|RBCiv Epic Ten|
World Size: Small
Land Mass: 20%
Land Shape: Archipelago
These are my results from Epic Ten of the Realms Beyond Civilization tournament. Click Here to visit the Epics home page for the specific rules and goals of this event, or for more information about the Epics.
As stated in the Info thread for this epic, I had two conditions that had to be met for a random start to be accepted as good for this event: there had to be access to horses within reasonable reach, and there had to be a need for them. We drew a dry-looking start with some mountains. Mountains on a flat map are rarish, so that was a good sign for iron or possible coal/saltpeter. There was also a hut next to the start point. Looked good so far!
Because the hut could not be popped before the settler would be used, I decided not to send the scout to the hut, but instead use him to scout more land, in case there was some fresh water nearby. Well, south, then NE onto a mountain, no sign of fresh water. I would pop the hut with the founding of my city. Since the odds were decent that I'd get a tech, I did NOT want to pull Warrior Code out of there. Since the Iro's start with Pottery and Ceremonial burial (the two cheapest techs), I first opened F6 and selected Warrior Code as my tech to lock it out as well, went to F1 and pumped science rate to max, THEN I founded the city. My move appears to have paid off, as I pulled bronze working from the hut.
I will be interested to see if others pull Warrior Code out of there, and if so, what their reactions will be to my move. :)
Note the odd "income" statement on the screenshot. I guess when the game pauses in the middle of its routine of founding a city to report a hut result, all sorts of oddities are to be found. The screen temporarily shows a city of size 0, shows SOME but not all of the city's culturally controlled tiles in your color, and in this case showed that weird information down in the date box. Go figure. It all sorted out a moment later, though.
The next turn I popped the other hut and got another tech, a very important "now I can research writing at min sci" tech! Crucial for a Pelago map! A nice start here. Lands are dry but fertile enough to support a couple of decent cities, ala Epic Two.
To my shock and dismay, the next turn, an Indian warrior moves into range. My capital is empty, NO HOPE of building its first warrior in time to stop a beeline attack, and after Epic Eight and the immediate aggression of the Babs in that game, I am worried, but nothing to be done about it now. Then he respects my border and I am relieved. Still, an enemy capital is RIGHT ON TOP OF US, and just to the south, which clearly is the only direction in which we might expand.
Well, well, well! This map has already met one of my two conditions: some NEED for horses. No way all but the most hesitant players can abide a rival that close, and choking off all hope of expansion. At least it's not Deity level, right? :)
Just the kind of situation Smegged hates, but I have chosen the game plan carefully. If there are indeed horses around, a little patience, decisiveness and determination will replace luck factors with strategy. So I need to get to the wheel to verify that this map is playable for this Epic, and since my own game is being played here (I don't reload from testing -- I play my game, and if the map turns out to be a dud, I start a new one at the applicable time) it will simply take as long as it takes to research, discover, or trade for the Wheel.
I run my scout clockwise around Delhi and the knob that is the north end of our home continent/island and I find a third civ along the way. Wow, half the six civs on this planet packed into this sardine can. This is going to be a rough test of early-game expansion, dotmapping, and warmaking skills for all participants. Ooh, just what I wanted! :)
The idea of warrior-granary-settler goes out the window, however. NO TIME! I have to swap immediately to settler just to TRY to get a second location, as those furs northwest of Delhi will surely attract immediate attention. In fact, I send out my scout and lone warrior to run a feeble BLOCKADE over there to try and slow India down enough to get a decent second city location and at this point it's not looking very good!
Those two Egyptian warriors are single units, but there's a settler under the Indian warrior. Already! And I'm still two turns from finishing warrior-settler! I could not have gone settler first anyway, as I'd have been sitting around doing nothing at all, waiting on the food.
Then imagine my shock and dismay when I click next turn and THIS happens:
Wow a FOURTH sardine in this can! Amazing. And they had to be so badly cramped south of Thebes that they had no choice and built warriors instead of a settler because there was nowhere to send the settler! (I guess correctly, as it turns out).
And yet there HAD TO BE other lands around this map. Even 20% land leaves lots of room for small islands and chains scattered around. Those of you who remember Epic Three or even Epic Eight, those were 20% land. That's a lot of water, but still a substantial amount of dirt around. Yet the game respawned Egypt on this tiny corner of our rock? AND they jammed us all in here to begin with??? Hmm.
This makes me wonder if the game won't spawn a start point or a respawning civ on certain landmasses. Say... landmasses that LACK something? Perhaps luxuries are *required* on the land mass for a civ to appear there? Or some other combination or threshold of resources?
If my speculation is true, it would probably require that the other two civs in this game are on some other island together, with luxuries or whatever is the "must have" quality, and had already filled their island up enough that Egypt had no room to respawn there. Or... something like that. I just found it stretching the bounds of coincidence that the game would jam all these civs on this little rock and then respawn one there again too.
Now I'm hoping there ARE some horses here, as this situation looks unique and should be fun. I've never seen crowding THIS bad except on Carbon Copy's Tiny map archipelago with all four civs on a rock even slightly smaller than this.
So I got my settler out there, and my sad little blockade did manage to delay India's second city by a number of turns, with some help from interference from the Egyptian units. But then India did something I didn't expect: they settled for a less than ideal spot in the desert, that was still in range of the two furs, and crowding the spot I was sending my settler toward. Oh well. Better than some of the potential outcomes. I felt that I did still get a strong second city, but it was now under pressure, and India would have to be targetted for elimination as soon as I could muster a reasonable force. However, since I went for the writing at min sci gambit, after popping alphabet, I had spearmen from the free bronze tech, but no warrior code or wheel yet. No offensive units at all! So I had locked myself into waiting for mounted warriors.
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