welcome to my report of my Epic Three game. Epic Three had a building theme. It was all about building, not about war, and much building did happen. Between building infrastructure, only wonders and a few troops were built. Even the AIs conformed nicely: The main thing they did was, uh, building. Troops? No, infrastructure. The replay at the end revealed that only one
city was captured during a 'war' and was immediately recaptured. The rest was about...building.
In the beginning I really enjoyed it, but in the end I hoped deep inside that somebody would attack me...or someone else...please...Cleo or Abe normally show a more erratic behavior, but this time...they were more of the builder type.
But let's start at 4000BC.
The Wonder Phase
All I knew was that this Epic would take place on a large map with few civs, that it had a building theme and that Sirian had tinkered with the map. So I played the metagame and figured that all civs were on seperate islands, that we would have more than enough room to spread out peacefully and that I could try some kind of farmer's gambit. The normal one is low to no military, maybe a granary and then settler, settler, settler. I wanted more, the farmer's granddaddy's gambit, so to say (although I doubt that this is correct English...
): I built only one settler and then started building the largest granary there is: The pyramids. Then
I produced settlers and workers and didn't care about military other than some basic military police, or when a new founded city grew only in 20 turn, in which case I produced a warrior before starting on a worker.
Wether this 'slow start' strategy was better in the long run than my usual immediate exponential growth strategy I don't know, but the replay looked interesting:
This screenshot was taken at the time I founded my 3rd city, and compare that to the other civs! Anyhow, while I was busy building the pyramids, the French finished the colossus (damn! I would have liked that one, too) and shortly after the great lighthouse (damn again!) and the oracle. I was impressed! Three wonders for the French, none to the others, and France was still reasonably large! It seems my strategy wasn't that good after all.
The Waiting and Building Phase
After the pyramids were finished I produced some settlers and then built the great library. I don't know what devil rode me there, but in a monarch builder's game with few civs this was a weedy move - instead of nearly shutting down research I should have done my own research, albeit slow because now I only produced settlers and workers and nearly no infrastructure. But at least I expanded fast now, despite the jungle everywhere. I hadn't had the pyramids for a long time, and really liked the granary in my new cities!
Near the new millennium, I took a rest from expanding and produced cheap libraries for some border expansion, and started (slow) research for republic - I feared I wouldn't find other civs for quite some time. And boy was I right!
In 10AD my lands looked like this:
My population was 1286000 at that time, ranked last even in this game - I guess I will rank last compared to all of you as well.
The next few hundred years, I built settlers, workers, settlers, even more workers and some infrastructure in between. I started to wonder where the other civilizations were, and hurried to settle all my lands so that no AI galley could sneak a city in. And when I thought I had settled the last spot, my galleys found another island to the west and some small ones to the northeast! But my first hope to finally meet somebody there was in vain, so I started to settle these islands as well and constructed my forbidden palace on the large western island. And built infrastructure everywhere, and
finally started to fill every city with a garrison.
The S.(E.)T.I. Phase
Nearly every city was building infrastructure now to prepare for the moment I would meet the other civs. I was very low on military, since the AIs are not good at island invasions and I could swap to military fast if needed.
But it became really boring now, I wanted
to meet the other civs really bad! Now it became apparent to me that the great library had been a mistake: It would bring me on par with the other civs, but not
with the other players in this tournament! I hadn't expected to be alone for so
I became desperate to make contact with any
other intelligent lifeform, be it terrestrial or extra-terrestrial, so now I decided it would fit the theme of my civilization to win via space race. But I didn't want to give in and research something for myself - I had started the great library folly, so I had to stick to it. So I began building kamikaze galleys to explore the seas, and when the first one was lost in treacherous waters...
The Catching Up Phase
...an Egyptian galley reached FP island in 850AD and made contact with me!
Oh the joy!
But contact with one civ wasn't enough for my library, so I tried to buy contact with the other civs. What?!? Cleo wants a world map and way over 1000 gold for contact with the French? No way! I figured that a French or American galley would reach me on their own soon. Right?
Wrong. In 990AD (and after some more suicide galleys) I gave in and spent about 2000gold to get contact with both. So inbetween turns the library kicked in and filled me up on tech: All but 2 techs from the middle ages. Exactly in this year I had discovered steam power in Epic 1, but that was on emperor with more civs. Still - I felt that the great library had been a mistake.
Now I began my own research and started to build all these fancy new improvements I now had access to, like universities to speed up research more. Military still remained low, since I was confident that I only needed a few units to kick out any island invasion force.
Since my galleys now knew how to navigate in deep waters, in 1220AD I discovered some new, unsettled land to the north. What was even better was the source of saltpeter that was there! In rushed a harbor in the city there, but couldn't stop the other civs from founding some cities there, too.
Finally, in 1260AD, I discovered steam power, the
übertech in this game. Until then I had the feeling that I never had more workers in any game than in this one, only to find out that they were still not enough to quickly build rail everywhere. At least the endless jungle had been removed everywhere!
It was after the railnet has been built that "building" grew on my nerves. I sticked to my plan to search for more civilizations in space, but deep inside I hoped that someone would attack me for a change of pace. I built shakespear's, suffrage, theory of evolution, hoover, ... and Cleo and Abe just sat there and did nothing
. No SoD, so threat, nothing
. I longed for the emperor Abe, he
would have sneak attacked me ages ago! Oh well.
1500AD reported a population of 32998000 and this world map:
Drumming with my fingers in boredom, I entered the modern age in 1650AD:
The 'I Have Enough I Leave Now' Phase
There was one strong reason to have a war: I still have had no golden age. I had hoped that one of the wonders I had built would set it off, but no, so a war would be my only chance left. On the other hand, I shied away from war on such a large map with all its micromanaging, and starting a war only to trigger my golden age...that felt wrong. I make the mistake of playing even strategic games a little bit like roleplaying games.
But I think besides my great library folly, not having a golden age was my biggest 'mistake' for this game.
So I had enough from this builder's nonsense - I would leave this miserable planet soon, to find other lifeforms, some emperor Shaka or deity Hammurabi, some real
AIs who know how to threat humans, to sneak attack the unsuspecting, to spice up civilization games! 1750AD gave me Apollo and S.E.T.I., and global warmings everywhere which I ignored. Why build mass transit when I will set out for new frontiers soon?
turn before I could launch my spaceship, France
declared war on America! Joanie
had backstabbed Abe. When my people watched this planet from high above in 1794AD they finally saw the action this world had denied them for so long.
But the replay showed that this one turn of war had not been enough for a city to be captured. Monarch Joanie is a loser.
Space Race Victory in 1794AD, score 3989. And again I learned a lot in this Epic, even before reading the other reports.