Victory based on very late expansion


Highly-Pixelated Globe
Jun 2, 2001
Arizona, USA
Some have said that the panzer is a useless special unit, but I just won a game (domination victory on regent level) using primarily panzers (I did later upgrade them to Modern Armor, but I went from nothing to a world power in a very short amount of time while they were still only panzers). I will try to attach a before and after saved game for anyone who is interested.

Assuming that these .zip files are not too big, the first one should show my empire right after I used my panzers to wipe out the Babylonians. I am in a golden age and ready to invade my former ally Japan. Before conquering the Babylonians, I had only taken a few French cities and I had felt doomed to a diplomatic victory. After I took Japan, I went for domination.
And this file should contain a point very near my victory. From here all I had to do is let my borders grow to get a domination victory. I could not have done this without the panzer, and those who say it arives too late in the game have clearly not seen something like this.
I also usually expand more in the late game than at any other time. Building non-upgradeable military units like cavalry irks me and I try to minimize it. In my current game I'm slaughtering the Babylonians and the Persians (I'm the Americans) with modern armor and mechanized infantry but I have not built an F-15 yet.
Maybe yo ucould write a tale about it?
true. But in my opinion late Special units are only helpful if you are a smart human player. Couse i play as romans, and wit my faithful legions i destroy all civs that CAN get future special units becoue they are handicapped at the beggining of the game. The Greeks for example are much harder to kill at the beggining couse they have the hoplite and that can fight good VS my legions, but if u dont have early special units and you are a stupid cheating AI then your dead. This only works on a small map ofcourse, becouse if its a big map, the civs with latter Specials on an other continent can grow, and fight u off. iN MY game the only people who stand a chance agaisnt my empire are the lousy Americans and their F-16s. They developted on another continent so i didnt get a chance to kill them early.
I have always been curious how one plays as the Americans. Your special unit cannot attack and kill anything so the only way you get a golden age is to be bombed or have your fighters intercepted. It must be tough.

Also it is true that I have never seen the AI build an empire late in the game from nothing through the use of special units. I guess it just isn't quite good enough (I do only play on regent though).

Das, I might very well write this up as a tale when I get home today. If I do, I'll post it here. Obviously my research paper for history gets the top priority, but today is, for some strange reason, early release, so I might have the time for both. :D
If you're as the Americans, the easiest way to trigger a golden age is to build an Expansionist wonder and an Industrious wonder. If you can get the Pyramids and the Lighthouse (or some other Expansionist wonder...Copernicus or Magellan or maybe even the Colossus work too), then you trigger a GA that way. Unless you're swimming with a bunch of wonder-building sharks, you'll likely spend your Golden Age sometime in the late Ancient era or early Medieval, long before F-15s can be built.
Some have said that the panzer is a useless special unit

Who said that? It's the most dominating UU in the game. Some might argue for the Mounted Warrior, the Jag, or the Rider, and make a good case, but I'll make my case for the Panzer Here.

- Sirian
It makes for a little dose of historic realism. Germany came into its own at the end of the 19th Century, its height of power. Then America in the mid-20th.

The UU's reflect this obviously. Ive never played as the Americans, so I cannot comment on the usefullness of the F-15. But, even the absolute worst starts can be salvaged with a golden age and a group of panzers. :D

BTW, nice story Sirian.
Today I rule most of the world, but it wasn’t always that way. I used to be merely a tribal elder within the small group of nomads who eventually became Germany. It is true that I gave these nomads invaluable advice as to where to start their first permanent settlement, but after that point I mostly just got in the way.
“Build settlers,” I said. And “Why aren’t you building those settlers faster?” I harassed the cities’ governors as they went about their duties. “I can do it better. No look, if you time it right you can build a warrior and a band of settlers in only the time it takes to build the latter. Don’t roll your eyes at me!” I thought I was doing much better than any other tribal leader could have been, but I was wrong. Very wrong.
While I was micromanaging production, road construction, and city placement the entire puny little German nation was being built into a tight little area of coasts and highlands. A mountain range marked our eastern border and the sea marked our western border. In the north our dominion ended in a hilly grassland, far more productive than all of our lands except for the fertile floodplains by Hamburg and Bremen, and in the south our control of the land ended at a vast and lifeless desert. Across the mountains lay Japan, a land of fertile valleys and violent natives, and to the south lay Babylon, a nation also well equipped with the weapons of war. To the north was the kingdom of France, a land notable primarily for its rich fields and for its large supply of a strange four-legged animal that the rest of the world seemed to enjoy to domesticate and ride around on. Unfortunately, there was not a “horse” in all of Germany, so it looked like we would not get the opportunity to try this.
Finding my tribe in this grim situation, the first thing I did was speak to Joan, the ruler of the French. “Your cities are so much more productive than mine,” I exclaimed. “While all that my tribal councils do is roll some goat bones around in a cup and throw them out on the floor so that we can look at them and somehow try to divine what to do, you have advisors and trained military leaders. Plus everyone here seems to think that you are inspired by your god.”
“We call it divine right monarchy,” she replied, “and it works a lot better than your ancient despotism. We also have this thing called currency.”
“Oh,” I exclaimed “so that explains that little display on my monitor that says 150 Gold (+ 2 per turn). I always thought it was some kind of message from the gods about those goat bones. Can you teach me this concept of monarchy?” That’s right, not only were we weak militarily, we were scientifically backwards!
After I had traded some technology with Joan and later with Xerxes (the Japanese were a crude, obnoxious, and warlike people, and all they did was threaten me), I started a nice little revolution and made sure that I was put into a position of king over all of Germany. My wisemen had long since informed me that the chunks of red-gray metal in the mountains north of Heidelburg could be used to make weapons, so now I called Germany’s best smiths together and told them “Start making these chunks of ‘iron’ into sharpened metal bars. If you’re feeling really industrious, you can even put points on them!” Yes, I was going to make my nation into a military power if it had nothing else to recommend it. And I did this not a moment too soon.
“You are trespassing on German soil,” I informed the commander of a small group of Japanese spearmen who were in the process of escorting a band of settlers past Bremen.
He spat into the dust at my feet. “Japan is a mighty nation, unlike yours, and we go where we want! We have horses and Germany is known to have nothing. You cannot make us leave.” He sneered down at me from the height that the good nutrition of living in a country that had figured out how to catch fish provided him with.
“If you don’t get out of here, we will fight you!” I exclaimed.
“Oh this ought to be good,” the Japanese spearman smirked.
And so we were at war with Japan. Fortunately for all of their horses and good nutrition, the Japanese lacked one crucial ingredient that all advanced armies needed: iron. Unfortunately, they had the ear of Xerxes and of the Indian ruler. Within a few turns I was at war with the known world except for France.
My troops seized Edo in the opening days of the war, but then there was no moving forward. Enemy horsemen controlled the land in all direction and archers came in huge numbers to wear down my swordsmen. Persian swordsmen rampaged up and down the front, attacking cities repeatedly and in large numbers. Were it not for the discovery of a type of weapon that the wisemen call a pike, it is entirely possible that Germany’s existence would have ended then and there. As it was we held, but barely.
When the Indian army showed up, I knew it was the end. Before this point, all that I had known of India was that it lay somewhere beyond Japan, but know I knew that it had both iron and horses and that it had thousands of men-at-arms. I called Gandhi to the negotiation table, hoping that he would be a kindly old pacifist. Unfortunately he was a warmongering lunatic and I had to empty my treasury to his fiendish empire to get him to leave.
Now I called Xerxes. “How about a peace treaty,” I inquired, trying not to let my desperate willingness to do just about anything to end the war show.
“OK,” he replied. Wow, I didn’t even have to offer him anything. That sure made my day.
Now it was time to extract my revenge on Japan. Without iron or allies, the Japanese archer died left and right. My glorious swordsmen advanced steadily, often killing two, three, four, or even five enemy units for each German force that fell. Japan’s military was destroyed. I prepared for my glorious victory celebration. I would stomp those fools into the dirt!
Unfortunately, nothing seemed to go my way for long. French forces began pouring across Germany’s northern border. Spearmen stormed my mountain iron mines and destroyed them utterly. My troops in Japan had been outmaneuvered by horsemen and began dying in much larger numbers as I tried to withdraw them. Now I had lost my chance to go forward on this front and it looked like I might not manage to get my army back to Germany. Finally, I turned the army back on Osaka, Japan’s supply of gems, and stripped the Persian border bare of troops to defend against France.
Soon I contacted the Japanese ruler and requested peace. I made him give me his world map and a pittance of gold, but I was not pleased with the measly tribute I had extracted. I would deal first with the traitor Joan, but I vowed I would return to Japan and finish what I had begun.
Now with Germany’s full attention diverted to France, enough swordsmen were available to not only blunt the enemy offensive but to attack. Our supply of iron had not yet been restored, as construction in the inhospitable mountains around Hiedelburg took time, but soon this didn’t matter. The capture of Tours provided another iron supply, and Gandi showed his more peaceful side, trading me horses for some luxuries. Equipped with heavily armored mounted warriors called knights, German forces seized three more cities, including Orleans. Then, the French discovered gunpowder and I had to stop and make peace, not wanting to give them a golden age for defeating one of my units with a musketeer.
Another continent was discovered across the great ocean to the west. No German explorer located it, for the constant and mostly unproductive wars up to this point had drained all resources that could otherwise have been spent on exploration, but various quantities of gold were traded with Germany’s neighbors until contact had been gained with all of the foreign powers and then the English agreed to trade maps with us. On the other continent was China, in the south where there were resources, cropland, and mineral-rich hills aplenty. In the north lay the nation of England, a land with some resources, but as we later discovered, no oil and really not enough room to permit a great power to exit. Right between them in a stretch of worthless jungle, lay Zululand. It really looked like China got the only worthwhile starting position of the three of them.
When Germany’s scientists uncovered this technique of gunpowder production, it turned out that our entire nation’s only supply of saltpeter was right outside of Orleans. What luck that I had taken it. Otherwise it would have been like the horses all over again (Orleans also had a supply of horses thankfully. Now I wouldn’t have to depend on the Indians for imports). The world lapsed into peace and it appeared that perhaps my fighting days were done. Once musketeers were obsolete, I briefly talked the Persians, Japanese, and Indians into killing off France for me and sat back, planning my diplomatic victory. Fortunately, this need for diplomacy and peace was soon to change.
It had long been the plan within the German General Staff that the lands once held by France would be colonized by loyal German citizens and would become a productive, German satellite. These new cities could become culturally great and mop up any remnants of the original French cities held by would-be conquerors without a shot being fired. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, the Babylonian war machine proved to function a lot more efficiently than had been calculated and what was once France was almost completely cleared out far earlier than anticipated. Germany was caught during a time of internal strife during a transition to a kind of representative democracy that one of her scientists had dreamed up while going a little overboard with consumption of captured French wines and was unable to train the necessary settlers. As a results, the Babylonians were able to settle the north faster than Germany could.
Seeing that our great nation was about to be fenced in again in a position hardly improved from the situation that existed right at the end of the first Franco-Prussian War and that we had no supply of oil, but that that very necessary supply was just across our southern border in the desert we had been too busy fighting Japan to colonize. And seeing that China had begun to conquer Zululand and become the greatest power anywhere, I did the only thing I could do. I crawled under my bed and cried. No really, I declared war on Babylon. But the first alternative was seriously considered.
Virtually the entire Babylonian army was in the north. That meant that the rest of their country was easy pickings for Japan and India when they oh so helpfully joined the war on my side. On the other hand, Germany had the fight of her life on her hands because the Babylonians had to march completely across our glorious land to get back to defend their own homes. The fighting in the north was vicious and mostly inside of Germany, but in the end we triumphed simply because our army could be supplied and the Babylonians could not.
In the southern part of the war, a small expeditionary force quickly secured the supply of oil, but no more troops were available. The fierce struggle in the north was consuming all of Germany’s resources. Even worse, it looked like our allies would take all of the spoils of this war. Now that we had oil, and some scientist had come up with the brilliant idea of motorized transportation, it was time to crank out the panzers and change all that.
These new, fast, armored war machines made short work of Persia, and cheering crowds flooded the streets of Berlin. For the first time, Germany seemed the very hub of civilization. Heavy bomber components poured into the assembly lines. Panzers were produced in huge numbers, our infantry was re-equipped with infantry support vehicles and transports (at a ridiculous price, but our economy was booming). All that we needed was a foe. And I did not forget the earlier humiliations forced on us by the Japanese.
The actual war was quite anticlimactic really. Two army groups rolled across the Japanese border (their country wasn’t wide enough past the initial penetration to rate an army group center, although it came close). Bombers and the artillery that had been used in the north during the last war provided support. Four cities fell on the first turn and the progress continued at this rate. Though the residents of one city would not go as easily as their military and revolted, this situation was quickly rectified. India and China joined us in our war, but the former only gained one city and the latter gained nothing, so rapid was Germany’s advance. Japan was no more.
Now I would have been content to wait and go for ICBMs before my opponents (never having been involved in a nuclear war before unless you count civilization II, and well, that was just a game), but China began an invasion of England, indeed this invasion had begun even before I had authorized the attack on Japan, but at that point I had despaired of ever doing anything about it. Now, I saw an opportunity.
Japan had barely fallen, certainly not been consolidated but at least the active resistance was ended in all Japanese cities, when the new war began. The somewhat-weakened army groups assailed India, while two transports full of panzers and artillery (I really should have listened to the General Staff when they suggested sending mechanized infantry along, but I severely underestimated the strength of China) set sail for occupied Zululand.
In India, initial progress was quick, but sheer numbers of enemy infantry and the presence of enemy air support (something that had been completely lacking from the Japanese campaign) slowed things down painfully. In what was Zululand, our forces took a peninsula containing two cities and severed all roads in and out. There commenced the biggest tank battle in the history of the world, as entire armies of Chinese troops were relocated from the nearly-defeated England to repulse the German invasion. Artillery, air support, and the extra mobility of panzers compared to the Chinese tanks was decisive, and soon china had suffered roughly twenty times our losses (this is a conservative estimate. No reinforcements were sent until India had been defeated.) German forces liberated most of England, and these cities were given back to the English because insufficient forces were available to garrison them.
When our panzers were upgraded to modern armor in the war against India, the front began to move again. Unfortunately, this was offset by the violent protests that had begun to increase all over Germany. Finally, the government collapsed completely and the nation was seized by communists. It was a good thing that they did not prescribe to the standard Marxist doctrine of killing off the ruling class. Within a few turns, I was running things again as party chairman. Unfortunately, the new government was on the slow path to bankruptcy so I initiated a new revolt. The fresh troops produced through expending citizens lives under communism were sufficient to finish India off.
Fresh forces were landed to fight the Chinese. British air support joined our attacks and British tanks pillaged their way across the enemy countryside. German forces occupied all of Zululand and then we sued for peace, built cultural improvements, let our borders expand and came to triumph through a domination victory. And, finally, THE END!
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