turn...

70 B.C. -

Oh goody! All my libraries are paying off! If you can't defeat them on the ground, defeat them with culture!

50 B.C. - The Battle of Rheims occurs!!!

Unfortunately we lose all but one round of it. So we go to the negotiating table.

Or not. Instead we send forward our Swords.

30 B.C. - Babylon completes the Statue of Zeus in Ellipi.

The Second Battle of Rheims occurs!!!

Unfortuantely we lose all three rounds of it. So we decide just to play defence until the French are willing to negotiate.

10 B.C. - France is willing to negotiate. They give us a good deal, the details of which have been lost to time (aka forgetting to take a screenshot), but that includes at least Code of Laws. We set research to Republic and breathe a sigh of relief that the French troops approaching Sariwon won't advance a step further.

So we're 1-1 in wars, and now have the critical Iron resource we so sorely lacked in our first war. The B.C. years were not all sugar and sunshine, but once again things are looking good for the Korean Empire.
Yay! Quint updated! :D

Also, totally expected those cheese loving surrender monkeys to surrender. :p
Great story so far, Quintillus! I just finished reading your Conquest of the World a few days ago, I lost track after page 30 but gradually reread my whole way through and finally finished it. :) It gave me the motivation to get to work on my 'First Reich' story.

I like the settings here, quite a challenge indeed...playing Teturkhan's Map, I always assumed some civs having as valuable a tech as map making(trading for it will bankrupt you if you can get it at all, that is a GUARANTEE) was a disadvantage, but a WHOLE age? Maybe in a few years I'll be confident enough to take such a challenge myself. :lol:

Anyways, good work on conquering that French city (and not being possessed by 'Alexander Syndrome', signing a treaty as soon as you could once the objective was achieved). :) When the game has you pinned against the wall, it quickly becomes an all-or-nothing match, and fate chose to side with you here and let you devour their just hope it doesn't randomly run out! XD

I'll be watching. :3
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