Chapter 14: Still unlucky, still boring. As we open our story, at 1385 AD, there's a whole lot of nothing going on. World peace reigns and I'm busy railing, mining irrigating, and otherwise keeping my workers busy. That, building infrastructure in towns that now need it & a little abandoning & resettling work. That's about it. I finish out the 14th century by completing the Pentagon in Rusicade (largely having forgotten that I started it), and, in 1390 AD, the Hittites complete Shakespeare's Theater at Hattusas. Electricity comes in & I set my sights on SciMeth. Even at 90% science, I'm running a profit. At this stage, nobody has enough gold to make trading Medicine or Electricity worth the risk that I'll lose ToE in a cascade, so I sit on both. They'll still have some value later and I really, really want the two free techs. After letting this sit for a while, I decide to go back and switch a few builds to muskets. I won't ever use them as muskets, but my specialist farms are coming along nicely and I'll be able to upgrade them to infantry soon enough. One settler, a few infantry, maybe, just maybe rush some walls and I ought to be able to sit out quite a storm in the hills on the other continent. The only question is: Who should I invade first? Right now, Hiawatha's the big contender. He seems to have a slight edge over the others in research, and power, though Mursilis and Joan really aren't far behind. In 1415, Hiawatha shows up with this offer: Spoiler : Hmmmm. . . . . I would agree with his assessment. Mighty Carthage does bestride the globe like a colossus. Unfortunately for him, Mighty Carthage is not interested in offering its hand in friendship to the peace-loving Iroquois. . . . By 1425, I have totally run out of room for new settlements on my continent. My specialist farms are finally beginning to mature and the railing projects are coming along. I've still got lots to do in the core, and settlers are beginning to pile up, so the time to expand some more is coming. Man alive! There sure is a lot of jungle to be cleared. Didja know that there's a key combination that will actually send a worker from the middle of your core to clear the nearest forest tile, even if it's waaaay at the northernmost tip of your continent? Neither did I, 'till I fumble-fingered one. In 1435 AD, Scientific Method comes in and it turns out that I didn't plan my prebuilds very well. Even with the Army prebuild I had going at Leptis Minor, ToE is 39 turns out. I can get it in 29 at Tingis, so I'll build it there, even without a prebuild. Now the $64,000 question is whether to invade prior to completion. I think probably not. I could go lone scientist for 29 turns, save a bunch of gold, and use it for upgrades. It's not likely that the AI will beat me to ToE. Not impossible, but unlikely. By joining some workers, I discover that I can shave it down to 17 turns. OK. I can wait that long to invade. I figure out that I can research RP in 7 turns, so I decide to go ahead with that. I can finish that and maybe then shut down research (or go lone scientist) until ToE. We'll see. According to CA2, I'll lose ~130gpt in deals that expire next turn (1445 AD). I need to decide right now whether to sell Medicine or Electricity (the only things I've got to market) and risk a cascade on ToE, or whehter to bite the bullet and take the economic hit. After 1445, I also lose my source of Dyes (Hittite). After the deals have collapsed, here's what trade looks like: Spoiler : I don't care for the fact that the Iroquois have developed Industrialization. Frankly, I wanted it for myself. It was one of the techs that I was considering taking from the ToE, but maybe I can trade for it. Spoiler : Hmm. . . Seems a little steep, don'tcha think? I'm just not interested in selling the Iros two luxes, not even for industrialization. Here's what Hiawatha will give for Electricity: Spoiler : Here's what he'll give for Medicine: Spoiler : If I turn down research some, I can still do some deficit research, but still make it moderately timely. At 50%, I can still grab RP in 7 at +30 gpt. I decide not to trade just yet. I'm still just too jumpy about losing ToE in a cascade. I may well lose the opportunity to trade Medicine and Electricity, but if I get ToE, it will have been worth it. In 1450, Mursilis show up, wanting to renegotiate peace. Looking at my "Current Trades" tab, it looks like I did indeed include gpt in the peace treaty. That appears to be why Mursilis showed up, looking to renegotiate. I'd much rather they declared on me, but I've still got a boat in their waters, so I don't want to bust my rep by DOWing them right now. I accept. Also in 1450, I learn that the Iros have begun Universal Sufferage. All the more reason not to trade Elec or Medicine, I guess. So, that's the latest. It's still a rather tedious "get forces together and prepare to invade" kind of game. Unfortunately, the ToE is still ~15 turns out, and army is ~18 turns out and I've got a palace prebuild going . . . for what, I'm not sure. The various empires still look the same. Here's a picture of the tech tree. Anyone care to opine as to what I should take if I get the ToE? I'll have RP in 4 turns, so it'll be out of the way. I'm thinking maybe Atomic Theory and Electronics to make use of my palace prebuild (which should have about 300 shields in it right now) to grab Hoover, maybe? Then I can trade them around for Nationalism, Industrialization, etc. Not that I'll need Nationalism, not unless I want espionage. Spoiler : Anyway, thanks for following along.