OK, this is my third and final crack at the game as Ragnar on an 80% water archipelago map, standard size, 5 billion years, temperate, wet, 7 random opponents. In our last attempt, the English snuck off with an unlikely diplo win. They were too scared to face the Vikings in combat! This time I am going to up the aggression levels, and pursue my opponents vigorously. There will be opportunity for the AI to recover from our attacks. As usual, there is no gurantee that this will be a victory to the author. In fact on past Deity record, it probably won't, but it should be an enjoyable ride! My first random map since the last start, produced this: No fresh water, but it does have a lux, a bonus food in both the game and the fish, and gold after the cultural expansion. Not exactly ideal for a settler factory, but then, I think settler pumps are a little overated in an 80% archipelago map - you run out of room to expand real fast. Our first builds were two curraghs for exploration and contacts, then a granary aided by the game tile forst chop. We start min science on writing. Goal is to be first on philosophy, but this time use the slingshot on to republic. Even though we are going to be at war for a long period of time, if we stay on the offensive, war weariness should not be too great a problem, and the lesser corruption model with republic will quickly pay for itself, I think. 3600BC - We meet Japan. It looks like they are on our landmass. Visions of my first Deity attempt flash through my mind. No, not this time! We trade warrior code, alphabet and 27 gold for pottery and the wheel. We do this trade early, mainly to ensure that we can build that granary! 3000BC - We meet Russia. Fortunately it seems that there is some water seperation, although the Russian lands are reachable simply by coast tiles, so the water will not stop them for long. Alphabet nets us bronze working and 10 gold. 2750BC – The Wheel and 63 gold buys masonry from Russia Masonry gets ceremonial burial and 62 gold from Japan 2710BC – Sell Russia CB for 90 gold. Meet Inca. 2110BC – Alphabet gets iron working and 60 gold off Babylon 1790BC – Alphabet nets me mysticism and 36 gold off Inca 1150BC - This map highlights our early quandry very well. Here we are with four cities and we are basically out of expansion room. The Japanese just beat me to the Nagoya site, and the other bordering city is Tokyo. Just to make matters even more fun, the Japanese are building the Temple of Artemis in Kyoto. If they finish that and hold it for a while we will be absolutely culturally swamped! We have been aware of the risk Japan is to us for a while, and so have started a massive (for four cities) military buildup. It is time to make the AI our settler pump! Our military is: 1 settler 3 workers 14 warriors 1 archer 6 swords Our cities all have a barracks and Trondheim also has a granary. We are weak versus the Japanese militarily, of course. The AI gets no less than 12 free units to start the game with as a little bonus to go along with their extra settler and two extra workers, and of course their build discount. So of course the 11 city Japanese are going to be strong against the four city Vikings! Oh, in case I forgot to mention it, we are also at war with Babylon whom we have met as well. We don't care! I said I was going to be aggressive, and that is what we are going to be. The Japanese probably have all these many units scattered across their empire, so an early strike can gain us some land before they have time to get to the front. When it gets too hot, we will sue for peace, continue the buildup and have another go in twenty turns! We declare war. Philosophy tech has to be reduced to the min so we can afford to upgrade warriors to swords. The war, as expected is short, before overwhelming Japanese force appeared on our borders. We were able to snatch Tokyo, and cut the defenders at Nagoya down to a single sword. We also found another coastal desert city. No point having the settler hang around costing unit support! The Japanese pay us all their treasury and about 6gpt for peace. The temple of Artemis was completed in 1075BC, so peace will only be for the 20 turns. 900BC - We are finally able to trade for code of laws. 75 gold and 17gpt gets us this vital tech. We then put the pedal to the metal on philosophy and can finish in 3 turns. Not good enough. We free up some pop to act as scientists and we can make it two turns. This will do. Code of laws gets us map making and 63 gold of the Inca. Philosophy comes in and we are first. We get republic as our free tech, and revolt immediately, drawing five turns of anarchy.