|RBCiv Epic Seven|
Difficulty: CUSTOM (Between Emperor and Deity)
World Size: Ultra Tiny (50x50)
Land Mass: 30%
Land Shape: Archipelago
Rules: CUSTOM (See Below)
Victory: Domination, Space, Cultural, Histogram
These are my results from Epic Seven 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 has special variant rules for play, listed at RBCiv page. It also has some modded game rules, as well. "Variant Rules: This is going to be like a boxing match, Good vs Evil. You may not land any units on the Enemy continent at any time. (Bombardments from sea or air are allowed). The enemy, of course, will not be observing these boundaries.
"Also, you may not trade techs with the AI (nor accept tech as part of any surrender terms or any other deals). You MAY trade resources and map information, and you may sell or give away techs to the AI if you desire. Since the AI trades to its favor anyway, and you do not have multiple AI's to trade one with another, it wouldn't pay to conduct any tech trades with the AI. All it would do is speed the overall total progress up the tech tree, giving away advantage to the AI in trade for speed in reaching "fastest finish" goals, and this is not what is intended. So... no tech acquisitions from the AI, period. Whether or not to trade resources is another question. In any case, you are going to have to do your own research pretty much the whole way through, and in this regard it's going to feel a lot like Epic Six.
"Finally, you may not acquire or settle any cities on the enemy home continent. Not through peace deals and not through culture flips. All other lands, however, are fair game."
* The enemy has costs at 70% of yours (halfway between Emperor's 80 and Deity's 60).
* The enemy starts with three workers (like Deity) but still only one settler (like Emperor).
* The enemy starts with an extra defender (hoplite) above the standard Emperor bonus.
* The enemy starts with additional "free unit" support bonuses, to match the surplus units.
* Optimal city count has been set to 20. (This means you must have 10 cities to get FP).
* Because of lower corruption, research rate has been set to equivalent of Small maps.
* No other rules or settings have been changed. All other difficulty rules are that of Emperor.
OK, so we start next to a small lake. I found the capital in 4000BC and set the worker to irrigating over to the wheat on the east side. Knowing I'm alone on my home continent, I opt for warrior-granary-settler and plan to go with low military for the early years. I hope to get the Pyramids, but I also know that Thebes will be training a lot of settlers, and food will be in shorter supply than shields. The granary means a slightly delayed start for my next couple of cities, but after exploring a bit and seeing the lay of the land, I think that's for the best. My second city goes in the northeast, past the dyes, and my third city goes to the east coast, in half-city proximity to the capital, but what choice did I have? A barb camp popped up in the north and, in Epic Four fashion, I chose to ignore it for now. I'd send help as soon as I could, but the camp popped up like one turn before I settled Memphis, so there was nothing I could do.
My fourth city went south onto that fishing promontory, my fifth three tiles west of the capital, and um, that's the end of the good lands. Ice to the northwest. Well, there's a western peninsula that springs south from the ice, with two wines over there, but there's only room for one strong city over there, and a few fishing villages. So I will have five strong cities (four in the east) and six fishing villages of varying quality. All in all not too bad. The barbarians turned out to be fairly persistent, and I had to bolster my military with archers and spearmen, and some chariots, but all in all they mainly served as cash cows. Memphis did get raided a few times in the northeast from that first camp, but little damage.
After pottery, I beelined to Alphabet and Writing at best research rate, then mapmaking at min science. Greeks started with alphabet, so I expected them to beat me to the sea, but apparently without other AI's to form an Old Boys Network (TM) they suffered, and I beat them to the sea by a goodly number of turns. I claimed some choice spots on the Big Island between the two continents and made contact with them across a strait before they even left their own shores.
I decided NOT to ever sell them my maps, so I bought theirs with cash. I had surplus after running mapmaking at min sci, even though I'd since been running some deficit research at times. I wanted to get to Republic quickly. You can see in that shot, five turns until Pyramids. Memphis had completed the Colossus already. I had started it and Elephantine on wonders VERY early, letting Thebes build all the settlers. Even at two and three shields per turn, those early turns fly by and even a sad city can build a wonder if there is little or no competition. Well, Athens beat me to the Pyramids by two turns! Blah. I thought about the great library for the culture, but decided instead to immediately grab the Oracle and waste about 70 shields on the overflow. They had Sparta on the Oracle, a size 2 city, and cascaded to Lighthouse. It was now a wonder race, and my fishing village beat Elephantine to Lighthouse. They ended up with Great Wall and the cascade was broken, their 2000 year effort at Sparta going to waste. Ha!
So then they got upset with me, apparently. Alex caught me with my pants down, in farmer expansionist mode, and dealt me a moderate yet significant setback:
War??? Huh! Good god, y'all!
I became, shall I say, moderately concerned? I had some military, especially on Big Isle, but I was a little thin on the home front. The worst part about losing that jungle island, which later turns out to have coal on it, was that Greece parked their two units on the two tiles and I was unable to do anything about it. So not until they landed their own settler there MANY years later, would they stop blockading the island. I vowed some day, my flag WOULD fly over that island again. Some day.
Oh, and by the way, I'm not playing this one out in a competitive manner. When I'm playing "as if I was really running this place", I play a certain kind of game. It's very VERY close to the "honorable" Epics rule set, but not quite. My basic rule of thumb is, what's mine is mine, keep your grubby hands off of it! Everything else, I leave alone. Well, Big Isle was mine, and this tiny coal isle was mine. I had TRIED to grab the isle off the southwest coast of my western peninsula, but Greece beat me there by one turn. (ONE!) So I had settled for that large, rocky, icy island instead. We'd race for the rest, and whatever he rightfully grabbed, I intended to leave alone for all time. I was not shooting for domination here, nor for a launch. I did not want 20k one city culture, nor in this instance to shoot for civwide. I wanted, for the first time ever, to win on the histogram, and have to do so based on what I could grab peacefully. However, this aggressive action by Greece would not be left to stand. I would retake what was mine. Some day.
Although Alex had more units than I did, he lacked both horses and iron on his home continent. He really got the raw deal on resources, but he did get a better hand dealt him in regard to luxuries. Still, he had a lot of archers, warriors and hoplites, while I had some swords and chariots. He sent like four or five shiploads out, and though I fended off the first invasions, I was growing worried, so I decided to build extra galleys and fight at sea. I figured it was worthwhile, risking my empty galleys vs his loaded ones. Here you see the camping bastards on "my" island! Arrgh.
My first naval battle was a success! Sank a Greek ship with troops on board near Helio, lost 1 hp on my ship, healed him up and went at it a second time a few turns later. My ship not only won again, but promoted!
The war ended soon after that, as I made peace and accepted some of his gold in the bargain. I wanted to go back to island grabbing, but perhaps the peace was a mistake, because as soon as we made peace, he swapped to Republic and went on an absolute settlement blitz! He grabbed all the islands in the south, and even took the corner of my Big Isle! "Um... Alex. That land is mine. You understand? I'm going to take it away from you some day. Those islands you got fair and square, but sticking a half-city fishing village of the corner of my second continent is not OK." He didnt listen.
Note the location of Avaris in the shot above. I placed it there so as not to have flip pressure put on it. I could never flip a city on the Greek homeland (against the scenerio rules) so no sense allowing them ANY chance to flip my cities, either. So I placed Avaris where it could gain control of all its 21 tiles no matter what, even though it wasn't otherwise the ideal location for it (no harbor, some overlap).
El-Amarna was the first city I planted on Big Isle, and did so hurriedly, before I had explored any of it (back when I still thought Greece would be first to the sea). Heiracon was built to complement Amarna, and also to grab as much land as I could in a single city, and it got an iron in range! With all that jungle, I thought I might even have a shot at Iron Works. Heh, probably not.
The tech race went slowly, as both sides had only a small portion of arable land. Most of my continent was dry: icy, desert, some grass but no fresh water. Greece had a better continent, but slightly less total land, and with me claiming the Big Isle, I definitely had more total land. I finished my FP on the western side of the continent in early AD years while still in the ancient age (and this was before the 1.29 patch tech slowdown!)
This gave me a second wonder-capable city. Meanwhile, Athens appeared to be Greece's only really strong city. They got Pyramids there and Great Wall, and were going to nab SunTzu. They had two other cities on wonders, while I had three cities also on wonders: Helio building its only wonder, the Gardens, would kick off my Golden Age. I was working on the tech to get both Sistine and Bach's, and let Greece have Leo's. That should break the cascade, and then I could have any wonder I wanted after that, I was sure.
I caved the first time Alex made a demand, back in BC times, but the second time he came with hand out, I told him where to stick it. If he wanted war, bring it on! My elite galley stood ready to sink a whole fleet of his leaky boats! Ha! Turns out he didn't have the cahunas after all.
In an odd way, it may have been for the best that I didn't get the Pyramids. My golden age was delayed until after government swap, and I used it to nab two great wonders AND secure all the rest from there on out, because of prebuilds.
I needed the science from the GA itself to get me to Music Theory in time. It all worked out beautifully, and my lack of luxuries was made up for with these powerful religious wonders. Being religious, it was easy to build or even rushbuy those cheap cathedrals, and at double strength, I was able to drop my luxury taxes back to zero.
Now there were times I did trade for some of Greece's luxuries, but they were getting gpt from that, and I decided it was in my long term interest not to supplement their income, so I stopped that at this point. (They had declared war earlier, and I realized then that I couldn't count on them for reliable lux anyway).
Another thing that helped me out a lot, Greece avoided optional techs like the plague! Scientific civ, and they didn't bother with Literature for centuries upon centuries. They actually had Education before Literature and yet couldn't build a single university without a library available! At this point they seemed to realize the mistake and went back for Literature, but they missed out on a lot as a result, including culturally. I even built the great library in there before my GA started, and had it built before they had the tech. Heh. They did get horses hooked up, but I had all three iron. They didn't need iron for pikes, but they couldn't build knights.
Time trickled along slowly, and now Greece was in the tech lead and I was following them up the tree for the most part, letting them blunt the research costs. I researched optional techs, like Monarchy and Literature and Music Theory, that they didn't much bother with, and secured some wonders thereby. I also went up the Printing Press line and swapped over to Democracy shortly after 1000AD, and they never did. The lower corruption would eventually more than make up for the lost time going that way, and even Shakespeare's Theater would come in handy. More on that in a bit.
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