|RBCiv Epic Two|
World Size: Standard
Land Mass: 30%
Land Shape: Archipelago
These are my results from Epic Two 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.
I sponsored this game and took the first start to come along. When I saw all the gems at the start location, I decided to make that the theme of the game. I set out the scoring goals and, overall, I'm pleased with the results of the goals I selected. Only one turned out to be a complete dud: the points awarded for controlling all the gems by game's end turned out to be useless. All the gems in the world are right there at the start location. Ah well. If I had generated the map in the editor and looked it over, I could have tailored the goals a little more precisely, but I also wanted to play in the game, so to do that, I had to select scoring without seeing any more of the map than the start, which everyone could see.
The first decision I made was to play an Honorable game. (See the Epics site for details about honorable vs dastardly vs exploit). I wanted to enjoy the challenge of that limitation, even though I figured it would cost me more than the ten points it would score for me. I wanted to see for myself, though, to play under that limitation and see how much I could still manage to do.
The start location is dry. There's grass, but no water within a thousand miles. I thought it would take until Electricity to get any irrigation going, and that seemed really harsh. Reminded me of my very first game. I saw that at the very start, the location was not on the sea (bad sign for archipelago map) and was also on a bonus grassland. I decided to move one tile SE, to get to the ocean, while my worker started mining the tile he started on.
Having seen a warrior-granary-settler start beat my temple-warrior-granary-settler start in the CivFanatics GOTM7 on Deity, which was also a dry start with lots of grassland on hand, this time I decided to go with warrior, granary, settler. So I selected Pottery to research first, at max rate, and was going to have to make do on a single explorer running around. I trained a warrior and sent him south, the set up barracks and used that as placeholder until granary came available, which was a close call. Larger map, that would have been tough. After discovering pottery, I went on to writing at min science, to take 40 turns. My lone warrior scouted the smallish peninsula to the south, and by the time he returned home, a Russian scout showed up. As this was the first contact for them, I scored two points here. The scout would not pass through my territory, so I parked my lone warrior on a gem mountain outside my territory and cut the Russians off from exploring southward. It was at this point that I decided all my early settlers would push westward, to claim as much land in that direction as I could. Until Russia got maps and ships, they could neither explore that little peninsula nor threaten to settle there.
So my second city went on the south coast, west of the capital, and it trained a warrior then a worker. The third city went SW of the capital, SE of the second city, forming a triangle with all the gems in the middle. I trained two workers in a row out of that city. My fourth city pushed westward, just west of what would turn out to be the mountain with the iron, in the most fertile part of the middle of the continent. Everything north of there was ice and more ice. There was more land to the west, then the coast, with the Russians south along the coast. They had a city on the choke point, cutting off all land access to the rest of their lands. I sent my fifth settler due west, on a long long journey and just barely beat the Russians to the second fertile area over there. I had to waste one cattle in order to both avoid overlap with Kiev and also to have access to the sea. My location, as it turned out, offered just enough max food potential to reach population size 30, which was a major scoring goal of the game. The Russian settler pair I barely beat to this spot then took the remaining good spot, SW of my fourth city and in the perfect location, the exact tile I wanted. I had hoped to get there with another settler, but I put my fourth city where I did to pressure that site in case the Russians beat me there. Well... perfect! They settled where I wanted them to, with their sixth city, and there was overlap with my fourth city. I vowed to win the cultural clash, positioning extra garrison to prevent flip and using the whip to get the temple done sooner. Here's where things stood in 1400AD, four turns after I won the race for the second fertile area.
You can see that Moscow is on a tiny lake, one of two on the continent, but the only one with arable land nearby. They had irrigation, and I did not. After pulling in writing, I went straight for mapmaking, again at minimum science rate. I stored my gold and planned to wait for more contact (and cheaper prices) before catching up. Russia thus took a significant tech lead, and they even beat me to both writing and mapmaking. So I was unable to parley those discoveries into tech trades. What's worse, they finished the Colossus in Moscow very early, and then started up on the Oracle. When someone else built the Oracle, I thought Russia would die out but they got Mapmaking the turn before, and thus cascaded to (and built) the Lighthouse very early. Very early.
My sixth city secured the dyes, and my seventh went for the tundra lake. Russia beat me to that spot, with their seventh city, so I settled for a sad spot just north of there, a fishing village and far far from home. I filled in three more cities, including a first ring half-city NW of Delhi, and two cities down on the peninsula to the south, but Russia got the northernmost tip of the continent, sneaking a third city into "my" territory. I hurried my shipbuilding and settler building as quickly as possible, seeing land to the south and southeast. I thought that land to the south might be an island, but then a Japanese city showed up there. Argh, the Jap mainland! There was an unclaimed island to the southeast though, of goodly size. Russia, once again, beat me there. I saw their ship rowing past my lands a few turns before I could get my first boat into the water. Russia settled their ninth city on the western tip of Big Island and I had to take my ship and settler past that, deeper into the jungle to Bengal. I thought that was a runner up prize, but it may have been a blessing in disguise. Bengal turned out to be my most fertile city, with an eventual max size of 33, and scoring me 8 points. There was also rubber in its range, and none on my mainland. I told my first ship to keep going, to explore, and it made first contact with the Zulu around 450BC. Score me 2 more points.
My second ship headed for the Zulu mainland. There was a fish there, and silks, on the unclaimed southwest corner of their continent, but the Zulus literally beat me to the spot by ONE turn. Perhaps this too was for the best, as I'd have had a devil of a time defending that site, but I had intended to try. My third ship went north, circling clockwise around the homeland, and found the island NE of Delhi. Very close! I had been considering moving my capital, but now that seemed unlikely. I quickly landed a settler up there, as you can see in the above picture.
In the shot below, you can see my first ship exploring to the south. Two more unclaimed fish were sighted, and there would be more, but these two would be the only ones in the south I would be able to reach. My second ship brought its settler around to the south side of Big Island and grabbed the fish, settling in a location that would ensure no pressure from Babylon. It would be a while before I got to the whale on the South Island, as my focus shifted to grabbing all four sites available on the north island.
Babylon was the only Babylonian city left and I thought at first that they had gotten a nasty jungle start and been crippled by their lands, and run over by the Zulu. But then I noticed something fascinating:
Do you see it? The Zulu capital has been MOVED. Babylon must have, at some point, had the Zulus on the run, and taken over their capital. And yet the tide had turned and the Zulus had won the war. I couldn't wait for the replay to see some of the history of what had taken place over there. I wonder if anybody else's game might go differently, and the Babs be the victors there. That might change the whole nature of the game! This was still BC time, too, so that war was early and brutal, whatever happened.
Then in 290BC, fortune broke my way. My early settlement plan paid off and I gained control of the rest of the heartland.
I settled the eastern corner of the north Island and secured my third fish/whale resource, scoring another point. There was a whale on the north corner of the island also, but a Russian ship beat me to it and Russia permanently denied me that point. I grabbed the western corner and had three of the four fishing sites on that north isle. The Zulus grabbed the tiny isle before I could, denying me that fish also. So my last settler from the homeland went south, to the north tip of the South Isle, south of Babylon, and secured my fourth and final fish/whale point. There was another point available south of there, but the Zulus grabbed it.
I wanted to go for the Hanging Garden, but it just wasn't meant to be. I didn't get started on it soon enough, and the cascade swallowed it up. Japan grabbed the northeast and southwest shores in the middle of the Big Island. I ended up using cash to rushbuy settlers down there. I did so three times in middle of the first millenium AD, grabbing the jungle in the heartland of the Big Island (with overlap with ALL FOUR cities on each side of it, two mine, two Japanese), and a city on the far south corner of the Big Island, where the wheat and all that open grassland was. I intended this to be a small city, to ensure that Japan didn't land another settlement there, but as it turns out, this half-city had no hills or mountains, and enough grass to get to size 31! Thus my third and final 8 point city, eventually.
The first millenium AD went very slow on tech. This is perhaps the slowest progress on tech that I can remember on any Emperor game. Russia was hemmed in and kept small. Zulus and Japan both had their capitals at the far end of their landmass, thus suffered a lot of corruption. Persia got pummelled by China, while both China and Egypt had too much tundra for their own good. Tech breakthroughs came slowly, maybe too slowly. This gave my cities a decent chance to build courthouses, harbors, markets, banks, even some libraries. Near the latter part of the millenium, the six units of pressure on the Japanese colony on Big Island led to this:
This secured my dominance on Big Island, although being restricted to honorable play for this game (by my choice, remember) I knew it was going to be interesting to see whether or not I could gain control of the whole of Big Island by cultural pressures alone.
I went for some wonders, finally. I aimed for Smith's at Calcutta, right after I built my FP there. It was a sad FP site, but once again, if I can't have ideal location early, I'll take early over ideal location. The Calcutta FP site put the western and northern portions of my mainland to good use, transforming four big cities and what would eventually be several fishing villages, into the low corruption range, down from middle to high range. With WLTKD and rushbought courthouses, Big Isle's cities were able to get to about half-waste, which was good enough to build some factories even, and get markets and aqueducts built there, eventually. But that's getting ahead of the story. I went for a second wonder in my capital, hoping to snag Shakespeare's there, and thus pull in the two best-scoring wonders of the middle ages. The third rush-bought settler in the south, all by itself, flipped the Zulu city that stole a fish from me. Too bad I couldn't score the fish, as I did have it by 1000AD, but that wasn't the rule. I would have HAD to settle the site myself, and I didn't. This would still turn out to be an important acquisition, though.
The AI's were slow researching democracy and free artistry, and my hopes of Shakespeare's in the capital went by the wayside, so I grabbed Magellan's there. Just before I finished THAT, somebody completed Smith's, stealing it away. I had to swap Calcutta to Palace placeholder and keep it there until Free Artistry came in.
So although I did not get the 8 and 5 points I aimed for, I did get 4 for Magellan and 6 for Shakespeare's in a site other than my capital.
I then grabbed Newton's, and every other wonder built from there on.
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