Since I don't see any reason not to found on the starting tile, I go ahead and start there. The first thing I notice is that, without mines, the despotism penalty really hurts! There are a lot of tiles that won't benefit from anything but roads in despotism. With that in mind, I send my worker out to the plains by the fish to irrigate. I'll irrigate there first, and then see about hooking up those wines. I settle Entremont, and start a warrior. I start mysticism, thinking I may be able to trade it.
I send the first warrior west, and the second one north. I don't get the wines connected until 3400 BC, when I can turn the lux off and science up.
Curiosity always gets the better of me. In 3400 BC, I pop the hut to the west, and get barbs. I still don't understand Conquests barbs, though. They fortify, so I do, too, thinking I might have a better chance of surviving them if I'm fortified. They still don't attack, so I attack the one that has a tile between it and the others. That way, I'll have a turn to heal. I win, and fortify.
In 3200 BC, I pop the hut to the north, and get barbs there too. Between turns, both my northern and my western warriors are killed by the barbs. That leaves me with my one MP warrior, and one worker for units, and not very much land explored. I'd started a granary, though, and want to finish it. Mysticism comes in at 3050 BC, but of course I haven't explored, so I haven't met anyone to trade it with. I start alphabet at max.
In 2710 BC, my granary is complete. At least the barbs that killed my warrior didn't swarm me! I don't know where they are, though. I build a warrior, then a settler, and send out a settler pair. Scouting will just have to wait, but I don't feel safe sending unescorted settlers out into the blackness either.
Here's my civ in 2230, when my second city, Alesia, was founded. You can see how very worldly I am! I also haven't done much in the way of improvements outside of roads. I spend a lot of turns mining the hill for shields, but since I'm working on settlers and not growing, I don't get good use out of it for a while. I do better with the irrigated plains (and deserts, of course) and the bonus grasslands.
Alphabet comes in, and I start writing. I send my second settler SW, to found in a pretty close spot that can hopefully make use of the mountains and hills there. I don't think it will make too much difference if I'm building close to my capitol, but that limits my available food tiles, which limits my ability to use the nice shield tiles there.
I still don't do any scouting, but in 2070 Egypt finally marches a warrior down my way. They have all the techs that we do, and we lack bronze working, masonry, the wheel, and warrior code.
I build my curragh, and start paddling around to the north (if I'd picked south, of course, I'd have made more contacts, but I wouldn't learn about that for years since I stick with the one curragh). Carthage strolls by. They have the same techs as Egypt does. Soon they also have writing. My writing comes in soon afterwards, and I figure I'll try for map making. With the current tech model, it wouldn't necessarily be cheaper than buying anyway, and I have at least a chance of a two-fer.
In about 1550 BC, I have built a barracks in my capitol, and have the spices by Alesia online.
With the curragh, I notice that the AI tend to treat it like a scout. They'll ask me to move it once, but never complain again if I agree and then move out on the other side, not the side I came in. So, I just paddle around the continent. I find the island to the NE, and paddle around that. It's not another continent, of course.
Carthage beats me to map making by quite a bit, but I keep going on my research, and buy bronze working and eventually iron working. I've founded some more cities, but will need to stretch for that northern iron! In 1000 BC, Egypt founds by the iron! Our settler was on the way, but will be too short. I decide to fight for it, since the iron would be in their second ring, and I can get it into a first ring.
You can see how that worked out here. It's close to Byblos and to two of my cities, but it will have to do. What are the Celts without iron?
In 570 BC I double-whip two granaries. We're not so food-rich that I can do without them, but waiting for them to build out without mines is like watching grass grow. So, I think it's worth it.
The English had built the Colossus a while ago, and in 550 BC the Portugese complete the Pyramids. The Oracle isn't even completed for another few turns. It seems like nobody has great production in this game, which I appreciate!
The no-discount tech race is scary now in the ancient age. I buy warrior code, and start Monarchy. I don't have a lot of cash, though, and techs are hard to afford.
I can't see any advantage to waiting for a FP in this version, and location is unimportant. So, I started to build it in Alesia.
In 510 BC, I finally get my iron hooked up, but I'm not really ready to build Gallics yet. Luckily, they should be useful for a little while yet.
In 450 BC, I see a red border. That's when I realize how close I'd been to meeting the other continent!
In 350 BC, I sail my one little curragh over and meet Rome, and England soon afterwards. They had both settled the island to my east. I also notice that Carthage is fighting Egypt (I hadn't been able to afford embassies yet).
In 270 BC, there's finally a tech brokering chance! Carthage and England have Monarchy, and we can buy it at a discount because we've been researching it. Then, I can sell it to Egypt for masonry, philosophy, the wheel, code of laws, and 55 gpt. Then, I can sell Monarchy to Rome too for math and horseback riding. That was nice!
We revolt, and draw a 2-turn anarchy? I've never seen it be longer than one turn with a religious civ. Is this new?
We enter Monarchy in 230 BC, and can finally really start to irrigate! My workers are sent back corewards. We can also pull a currency-construction two-fer pretty quickly.
We're not that behind all of a sudden- only Carthage has a middle age tech.
Our curragh (still my only naval vessel) has done all it can do, so it becomes a suicide curragh! It survives, and I start paddling around the other continent. I complete my FP, too. Things are looking up for the Celtics!
Egypt completes the Great Wall, which will make it slightly harder for me to crush them with my Gallics. I'd actually planned to be at war sooner, but there were other useful building things that took priority. I'm still getting techs at a nice rate, as I'm able to buy engineering and use it towards feudalism and literature. I don't have the production to get done with infra in my core and start building military, so I just keep building improvements.
Egypt had paid for an embassy with me, so I get the memo when they make peace with Carthage in 210 AD. In 230, I can afford my first embassy- with Carthage. Carthage is at 11 spt, and I note that they're not working any mined tiles, either.
Soon, I can afford to make an embassy with England. They're using three mined tiles, but still only manage 9 spt and size 8. No wonder I haven't been left behind by these AI! An embassy in Rome (in 340 AD) reveals their capitol making 6 spt. They're still working on the great library. I wonder if they'll get there before education? They do have a gigantic garrison of ancient cavs. They could hurt somebody with them, but they seem to be leaving them all at home. That seems unusual, for the Romans.
My marketplaces are coming online, and I'm also starting to build gallics finally.
In 350 AD, Portugal completes the Great Library, putting Rome out of its misery. Just a little bit later, I can afford an embassy with Portugal, and notice that they have a musket due in 1. It's not every day you see a Great Library-musket production queue!
The Great Celtic Army has finally been assembled. Well, at least I won't have to worry about having my GA in despotism.
Here you can see the glorious Celtic empire on the eve of war. I didn't do all that well on my land grab, but that had some potential advantages. Both Egypt and Carthage had some lightly defended cities that were separated from their core and should be much easier for me to capture. Plus, the distance from their core (even if only a few cities) should give me some time to prepare for whatever they sent my way. In this shot, my three barracks cities are producing either pikes or gallics, and Camulodunum would be joining them shortly. I have seven Gallics poised to attack El-Amarna next turn, and a settler ready to resettle, although looking at the shot now I'm not sure exactly what was wrong with the current city location. I never did make a dotmap for this one, and my city placement certainly suffered as a result. I also wish I'd made a less dense settlement pattern in my core, to take full advantage of the late-game specialists, but what I was mostly thinking about was trying to have a city for every mine-able section of the map. Just about every forest, hill, or mountain got its own city. :P
The two gallics and the MDI by Byblos are mostly to cover the iron, because I didn't have the units to open two fronts but couldn't afford to lose the iron.
In 420 AD, we declared war on Egypt, and attacked! My first two attackers retreat and then lose, so it takes the third Gallic to trigger the GA (facing regular spears). I guess that's not too bad considering I was fighting the Great Wall civ. But, there were only three defenders, so El-Amarna was soon burned to the ground! In 440 AD, Lapurdum was settled in the area.
Meanwhile, I was wheeling and dealing with the other AI, getting theology, chivalry, gunpowder, and education. I decided to try researching banking. My memory from RBC1 was still vivid, as well as my struggles with other Conquests games, and I knew I couldn't count on the AI to stay tightly bunched forever. I hadn't had time to build libraries yet, but that was certainly on my mind.
In 450 AD, I attacked Hieraconpolis, which had at least one veteran spear. It took me an extra turn to raze that one, which I resettled with two cities. I also attacked and captured Byblos to the north. Hiera had some mind tiles, so I had to remember not
to work them until I'd irrigated.
Well, the war was going much better than I expected, especially for gallics in the middle ages. In 520, I captured Pi-Ramesses, which was further than I'd expected to get with my first war.
This is where it really got interesting, though. Egypt had offered almost no resistance, but in 530, Carthage moved units into "sneak attack" position on Pi-Ramesses. I had been sending units to Egypt's little core, but Carthage was bigger and stronger than me, so I had to pull back. Carthage had three Numidians on the iron mountain by Pi-R, and a stack of 8 archers covered by a Numidian on the way. I had knights and pikes, but not very many. I had to make the most of what I had. I could get three knights and three gallics (one of them redlined) into Pi-R that turn, and it would have to do.
Actually, looking at the save, although my military was "weak" compared to them and I wasn't expecting the attack, I wasn't in such bad shape. Maybe it was just the size of their empire on the minimap that was scary. At that point, I had 9 pikes, 6 knights, 6 gallics, and 3 MDI. But, most could get to the front pretty quickly, and I had water on my other three sides.
I did buy chemistry from Carthage for 57 gpt. All I had ever wanted was to be friends with them, so I figured they owed me that much. I hadn't managed to research banking at all, but had bought it and traded for astronomy.
Anyway, Carthage did indeed declare war, and attacked me with its Numidians! That was fine with me, since that meant I wouldn't have to worry about fighting their 3-defense on the mountain, especially if they'd sent offensive units to the same tile.
In 540, Carthage also completed Sun Tzu's. I could tell we were not going to be friends any more. At least the wonders were spread out. England got Knights Templar, and the Romans got Leo's.
Egypt had finally managed to send some offensive units my way, and I couldn't take them and Carthage. So, I made peace with Egypt although they didn't really have anything I wanted.
It took a couple of turns before the attacking-numidians and the archers were scattered and not so scary. Although I stayed at war, I switched Entremont to a bank, so that I wouldn't get left behind.
Trade routes were open, now, and I could trade for some nice English dyes. It was kind of refreshing to still have MP and no WW, since I haven't used Monarchy much lately.
The wonders started getting less spread out. England completed Copernicus and Sistine. I was starting to realize that they'd be my true competition, and was thinking of ways to prevent them from taking off with the game. I already mentioned that I was trying to maintain infrastructure builds even while at war, and at least keeping the option of self-research open although I hadn't been able to accomplish much with it just yet. Also, I was thinking that it might be better to attack England sooner rather than later, because it's hard to catch a runaway civ on another continent. I kept this in mind in my trading, and tried to buy from Portugal as much as possible. As I mentioned before, I was trying to make sure I'd learned something from my experience in RBC1. I did try researching once again (not much to lose, I figured, even if I wasn't first), this time with economics.
But that was long term, and I still had a war at home. Carthage had some galleys out, and I was worried that they'd land units. Past the front, I was all cardboard cutouts, so I had to divert some knights and gallics and set up a quick zone defense.
By 610 I was ready to actually bring the war to Carthage. They had a couple of cities on my side of Egypt, but even those had muskets. I was able to raze Oea using knights. I wanted to resettle on the fresh water. I then headed for the Carthage-held Alexandria, which I had to raze also to make room for Oea's replacement. This was fine, as I could resettle Alexandria by the coast.
By 690 AD, I'd captured or razed all the Carthaginian cities on my side of Egypt, and Egypt (with her four cities) declared war on Carthage as well. The next turn, I got my first leader, and quickly made a knight army.
Oh, I'd also been the first to economics, hooray! I was able to get metallurgy and some gold for it. I bought the AI world maps, and saw- saltpeter! Close by! If I could get the saltpeter before Carthage had cavs, things would be much easier for me. I can move my knight army up and pillage right away, and then work on capturing their city. I was able to capture Leptis Minor, the salt city, in 770 AD.
So, what had started as a limited war to compensate for a mediocre land grab had already netted half the continent! I could have continued my pursuit of Carthage, but at that point Egypt was really in the way, and my peace treaty was up anyway. I declared war on Egypt in 810 AD, but, being in Monarchy, didn't have any reason to take peace with Carthage. I just didn't focus on them for the time being.
In 830, I captured Mempis, in 850 Heliopolis, and in 890 Giza, and Cleo was reduced to a OCC.
In 930 AD, I made it to the industrial age. Only England and Portugal were also industrial. Carthage had been keeping up, but they were out of gas.
Steam Power at 60% was 22 turns, but with the industrial-age AI so predictable, that still seemed like a good bet.
In 980 AD, I captured Thebes, and of course this happened:
In 980, England completed Smith's. You may have noticed that I hadn't even entered the wonder race yet. Without mines, and with a war to win, it didn't seem reasonable. It will be interesting to see what wonders other players manage to build.
I decide that I might as well capture Carthage. I wasn't sure what good those cities up there would do, but I did like the idea of removing the threat of a land invasion, and the freedom that would give me to focus on the other continent.
But, since Carthage was not a real threat at that point, I needed to stay competitive. I put most of my core onto infrastructure- libraries (finally), universities, and banks.
In 1030, England got Magellan's. In 1100 AD, I am the first to steam power. Both Portugal and England had nationalism, so I took the tech from Portugal, and gold from England (full market value, I'm pretty sure). I started medicine.
I needed to decide whether I wanted a new government. Both communism and fascism would soon be available. The fascist unit support was temping, but I suspected that the corruption would more than eat up those gains. The draw of the Secret Police Headquarters, on the other hand, was very tempting. With almost an entire continent to my name, I could use a higher OCN! I'd kept at least one eye on the RBC10 and 11 SG's, and was especially reassured by Aggie's comparison shots on the last page of RBC11. I was expecting to have to compete with AI democracies, and, even with the two-turn anarchy, I didn't want to switch a lot.
The Romans got Newton's, and Portugal got Bach's, and the wonder cascade was finally over!
In 1110, I captured Carthage city. I had a second leader in there somewhere, who made an army, and a third, who waited to be sent to England. This was silly, of course, as there would soon be shipping available that could ship a full army. Still, Carthage was toast, so I didn't need an army there.
In 1170, England and Rome signed a MPP. That might make things more interesting.
I was the first to medicine, and decided to hang on to it. I wanted to buy from Portugal, and I wanted communism or industrialization. England had both, of course, but I didn't want to help them to pull further ahead. I started making policeman specialists wherever I could. They could even take away corruption in cities with one-shield corruption!
In 1220, I captured Utica, Carthage's last mainland city. I knew that going after their four island cities would just be a resource drain, so I took peace with them for their three non-capitol island cities.
I never did have many workers (most of my workers were just the ones I'd captured in the wars), so it was taking a while to get things railed. This meant that I had to be extra careful not to use the mined tiles up north, because I wasn't going to sacrifice getting my cities connected for a couple of colonies. I wasn't in too much of a hurry to rail the irrigated tiles, of course, but I was still working on getting all of my cities connected! Then, the priority shifted to the hills and mountains, and after that I railed the flat lands and irrigated my captured lands. I eventually set up Elephantine as a two-turn worker factory, although the truth is that it didn't need any MM, so there wasn't much setting up required.
I also started to build a navy, since I didn't have one yet. I knew I'd need to upgrade soon, before I could sail anywhere, but I figured I should start. I completely forgot that I couldn't upgrade frigates, though, or I would have just built galleons for now.
In 1240, Portugal finally had communism. I still had a monopoly on medicine (I had been keeping track of that), so I took communism from Portugal, and a full market value of gold from England. I then sold communism to Rome for a bit of gold.
The SPH was just too temping, so I decided to switch. In Monarchy, I was making 102 gpt at 90% science, with electricity due in 5. I could turn science off to get 519 gpt, and electricity in 44. For an accurate count, I should have turned all my scientists off, but I had a lot of cities and wasn't in the mood.
I revolted to communism, again drawing the two-turn anarchy. I should have cash-rushed defenders in as many of my undefended island cities as possible, because rifles aren't cheap and are hard to poprush in no-harbor island towns, but I didn't think about that until afterwards. I never did get attacked up there, though.
In communism, the first thing I noticed was that no city had more than 3-shield corruption. That was in anarchy no-production mode though, and it went up to a max of five per city once I set up the cities. Now, 90% science could get electricity in 4, with 166 gpt. and I could make 626 gpt at 0%. My cities had changed enough, and a few turns had passed, so it wasn't a true comparison. But, at least I was pretty confident that the switch hadn't made everything worse.
Although I wanted to go and take the fight to England, I entered a building phase. I'd been at war for most of the AD-era, although I hadn't completely neglected building for that time. Still, in communism I wanted police stations, and a SPH, not to mention the factories and other assorted things that needed to be built.
In 1265, OCC Carthage declared war on Portugal! Portugal put them out of their misery in 1300.
I was the first to electricity, and drew a scientific leader. I decided to hold him for ToE. I do think I could have built it without the leader, as I'd been planning to, but it certainly would have been dicey. England had been building suffrage for a while now, although they were the only one, I think.
My best spt cities didn't have rivers, so my best Hoover city was 16 spt (with police specialist) Gergovia. I started my Hoover prebuild in 1285.
In 1280, England declared war on Portugal. To the best of my knowledge (even looking at the replay later), this is the first war that happened on the other continent. Amazing! Portugal has already been starting to fall behind, so I trade them some horses in a lux deal. I hadn't traded electricity yet, and England demanded it. I told Liz to go take a milk bath, and she backed down. England completed suffrage, and I decided to also trade Portugal some iron and coal.
When scientific method came in, I leader-rushed ToE. I then traded electricity for industrialization, and decide to get espionage from England at second, for sanitation. I started the Secret Police Headquarters in 1385.
When I was first to radio, I drew another scientific leader. I do think I could have done ToE or at least Hoover on my own, (I think, I think...) but I went ahead and leader-rushed Hoover in Carthage, and swapped my prebuild to intelligence agency.
In 1420 replaceable parts came in- and England had no rubber! I celebrated, then gleefully declined when she demanded it a few turns later. Once again, England backed down.
At this point I had swapped almost entirely over to builder mode, and had to decide whether I really wanted to go for domination and war with England, or settle down and try to head for space. Space certainly would have been the bolder choice, since England was still out-researching me, and Portugal had been left in the dust. But, I suspected that the space win was going to require a war with England eventually, too. My game had already had a lot of warmongering, and if I was going to ship over to England one way or another, domination was more appealing. With my own continent in 1490 AD, I was already at 47% land and 61% of the population. I figured that one more civ, say, about the size of England, would finish the job.
OK, I suppose I wasn't exactly fair to England there. Certainly it would have been much easier to roll over Rome or Portugal, but I knew that just one of the two wouldn't be enough. Also, war with England served the double purpose of slowing Liz down a bit. I didn't think she could race ahead to space while I attacked Rome and Portugal, but I really didn't want to find out. Plus, at least Portugal had been my ally for years. England had made two demands, now, and was just plain asking to be attacked.
So, it was settled. I built some infantry and some boats, loaded them up, and headed west. I figured that the little island off of England's west coast would be my best approach. It would provide a close landing to the mainland, and require only a turn at sea when I shipped west. I could park some destroyers on the middle tile and ship units without being disturbed.
I thought I'd stopped trading gpt to England, but the turns were going more slowly now, and I got to their borders with 6 more turns of gpt payments to them. I decided to wait. I may be a dastardly leader pursuing a path to world domination, but I honor my gpt deals!
In 1490, Rome and Portugal made peace. In 1510, England declared war on Rome. In 1520, my deals were up, and I declared on England. I'm always cautious, probably over cautious, when declaring war, especially on a stronger civ, so I signed Rome and Portugal on to an alliance.
I landed on that SE England island, and in 1530 had captured my first city there. In 1535, England landed seven cavs next to Entremont, but of course I was ready with my homeland cavs, and was able to kill them all. I did make a note to leave a stack of artillery at home, though.
In 1540 that SE island was mine, and it was time to head for the mainland!
In 1560, I entered the modern age, with all self-research of course. I was fourth in literacy but had built many libraries and universities. Plus, I used scientists instead of taxmen where I wasn't using corruption specialists.
I built my beachhead on the tile that's the furthest East on the other continent. It was cramped and risked flipping, but I wanted to have a home base before I felt I could take cities. That city was kind of nice, because I could pillage the plains and hold the hill, and feel somewhat secure militarily.
Of course, I expected at least a small SOD. It never came. So, the war was more about logistics that anything else.
One interesting thing is that, in this game, none of the AI stayed in a representative government. In 1580, all the AI were either in fascism or anarchy, headed for fascism. In 1590, we were finally "strong" compared to England, accoring to our military advisor.
Warwick, the city closest to my beachhead, flipped back almost right away, but after I recaptured it I held it for the rest of the game.
I was a bit puzzled as to what to do with all the laborers in my captured cities. England was a cultural leader, and I couldn't cash rush! I could pop rush, of course, and run specialists, but I couldn't always count on that being available the turn I needed it (whereas I really didn't have anything to do with my cash anymore, since I wasn't going for space). Since I wanted to poprush as many improvements as possible, I didn't always starve my cities, though, and this created flip risk.
The specialists were very helpful, though.
Here's Nottingham, which is still in resistance. Although I couldn't rush anything in resistance, in any
government, I can use civil engineers and policemen. Plus I have communal corruption, and most of the improvements are intact. So, I still have a cathedral due in 3. I had to watch getting too greedy, though, because I wanted to try to make sure the city didn't riot as the resistance ended. I had three flips total, two in Nottingham and that one in Warwick, and I think that they were in civil disorder each time the flips happened.
In 1650 I built the UN, and didn't hold elections. I certainly didn't want to win by diplomacy, even if I could. I figured I was likely to win if it was England and me, but by then England was much reduced. I wouldn't have built it at all if England, and maybe even Portugal, hadn't seemed like a credible threat when I started it.
Anyway, I marched along, still probably building more than I should at home, but certainly gaining ground in England. In 1680 I captured Canterbury, England's last mainland city. That put me at 65/82- not quite enough! I suspected that all I needed was some border expansions in England, but this was slowed a bit by Nottingham's second flip (actually in 1685). I whipped what temples I could, but also rushed a settler for that two-tile island off the west coast of England. In 1705 I founded Glevum on the island, and that took me to 66% exactly. Between turns, I had enough borders expand that I was at 67% when the victory was triggered, so I think I would have won on the same turn with or without Glevum. I certainly didn't want to wait until then to find out that I needed a bit more, though!
It was a very fun game. I'm sure there will be a lot of people with faster wins, but I had a lot of fun. It was challenging enough (techwise and production wise, if not militarily) to be fun the whole way through.
Thanks to T-hawk for another great Epic.
Edit- Forgot my last screenie