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

Civilization: Rome
Difficulty: Deity
World Size: Large
Opponents: Eleven
Climate: Hot
Rainfall: Normal
Mountains: Normal
Land Mass: 40%
Land Shape: Continents
Barbarians: Restless
Version: 1.21f
These are my results from Epic Four 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. For those of you who have been waiting on results from my overdue Deity game report here on my site, this may help tide you over: a full game report from Deity difficulty.
The start position has three silks in range, but I spotted coastline to the west. I decided to move my worker west to get a better look, and that "coast" turns out to be a one-tile lake with a wheat on it. The wheat is on grass, which means four food even under despotism if irrigated. The wheat is two tiles to the west (diagonal) and not in range if I settle on the start point. If I move west a tile, I will move OFF the river, but on to the lake, which is just as good. I move the settler west, settle in 3950, set science to max and choose Pottery, move the worker again, to the wheat, and start irrigating. Because worker actions finishing on a given turn take effect "before" food is counted, it takes only six turns to grow to size 2. Wheat grass has no shields, so it was one shield per turn at first. Perhaps a slower shield start than the start point, but much faster food start. I figured I would just always keep the city "one size larger" and pull that extra food "for free", allowing for much more rapid settler production.
At 3500BC, the first warrior was produced. The wheat is set and the city is growing every five turns from here on out. I saved the game and decided to offer it as the "Alternative Start" since anybody who settles on the start point will do without the wheat and surely grow/expand more slowly. Of course, the warrior could be used for MP duty, or it could be used to explore. I went exploring, starting north along the coast. A second warrior was trained, then I began barracks placeholder for the granary. I had to micromanage the lux slider continuously, turn by turn. The first goody hut was empty. The second popped out angry yokels, who all had to attack across rivers. My warrior survived all three and promoted to elite!
That tile looked like a great spot for a city. It would pull one cattle immediately, the other after border expansion, and it had rivers on all sides to aid in barbarian defense. I decided that Veii would be settled there. My elite unit rested, then continued exploring eastward and southeast. My granary had finished and I trained one settler. He took the warrior escort with him and I trained another warrior. The third hut I found was near the dyes, and it popped angry yokels. My elite warrior defeated one of the three then was slain by the second. I now had two angry barb warriors on the loose and heading for my civ. I decided I had better train a spearman with my new bronze tech, or they might ransack my capital, which could deal me a very bad blow if they killed off population. One lone regular warrior was not the best odds vs two barbs.
Well it wasn't just two barb warriors who showed up, but three! Three! My warrior had to defend against the first pair as the spearman had one turn left to go! He did win, barely, against the one, and then the other stopped to pillage the road! Whew. My spearman then defended vs the other two and promoted twice! He was down to his last hp both times! Then he rested and I had a new elite unit, a spear this time. Ha, take that you barbs.
My third settler headed inland, escorted by the elite spearman. After learning bronze, I went right to iron working. I was not running min science, either. I went full tilt. My plan was to settle six or eight core cities, train a few workers, build barracks and train as many legions as I could, then go out and kick some AI ass. That was the plan. I made these plans, the best laid plans. Well, you know what they say about that.
This when the first barb horse showed up. I had the setting on "restless", not raging, and yet this was pretty rough. For Deity, this actually was very rough. Harsh. Unforgiving. I'm used to having AI neighbors who rabidly chase down those 25 gold pieces, sending their stacks and stacks of free units hither and thither, giants walking past wee lil me and my farmers gambits. This is the first Deity game I've played with a fully isolated start. In fact, at first I thought I had to be on an island continent, for lack of ANY AI contacts. Not a single sighting! Turns out it was a large continent after all, but strangly with four AI's bunched in the far far south, and my civ all alone on an isolated far north peninsula. Thus, no AI's anywhere close, by which to be protecting me from the barbarian camps. It was... even harsher than I had intended. My first sighting of barbarian horse was TWO of them moving into range of poor Veii at the same time! Not a good sign.
Those raiders ran roughshod over my defender, across the river and all. They weren't even slowed. The first horse took gold, but the second slew a pop point. BAM, just like that, a major major production setback in my second city. And... I had little choice. I changed the worker orders to warriors. More barbs would be coming, and Rome was in no shape to help short term. You can see my elite spear and third settler one tile away from founding Antium on the river. Rome is ready to churn out the fourth settler soon, he'll head north up the coast. Lots of lux taxes needed for the large home city with its 3-turn growth cycle. I micro'ed that for all it was worth, running the silk forest for higher shields and gold the first two turns (EVERY time) and then running max food on the final turn and pulling in the silk forest anyway, as the growth freebie. Lots of attention required, but the results were worth it.
Rather than fortify my elite spear immediately, I decided to explore the darkness of the immediate area a little bit. Always plenty of time to get back, if need be, right? ... Right? In 1910BC, I received this message:
The cascade took out the Oracle, Lighthouse, and Colossus on the following three turns. Meanwhile, you can see a horsie appeared during the between turn. I barely had time to beeline it back to Antium and get my elite spear fortified in time!
And then it didn't matter anyway. It was Attila Himself come out of the yonder to lead the most elite "conscript" horse unit you ever did see: they attacked a fortified elite spear ACROSS A RIVER and won five of five hps to march into Antium unhurt and raid for gold.
All of this up to this point was played on Monday June 17. I intended to start the game, playtest it a short bit in my usual manner, then send the start file and teaser image on to Griselda. Um... I didn't do as planned. I thought this was rather a brutal start result. My second city had been overrun, and now so had my third. Three of three huts were losers (one wiped out my other elite unit) and there were no AI's in sight. It was 1800 BC, I had two pathetic, unimproved size 1 colonies, one worker, most of the troops I had trained slain, at least two, maybe three barb camps out in the darkness producing horsies. If they broke out into major uprisings, they would ALL do so at once and simply run me over. The only thing I had going was a somewhat sheltered capital with a granary and high food production and some improved tiles. I seriously considered tanking this start and restarting. Not that I would quit -- NO WAY -- but I could let this be a private game for myself and try for a less harsh start for Epic Four. I decided not to rush the decision, to play on. So... it went from Monday to Tuesday.

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