|RBCiv Epic Twelve|
The FP did not help as much as I hoped. It helped dramatically in the FP city and the half-city next to it, helped a little in my third city, and helped my northern fishing villages to various degrees. I don't see any better sites even in highsight, and I was in no position to gear up for aggression against the Aztecs, so I believe this was the best I could hope for. It DID help. The boost allowed me to obtain contacts and buy territory maps.
My research so far had been a couple of cheap techs at my best rate, and otherwise running min science and saving up cash to buy maps, techs, contacts, etc. With mapmaking, I finally had the chance to build some harbors, which would allow my feeble lands on the north side of my little nation to grow above size 1 and 2. Still without contacts with the last two civs (but the AI's all in contact, and playing the Old Boys Network tech trading game) and the new Deity tech penalties and my weak economy, that I was just too poor. The mapmaking gave me trade routes, though, once I got the first harbor built. I had to coordinate my city projects as mapmaking neared discovery, so as not to be in the middle of long projects that would delay harbors extensively (or force me to waste precious shields). I finally bought contacts, and had a shot at last-civ tech prices, which were STILL too expensive for me! So I had to wait some more, for population to grow, for old deals to expire. Then finally the harbors opened and I started to trade my two excess spices.
Note the date! 460AD, we have been taught about the wheel! We have learned the ways of the mystics! Sheesh. Latest date I have ever gone and not yet discovered one of the techs on the first column of the first era. However, it's not as bad as it looks. I could do nothing with the horses anyway, at that point. With no upgrade possibilities, any horsemen I trained now would remain forever horsemen, and I had less than zero military hopes for aggression at this stage, so there was no great urgency to have access to them. What was urgent was currency: marketplaces, to go with my harbors. I had scraped together every penny already, and bought math then currency, and as soon as each city was done with its current project, started them on marketplaces. You can also see that I'm more than halfway to Republic at min science. Pathetic, but the economy would soon strengthen as the fishing villages grew up into small towns, and the markets multiplied my available gpt while the late contacts gave me (finally) those deflated prices. I could begin to make up ground soon.
Oh by the way, the horses, they turned out to be on the tippy edge of my southern reach, actually two tiles directly east of Veii. And yes, I was losing the culture war down there very badly by now. I even regretted dialing up a library in Swazi, the half-city border town fighting with (and losing to) the Aztec-occupied Veii. The cultural control gambit failed miserably, beyond miserably (though I did have the lead for a few turns), and a courthouse there would have been significanly more useful. On the up side, the horses were within my border city's 21, but just outside the reach of Veii, so they were securely mine, barring Aztec aggression. I know the AI tends to be VERY aggressive if you have cities pressuring theirs, though, so that remained of some concern. However, if the AI wanted me, he could take me out at any time. I barely had a token military, with everything I had going into markets, and before that temples, granaries, harbors.
Then, instead of Rome and England ganging up to check Aztec strength, they resumed their squabbling. Another bad sign for the future of my hopes.
Note I'm still two turns from min sci on Republic in 610AD. 610AD! I did very poorly on the trade front this game. Delayed contacts, inflated prices, hundreds of gold in cash lost to barbarians, always a step behind the AI's. Or ten steps behind. Slow to get my few luxuries onto the market, too, and then they weren't really worth much.
On top of that, once the tech comes in, then even with this small amount of land, I drew a seven turn anarchy. Ouch.
Here's my fledgling republic once the revolution ended:
I suddenly had a lot of new income, and I put it to work in trade. I was so far behind the AI pack, though, that I had no opportunities for multitrade deals to catch up quicker. I had to pay for everything I got, with gold, and so I continued to remain exposed, abused, and far behind.
I also decided I had better buy an embassy with the Aztecs, to improve relations, so I saved some gold (instead of turning it all over immediately into new gpt deals) and got this peek inside the center of the world's dominant and winning power:
The Aztecs had almost every wonder that mattered. They were consistently building each new one as it came available, too, through the middle ages. I've never had an AI growing so dominant right next to me like this.
I bought my way directly to banking: monotheism, theology, education, banking. This while running min sci on engineering. Of course, no prebuilds on any of this, which meant more delays. I also had only the one native luxury and not even many lux available on the trading block. So I had to build colesseums and cathedrals, too, just to keep my population growing, and I had to run some lux taxes.
Here's a replay map from 400AD. These borders remained virtually unchanged for over a thousand years, although the Romans did raze one English city on their border, which the Aztecs then poached (wonderful).
Everything went along peacefully, the status quo marching on and on. It went on long enough, I had some hopes of living through it, playing for a diplomatic win or at least to survive and lose to culture or a launch. Where there is life, there is hope.
I bought markets -- finished them off, at least -- in three of my fishing villages. I then bought a bank in the one next to my capital, in time with the banks completing in my four major cities, so that I could start on Wall Street. By then my economy was significantly strengthened, and I had about as much territory as Rome, England, or France, so hope marched on.
The peace continued to hold, and my infrastructure and technology to improve. Things seemed little changed, outwardly, when Wall Street was completed.
I built universities for the culture, and a potential future where I might do my own research. I saw little use for military at this point, but I built some anyway: horsemen, impis, longbows. I did not start a new min sci gambit after engineering had come in because there wouldn't be enough time. I could not afford to WAIT forty turns for Astronomy, Physics, or even Metallurgy, so I didn't bother. I would start a new 1 scientist pass at Nationalism when I caught up to the next age.
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