Sirian's Great Library - Strategies for Civilization III
RBCiv Epic Fifteen

Civilization: Russia
Difficulty: Monarch
World Size: Small
Opponents: Five
Climate: Standard
Rainfall: Arid
Mountains: Flat
Land Mass: 40%
Land Shape: Continents
Barbarians: Raging
Victory: Only Space Race is enabled.
Version: 1.29f
These are my results from Epic Fifteen 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.
This contest is an offbeat variant. There's a lengthy list of restrictions included in the scenario description. Chiefly, the rules point toward government (Communist), worker restrictions, and city restrictions.
The start is on a river, but landlocked. With several coastal tiles in range, I will always move to the coast if I can do so and retain access to fresh water. There was a hut in range, but you can't pop a settler on the first turn, so I moved my scout onto the mountain, then moved the settler NW one tile. With all the city restrictions, I started a scout first. Need to explore all the local lands, and quickly, to have the information for effective dotmapping, under these variant rules.
I popped the hut on the second turn and caught a nice break:
My original scout continued west. My second scout went south from Moscow. I founded my second city on a lack, five tiles SW of Moscow.
By 3300BC, I had met two of the AI's (Greece and Egypt), but they had not contacted each other despite their proximity, so I used the chance to do a little trading.

Not shown was the middle trade, where I acquired Masonry.
My first scout continued southwest, my second scout south. They did a good job exploring the perimeter of the continent, locating the fourth and final AI present before long, and uncovering most of the lands. One of my scouts ran into a difficulty in the south, but fortunately he'd gotten his value by then.
Darn yokels, they popped up behind me and I moved next to them with no movement points left. They, having just appeared, had an available unit to scalp my scout, and that was that. You can also see that after researching ceremonial burial and trading for alphabet, that I had started Writing research at max sci.
I went ahead and built granaries in both my starting cities, despite my intention to build the Pyramids. I had no food bonuses anywhere in range, and it's just too costly with only two food per city to be training settlers without a granary, keeping the cities down at size 1. The granaries pay for themselves, in that case, even when they'll be replaced.
As such, I jumped out to having four cities fairly quickly, and then started reaching southwest, extending into what probably should have been Greek lands by right. You snooze, you lose. I grabbed a fifth city on the coast, then actually got a very choice sixth location on the other side of Athens, since they had inexplicably chosen to expand southward first.
My second city placement dictated a lot for me, including where I had to put both the third and fourth cities. The fourth, Minsk, went to the northwest of Moscow, and my placement there left me only one legal option for a second city on that peninsula, way out on the west corner, with mostly water and only a few grass and forest in range. That became my seventh city. Meanwhile, I had sent one settler way way to the southwest, reaching out to grab some of the fertile, open lands down there while I still could. Most of these settlers actually came out of my second city, as Moscow was now on the Pyramids. It would take my expeditionary settler a long time to walk all the way down there, but I did send an escort.
In the shot below, you can see my second city on the right, my fourth fifth and sixth down the middle (in that order) and my seventh in the upper left. My eighth city is visible on the minimap, having only recently arrived in that distant southwest, securing a silk source and a high food area on a river.
Now check out how the Greeks are plugging the holes I've left, where I was not allowed to settle. This included them poaching my iron source from under St. Pete's nose, with Pharsalos, as well as that coastal town of Corinth, settled well after Smolensk and Odessa. The Greeks had also settled a town with one unit of overlap on my third city, Kiev, on the east coast. I vowed to maintain cultural dominance over all disputed lands, as you can see my work on libraries already, not even to 1000BC yet.
I had no trouble landing the Pyramids. You can see in this shot, my third city lacks for irrigation. Going to be a while before that one worker can chop down those two forest and water can be brought over from the lake near St Pete. The worker over there was busy, and I didn't want to waste the forest shields, and it was helping to secure the Colossus by running break even food at the moment, anyway, although now that I had the Pyramids, it would pay off to start growing again. You can also see that MP is under way.
The fp location is irrelevent to communism, so the only benefit I'd get out of it was between now and the final government swap. Therefore, I might as well build it asap. Besides, even if I wasn't going communist, with the lands I had, this was the right location, central enough to support one hub. The palace could be moved later, in a normal situation. In this situation, it wouldn't matter.
So I had the Colossus effectively locked up. I had built the Pyramids. I decided to go for the Lighthouse in Moscow, after pausing to build a library first.
Meanwhile, in the southwest, I hoped to grab three city sites. I had not found an opportunity to send another settler, though (my core cities all building wonders, the rest too corrupt). Thus, my new plan became to build a worker at the new city and irrigate some of those flood plains, and WHIP a settler out after ten shields and size 4 city. How I'd get the third city, I had no idea. Perhaps I would not, but I should at least get two.
The Krauts and India are behind in tech, as I've started min sci research on an interim government.
Well it turns out the AI's kicked it into high gear with their settler pairs. An Egyptian settler pair got KILLED by a barb camp that popped up on the far west of the continent, across the strip of mountains. If not for that, I'd not have gotten ANY more cities down there. As it was, even with that help, AND using my scout to run some interference to slow them down, AND further help from barbs chasing the AI's around a bit, I still only barely managed to secure a second site with my whipped settler. Barely, but I did it, by one turn. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. (On this low difficulty, it's not often you see barbs knock off an AI settler pair).
This managed to secure me a source of iron, which was a good thing, as I didn't know when or if the Greek poaching site would ever flip to me.
I now had nine main cities, all self-founded according to the rules. Those two distant ones in the SE wouldn't be worth much for a long time, but they could train their lone workers and improve the lands, and bide their time with slow progress. Come communist time, though (if I managed to hold on to them), they'd be as powerhouse as any other city, with their 21 tiles and some nice lands.
With nine of my fourteen city slots taken, but no more lands to grab, I would have to look to the sea, or to city flips, or to war, to fill out the rest. With my free settler, though, I'd been tops in territory all game long, and I thought that might continue, so I formed my plans on the assumption that I'd have to get to my fourteen city count through peaceful means, if at all.

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