Sirian's Great Library - Strategies for Civilization III
Rumble in the Jungle, Round Two

Civilization: Iroquois
Difficulty: Emperor
World Size: Standard
Opponents: Seven
Climate: Random
Rainfall: Random
Mountains: Random
Land Mass: Random
Land Shape: Random
Barbarians: Restless
Version: 1.17f
So I got the latest patch. I hadn't played the Iro's since my first game, so I decided to try them out again. Oh gosh, what dreadful luck I seem to have with them for starting locations!
Now I've played a number of games I have not written about (some finished, some not), and I've played in over half a dozen Succession games (pseudo-multiplayer). I've learned a number of things I haven't taken time to detail. I hope that I don't use terms without defining them, or refer to concepts I haven't explained, but if I do... bear with me. :)
The start location here looked pretty bad. Worse, even, than my original start with the Iro's way back when, in First World. I started on one little bitty lake, so at least I had irrigation on hand, but it went downhill from there. One fur in range, in the only forest in the area, a couple grassland tiles, and all the rest in the area was desert and jungle. Lots and lots of jungle. I thought, "I'll see what I can do with this mess."
My progress was slow. One of the biggest changes in the patch involves forced labor. There is now "negative happiness", where enough unhappy factors can now override your contentment factors (Temples, Military Police, etc) if the unhappiness elements outnumber the contentment elements. The duration of unhappiness for forced labor has also been doubled (ouch -- that might be overkill, but we'll see). So I avoided the whip, not entirely, but used it VERY sparingly. This wasn't the backbreaker, though. The land here was just a little TOO poor. As it turns out, I could not handle it.
I got one settler out fairly quickly, and chose the ONE other location on my map where there was a singular hole in the jungle, one grassland tile. So my second city has 1 shield per turn, 2 food per turn. My capital has no food bonuses, so the fastest it can grow is every ten turns. (First World, I at least had a wheat, if you recall). The Americans started very close to me, like three city radius lengths away, on the other side of the jungle. We were on a fairly small rock, enough for about a dozen total cities, maybe a couple more if we squeezed them. So we squeezed them! All of our cities, both theirs and mine, were slow starters. One shield, one food. Blah. They had about seven silks, I had a total of five furs but only one in a useful location.
All the rest of my cities (eventually eight or nine total, but half of them squeezed) started with 1 food and 1 shield, or in a couple of cases, 2 shields. I did have some iron in my region, but MISTAKENLY overlooked the iron right next to Washington, so the whole game through I'm mistakenly thinking I have the resource advantage. Oops. (How did I overlook this factor? I have no idea. I don't remember making that sort of mistake before). The only good news: America was in little better shape. Their research was going faster, and they were notoriously stingy in tech trade deals. It may have been a mistake to deal as much as I did, since they got all my gold and only sped their own research with it. Hmm. Firaxis has tinkered with a lot more here than they have revealed. I don't think it's just my poor land making this one tougher.
The wonder cascade hit all at once. Persia finished the Pyramids (don't they always?) and the following two turns, Oracle and Colussus were claimed. Americans got the Colossus! Arrgh, this sped their research even more, and they started on the lighthouse next turn. I didn't even have writing yet! I had gone for the wheel, only to find that there were no horses anywhere on our continent!!! What a mess that was. The Iro's strengths are their awesome ancient Unique Unit, and what they might pop out of huts. Well, I got precisely one hut, and it gave me maps. No horsies. This was a dog of a scenerio, even for a diehard!
I ended up building lots of workers and trying to chop down jungles sooner rather than later. It was starting to work, as I got settled in and finished temples and some barracks, and built up about 8 swordsmen and a couple archers. Right as I was preparing to declare war, Washington completes the Lighthouse, and the next thing I know, Japan is sailing by, and now the Americans have bought their way all the way up to Invention, making pikes and longbows just as I start attacking them. I waited too long, and now it was too late. I did take Boston, but had some dreadful luck with my thrust at Philadelphia (lost 2 swords and a third one half wounded, attacking a regular longbow??? OUCHIE!)
I then tried, with 2 elite and 3 vet swords, to assault Washington, but could not even dent their fortified pikes. I'd have needed my Mounted Warriors to have stood any chance in this one, I believe. With the rest of world clearly having left America and I in the dust, and me not able even to take them on, I opted to retire around 400AD. That's two games with Iro's, two difficult jungle starts, and two losses.
If you would like to replay this game, Click Here to download the save file from 4000BC, along with my last available save from a few turns before I gave up the ghost. If you can climb out of this hole, I'd love to hear about it. Write me and tell how you did it. :)

- Sirian

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