What a great variant! Thanks for forcing me to step out of some old habits and really explore some of the new features in C3C.
I started by settling in place, just building roads. Irrigating the grassland obviously wouldnt do much good. I was searching for some hills and mountains to settle near. All I found was the grass to the south, and some plains and that lousy desert to the north. I also tried a 50-turn gambit on Mysticism (which failed.) The 50-turn gambits never really worked for me. The only thing it did was make it cheaper to purchase the tech. I met Egypt and Carthage and was able to trade quite successfully with both civilizations.
I founded Alesia in 2270 BC on the lake to the northwest. An then it dawned on me. The desert was my friend. I could at least get one shield from every tile in the desert. I started aggressively settling the desert and plains, and set up a series of running blockades to keep the Egyptians and Carthaginians from settling the grasslands to the south.
I also started sea exploration with curraghs. My first two curraghs headed east and found the small island, but couldnt make it across the strait on the far side. However, by opening up the map, I was able to see a Roman boarder across the starit, and sent my third curragh to meet them. I ran into the English settling Eastern Island in 590 BC, and met Rome in 570 BC. I was able to broker techs between the two continents, for some nice profits. My curraugh survived and I began exploring the coast of England.
Since I had grabbed the desert and plains, I started back filling and had virtually the entire southern portion of the continent settled, except for the furs just south of Entremont. In 390 BC, I was able to enter the Middle Ages through trading. We also revolted out of despotism. As soon as I entered the MA, I met the Portuguese. They dropped off a settler pair on the furs, and built Faro. In 370 BC, the Celtic Kingdom was created.
The Portuguese had an Ancient Cav along with their settler, and as soon as they had a spear to guard their city, the AC began exploring. Entremont must have looked enticing, because they marched the AC up to the gates of the city and attacked without provocation in 170 BC. Well that allowed me to solve the Faro problem. After gathering my forces together, I was able to capture Faro in 90 BC, and sued for peace.
My troops must have had a bulls eye pained on their tunics, because, in 300 AD, Carthage decided they wanted one of my desert cities, and they attacked. We barely survived and pulled in Egypt to act as a buffer. Carthage had one city south of Egypt, Rusicade. We slowly moved our stack of Trebs, Gallic Swordsmen, archers, and eventually knights, into position. In 380 AD, our Golden Age was triggered by a defending GS. The Numidian Mercenaries were gallant defenders holding off our troops for several turns. Finally in 510 AD, Rusicade fell. Since the MA was over, We brought Hanibal to the peace table and was able to get Education and Printing Press for 498G in the peace deal. Egypt didnt sign a treaty until 800 AD.
Upon discovering gunpowder, we find that the only source of saltpeter is in northern Egypt. I will need to capture at least two cities on the northern coast to get it. I began to slowly build up a force of trebs and knight in anticipation of a campaign.
Throught the first millennium AD, Portugal and England were in a series of three wars. With each war, Portugal would grab a few more English cities, and slowly became the games powerhouse. About 700 AD, Portugal and England began their third and final war. England was reduced to two cities on Eastern Island, and about 900 AD, I started assembling a force to pick these two very ripe cherries. As soon as my armada left port, Cleopatra had a little surprise for me and attacked. She grabbed two cities on the first turn with her swift cavalries.. At a steep price, Carthage was pulled into the war. The fleet was recalled and the cities were retaken three turns later. The war was two pronged. The city just over the frontier to the south was Alexandria. This was one source of horses, and I pillaged that quickly. I then set up a holding force to the south and harassed the Egyptian forces, drawing resources from the north. I then reassembled Operation Saltpeter in the north. With trebs and knights, first Buto (near Cleos only iron) and then Pi-Ramesses fell. The saltpeter was ours. An attempt was made to continue the campaign by moving inland from Pi-Ram. However, when Carthage made peace, the campaign stalled, and we brought Cleopatra to the peace table in 1210.
With our newly upgraded cavs, we decided that England was finally ripe for picking, and assembled an Armada for the second time. In 1255, we declared on England and landed two forces. The next turn England was destroyed.
In 1275 AD, we were attacked by Carthage, and we brought in Egypt on our side. The Queen of the Nile was not very reliable and she sued for peace with Hannibal in 1290 AD. We fought a holding action for several turns and signed a straight peace treaty in 1315.
The Celtic people almost had two whole centuries of peace. We were able to stay very close in tech, up until the middle of the Industrial Age. We had begun a ToE pre-build, and had just learned Electricity, when suddenly Rome was up two techs and started building ToE. No one else was even close to Rome, and the only thing I can figure out is that they entered a scientific golden age. Figuring that Rome had to be slowed down, I began to plan a long-distance campaign. Then in 1495, Henry of Portugal demanded that we send him wine. We refused and of course we were at war with the Portuguese. We brought Rome in on an Alliance, and allowed Caesar to fight for us. We also completed the dogpile and brought in Egypt and Carthage. This slowed Romes scientific endeavors considerably, and his ToE build in Pisae was captured by Henry. We made peace as soon as the 20 turns were up, but Cleo continued fighting for quite a while.
About this time, I decided it was time to try out some of the new governments. I had already tried Feudalism in a succession game I am playing in (Gang of Four), and I felt that that government wasnt going to work for me in this game. I researched Fascism, and in 1580 revolted. I did not like Fascism. I knew that the population would drop in each city, but my income dropped dramatically. After two turns, I revolted back to a Monarchy, a 105 gpt difference in income.
With Caesars ToE build destroyed, I was able to build it and selected Atomic Theory and Electronics. Here is where I had made a huge error. With all the irrigation across my lands, I overlooked the river and thought that there wasnt a river to build the Hoover Dam on. I lost about six turns in pre-build, before I realized my error and started building on the river north of the capitol. I missed out on Hoover by three turns. Luckily Cleopatra built in in Memphis which was right next to Pi-Ramesses. Yes, time for another campaign, and I started assembling forces.
I decided that the only way I was going to get back into the tech race was through larceny. I researched Espionage, built the Intelligence Agency. I made my first steal in 1665 and stole Steal from Rome. I would continue stealing techs (safe only) all the way to the Modern Age. The only tech I researched myself was Radio at a 50-turn rate.
I received a nice give in 1670 when, the Roman city on Eastern Island, Hispalis, flipped to us.
I built some outposts overlooking Egypt, and watched Egypt fight Portugal in the war that continued from the alliance two and a half centuries earlier. I also learned about policemen and civil engineers. The CE has to be one of the more powerful specialists in the game. The ability to cut a build by 67% just by adding one CE is huge. I would make significant use of them the remainder of the game. This is the reason my game took so long. The added micromanagement burden slowed things down dramatically.
In 1752, we declared on Egypt and two turns later our forces captured Memphis and Hoovers. We pressed on and in 1790, Egypt was destroyed. In 1800, we stole Motor Transportation.
About this time, I was thinking that domination would be a good way to win this game, so with my CEs, rails, factories, and the Hoover Dam. I quickly built a force of tanks and in true Napoleanic fashion, launched an invasion of Carthage in 1812. I brought in Portugal. I didnt worry about Rome, since they had become a non-entity. In 1824, I finally got my first military leader. Ive never been very good about fishing for them (although I sure try enough) and this game was no exception. I used him to build by palace in former Egyptian lands. In 1850, the Carthaginians were destroyed.
In 1854, we stole our way into the Modern Era. About this time I made a second huge era. I misread the victory screen. I mixed up land area with population, and thought I was short on population, when in fact I was short on land. So in 1862 I went to war with Rome in search of the extra population. In 1870, Rome was destroyed, and I hadnt gained much population .er, land area.
This was at about 6 PM on Sunday, March 28th. Going to war with Portugal was going to be a long drawn out affair across two separated fronts. That was when I decided that a spaceship victory would be the quickest way to win the game.
I stole three more techs, Rocketry, Computers, and Space Flight, and then I researched the rest. Making use of the scientists and policemen, I was able to get to a 6 turn research rate. Using pre-builds in my best cities, we built our spaceship. Apollo was completed about 1955, while Portugal didnt start building their ship until 1970 or so. They wasted a lot of time with building the UN, Manhattan, and SETI. I spent my shields, building research labs. In 1987, we researched miniaturization and a Scientific Great Leader was born. He was used to spark a Scientific Golden Age which cut a year from each of the subsequent research projects. In 1996, we researched our last tech, Robotics and another SGL appeared. Our pre-build for the Stasis Chamber was three turns away, and the SGL rushed it for us. The Celtic Spaceship was launched in 1997. Our final score was 4315.
What a fun game! The government restrictions added a substantial challenge, but combine that with the irrigation restriction, and it was huge. I really learned a lot about specialists, but they are a significant micro-management factor. I will need to revisit Fascism. Perhaps a SG where you can only use governments that use a whip.
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