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

Civilization: Babylon
Difficulty: Deity
World Size: Standard
Opponents: Five
Climate: Normal
Rainfall: Normal
Mountains: Normal
Land Mass: 40%
Land Shape: Pangaea
Barbarians: None
Version: 1.29f
These are my results from Epic Seventeen of the Realms Beyond Civilization tournament. Click Here to visit the Epics home page (recently upgraded) for the specific rules and goals of this event, or for more information about the Epics.
With 40% land and only five civs on a standard map, the land grab would be crucial. Still fresh in my mind, however, was the snail's pace of my economy in Epic Twelve. So I decided to open with three warriors and send all three out in different directions to scout and seek contacts. From there, granary, then settlers.
In my early scouting, I discovered a pair of incense in the hills north of Babylon, almost two cities away. Then I met Egypt and found that Cleo was my closest neighbor, her capital to the north about two more cities of space away from the incense. I decided I had to send my first settler right to that incense to secure it, and this choice would ultimately shape my entire game plan.
My northward unit moved past Egypt and kept on going. My eastward scout made contact with Greece shortly after finding the north shore, and judging by comparing techs, Greece had not yet met Egypt. I could not afford second-civ prices, so I was unable to conduct any trades. Then Persian units ran into my northwest warrior, now on the other side of Egypt, and though it appeared that Persia and Egypt had made contact, neither had yet met Alex. So I was able to trade for and buy techs from Cleo and X-man @3rd, sell/trade to techs Alex had, then broker those back to Persia and Egypt. I obtained alphabet, warrior code, and masonry. What a coup!
Wait, it gets better. My northwest scout made contact with Rome, their first. I obtained all their cash and the wheel from then, then traded my way into full tech parity, complete with writing and iron working, got every dime of everybody's cash, and all the diplomatic boons of being a big early trader. I established embassies with Persia and Egypt, and I was on a roll!
I spotted a purple border across a strait above Greece and decided to halt exploration, park there and hope an Indian unit would pass by. Meanwhile, my first scout explored into Roman land, my third had mopped up exploration of my immediate homeland vicinity and was now exploring east to pick up the slack of my parked unit. There was a second patch of incense, in the desert, which you can see in the screenshot above. I feared Egypt would push down to grab the river site south of there and hem me in, so I sent my third settler west, to a second ring location, just as I had done with my second settler.
My contact gambit paid off, as an Indian unit moved into view across the water within half a dozen turns of my unit setting up camp. I had expected India to be on a cape of the Pangaea, and able to make contact with Persia, but that would not turn out to be the case. They were on an island (so much for this being a "true" pangaea, heh) and if I hadn't made contact with them this quickly, who knows how long it might have taken. Being the last one to the full contact party, they lagged behind even my civ on economy. Ghandi did not have that many cities yet. I wrung all I could out of him, then wrung all I could out of the rest of the AI's in selling them contact. I gave away one contact, to poor Rome.
There turned out to be only one iron anywhere near my home, and I didn't get the chance to see it until after my third settler was committed. The iron was on the north side of my second city, in the space between my Ur and Cleo's capital. I raced my fourth settler up there. While he was en route, I accumulated enough money to establish embassies with India, then Greece. Here's the map and my unit count in 1750BC, fifty turns into the game.
Cleo settled the exact tile I was aiming for about four turns before I could get there. Arrgh! If only I had known sooner, I COULD have gotten my third settler there first! Arrgh! I turned my settler east and got a consolation prize of a good river site.
With full world contact, I was now keen on doing one of two things: trading two-for-one with India or Rome (whoever lagged behind the most), or at worst, buying in @last price. The AI's soon obtained mapmaking, and I spent the dough to buy into that quickly, then participate in the map brokering. Lots of trading back and forth left me with with all known maps and some bits of cash, plus my embassy with Rome.
I had lost the only iron. There was only one horse, as well, and I trained my fifth settler at the earliest possible moment, dropping my capital back to size 1 with only the granary food in the box. Even then, I only beat Alex to the horses site by one turn! Arrgh! There was a site to the south, on a river with two cattle, that I had figured I could wait and safely grab with my sixth settler. I was settling all second ring cities to grab resources and secure more land, to extend the reach of my borders. The plan was to fill in all the first ring cities starting with the sixth settler, and now... I was going to the best first ring site of them all to that green summabastage. Arrgh. :)
Here's the map after mapmaking, with my fifth settler going to secure the horses, and Alex's settler pair in the fog just south of there. I prayed he would go for an oil or aluminum resource in the tundra, and leave me the cattle, but nope. Nope.
Like Epic 13, I was playing here for high culture. All priorities to expansion (settlers/workers) and culture. Granaries AFTER temple and library. With Alex wrecking my dotmap by plopping his nasty town right down in overlap range of Babylon (!!!) I had to rework my settlement plans. My sixth city went to contain the damage on the southern front. Below you see my civ on the turn I obtained literature.
And no, I did not obtain it via the lone scientist. I pulled a broker deal for Code of Laws and Philosophy, which allowed me to obtain Literature @last essentially for free, even though there were only a handful of turns left to go. I was content to get to work on libraries asap, though, and to start min sci toward Republic. You can see I nigh bankrupted myself doing this, too, but the gpt debts would expire by the time I needed any more techs.
With a Greek galley poking around the south shore, I went into near panic mode, fearing they would land a bunch more of their skanky settlers to poach my first ring city sites. I trained settlers with all haste, trying to fill in these sites, first with the wide open sites on the shore, then with the gap between my capital and the town on eastern point, then finally with two half-city sites, one on the river west of Akkad, the other between Babylon and Ur. The build came out more dense than I first intended, but you can thank AI pressures and poaching for that.
I did manage to consolidate all the rest of the land behind my forward grabs. I got everything in the first ring except the one Alex grabbed so quickly, and... that's all I got. My capital, the four second ring cities I prioritized, then all but one of the first ring sites. Below you can see the results, with my desperation so high I'm building a settler out of Akkad to settle on the tile two to the west and plug the last gap.
Oh, and by the way, India declared war on Persia. I thought that would help them out considerably, by letting Ghandi capture the two sites X-man had poached on the north of India Isle, but nope, that wouldn't happen. Their war would go on for a while, resulting in stalemate -- no territorial gains for either -- and eventually it would end.
Now look one more time at the shot above and note my settlement across the bay. There was a silk over there, and I went for it. I managed to get a rich site, with not only silks but food bonuses, and even irrigable water source in range. With no more land to grab back home, I was putting out my best effort to get some of the no man's land. Unfortunately, so were the AI's, as Persia got three sites down there, Rome got a few, Greece got the site west of my Lagash (silktown), and Egypt got several. I would only manage to grab one more site, a barren nothing bit of land way to the west, and that was all she wrote on the land grab phase.
Below you see my civ as min sci has brought us into Republic:

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