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

Civilization: France
Difficulty: Emperor
World Size: Small
Opponents: Six
Land Mass: 30%
Land Shape: Pangaea
Barbarians: Raging
Version: 1.29f
These are my results from Epic Nineteen 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 game was sponsored and designed by Rowain deWolf.
I founded on the start tile, researched pottery. I irrigated the flood plains first, then mined the bg tiles. I trained three warriors and built a granary, then went on settler duty out of Paris with a 5-5-4 turn rotation from size 7 to 5 or 6 to 4. My cities headed right for luxuries to start, going first to the high food, then second to nasty jungle site to the south. My Lyons would be sluggish, but I'll be curious to see how the land grab goes for everyone else, as I did very well for myself with the lux sites as top priority. Barbarians were a serious menace early in this game. Here you see my first run in with them:
Because of the barbs, I had two of my first three warriors staying home. That gave me only one explorer, but I DID know (from the scenario information) that I had started in the middle of a pangaea with civs on all sides, so I already knew the approximate total layout at the start (as did anybody playing who gave it a thought).
This game had some variant rules that would render warfare under Despotism wholly undesirable, so I decided to make a peaceful land grab while moving at my best rate toward Republic, which would then free me from those shackles. So there wasn't much to do other than train settlers, workers, and just enough troops to keep the barbs at bay. Here you see my position 50 turns into the game.
There's a settler by Rheims in that screenie. I intended to send him south to the incense, but barbs appeared in that region and forced me to turn east. I ended up founding an awkward spot to make sure to have fresh water accesss. Turns out I could have gone two more tiles to ANOTHER river, but that area was black fog at the time. Whenever I end up with dense builds, it is usually because I have unescorted settlers taking some risks and decide (for a number of possible reasons) that I need to make a city right here and now (wherever I may be) as preferable to letting an AI grab a site or possibly lose the settler entirely. So... I ended up with my sixth city just two tiles east of Lyons. Blah.
Also notice I got writing tech in 1870BC and am already researching Literature. I was doing a lot of trading, and it helped me out further that Rome and Germany were already warring, slowing their settlement pushes and giving me more time to make grabs. I started buying my embassies as soon as the cash came in, and my big land grab gave me a significant asset for trade with tiny warlike Rome and Germany: RIGHT OF PASSAGE through my lands so they could better tear out each other's throats. I was buying up new embassies as soon as the cash came in, turning those lads' frowns upside down. They all just perked up so nicely when little Joanie invited them to visit her Palace in Paris.
Shaka wanted in on that action, too, even paying for the Embassy a turn or two before I gathered the money to do it myself. I rolled over and baa'ed like a good little lamb, signing RoP (at a profit) with ALL of my neighbors.
Here you see the diplomatic splendor of Saint Joan in 1500BC, leading to all polite and one or two gracious faces staring back at her.
"Oui, do march your troops through our lands. Oui, stay at our inns (and fill their coffers). Oui, eat of our grains, the bread from our tables. Oh do come back again soon! And don't worry about that bloody mess you left on the road from encountering those evil evil (fill in the blank: ______ ) -- we'll clean it up. We only treat them kindly because we are scared they will attack us. You will take care of them for us, won't you? Oh marvelous!" Rugged units march off, and another nation's units come marching in behind them and the dance starts all over. We, the lambs of France! All we say is wee-wee-wee. (Oh oui! Oh oui!)
Here you see that we (oui?) have have acquired the desert lands to the south with the incense after all, thanks to all these warring and exploring units wandering along our roads to clean up all the barb camps. Then we (oui?) trade amongst them and obtain all the cash anyway! (Cha-ching!) Yes, the mighty shepherds of the French Welcoming Committees you see arrayed before you:
With Germany and Rome both still distracted by war, there were still plenty of lands left for me to grab. I gave up on the idea of improving my towns in favor of more settlers. My usual deal has been to build a granary out of the capital and then have it supply all the settlers while the rest of the towns build a cultural building, workers, troops, and their own granaries or courthouses. Not this time. Any city not directly in border contention with an AI counterpart city moved over to settler production, starting with Orleans.
The result is that by 750BC, I achieved a staggering land grab, with all the AI's happily marching back and forth across my roads but not achieving much of anything in the process. Munich was the only time in the entire grab phase where the AI beat my settler to the punch (by just two turns), and that settler ended up going all the way to the east coast and grabbing the dyes.
What a dense build! Arrgh. But my hand was forced at every turn. Orleans and Lyons went where they did with no overlap, but that combo forced Grenoble to be tight if I was going to have it on fresh water. Marseilles I already explained. Dijon was a reaction to Munich. Rouen had to be put there to claim the spices and prevent the Chinese settler pair just a couple steps behind me from settling in that region. Amiens and Besancon were defensive sites along borders with less than a full city's worth of gap left, and that left two other small gaps in the jungle between Rouen, Grenoble and Orleans. One became Toulouse, the other will be filled by that last settler being trained at Orleans, which will then start my FP. Finally, Poitiers was a gap left by the oddness of previous cities in the region, and why not settle aggressively on borders with Rome, who was now too weak and too reliant on trade with me to protest too loudly? Sheesh. With this massively dense build (not ICS, but even more dense than my Epic 17) I decided I had a shot at civ-wide 100k cultural victory. On a small map, no less! So that became my game plan. Just let my build my little temples and such, and leave me alone. I'm a quiet little lamb, honest I am. Oui?

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