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Author Topic: I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING - Let's Play Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword!  (Read 1666 times)

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R^2

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y'all ready for this?



Because I'm not entirely sure I am.

So I've played my share of Civ 4, but eventually it got a little stale. So after an inordinately long search, I found the expansions and downloaded and applied them. So now my Civ 4 game is bigger than I'm used to, and will likely require some new strategies to win.

So this is my first game with my new expansion, playing half-blind against unknown opponents, with new resources at my command.

If you're not familiar with the series (you must be new here), Civilization is a 4X game: you eXplore the world, eXpand your empire, eXploit any resources you can find, and eXterminate all other nations as the need arises.

Yes, every one of those words starts with E. I know. I didn't coin the term.

To explain further would take a stupidly long time, so I'll do my best to fill you in as we go.


I'll be playing as this guy, Sitting Bull of the Native Americans. He's one of the new leaders in this expansion, so I want to try him out.

Each nation has a unique unit, a unique building, and at least one leader associated with it, some up to three leaders (America has Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt; England has Victoria, Elizabeth, and Churchill; and so on). Each leader has two attributes chosen from a short list: some are naturally Aggressive with a powerful offensive military, some are Charismatic and keep the citizenry happy, others Organized and save money on upkeep costs.

The Native American unit is the Dog Warrior, which replaces the earlygame military unit Axeman. They have lower attack power than Axemen but don't require any bronze or iron to craft the axes out of, which is nice. They make up for their lower power with a huge bonus against other melee units, though.

The Native American building is the Totem Pole, which replaces the Monument (which itself replaces the Obelisk from the vanilla Civ 4 game -- Obelisk is now the Egyptian empire's replacement for the Monument). Monuments increase the culture of the city they're in a little; Totem Poles do that and give extra experience points to Archery units: Archers, Longbowmen, and Crossbowmen. Since archery units are the core of your city's defenses, having those guys more powerful than usual is a nice touch.

Sitting Bull's attributes are Philosophical and Protective. Philosophical doubles the number of Great People points that are accrued each turn; more on that later. Protective grants all Archery units (and later, Gunpowder units) two free promotions without spending any experience points: City Garrison makes the unit more powerful than its base strength indicates when they're defending a city; Drill 1 gives them an extra chance to hit an enemy attacking them.

So Sitting Bull is one hell of an earlygame defensive powerhouse, once he can get Archers and Totem Poles up. So there's that.


I almost hate to call attention to my playing on Warlord difficulty instead of my usual Noble, but it's my first game and will probably need a little mercy.


Then we randomly generate a world and put a bunch of randomly-selected civs in it. Let's rock.
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R^2

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Every nation in the game starts the same way: one Settler, and either a Warrior or Scout nearby. (Nations that start with the Hunting tech start with a Scout; Native Americans start with Fishing and Agriculture.) Here's where we find ourselves on our first turn.


The Settler usually starts on a good site to build a city, so we have him settle our capitol, Cahokia. We're immediately prompted to choose something to build: Warriors are burly men with clubs, Settlers build new cities, Workers improve the landscape, and Barracks give an experience point bonus to new units trained in that city.

Since the starting Warrior's job is to look around the nearby landscape, we start training another Warrior to defend our city. Having defenders is important: if another nation moves a hostile military unit into a city and there's no one to stop him, that nation takes over the city for themselves! (Computer players get a Warrior for free on their second turn to prevent aggressive earlygame players from zergrushing with their starting Warrior.)


Meanwhile, our starting Warrior goes off to do his job. Within a few turns he finds a small collection of huts near Cahokia. Striding in, he demands the villagers pay tribute to our mighty nation, and they do: we get 46 gold in our treasury.


And after a few more turns, our first research bears fruit: we discover Mysticism, which previous games called Ceremonial Burial, the first rumblings of religious thought. Mysticism is required to research Polytheism and Meditation, and discovering it also allows us to build Monuments Totem Poles and the Stonehenge world wonder.


We start work on Polytheism, while the Warrior continues to patrol the countryside, eventually finding another tribal village.




These kind folks swear fealty to the Native American nation, packing their belongings and moving south onto the desert floodplain to found another city. Good for them!


Meanwhile, Cahokia finishes training its first group of Warriors. Cahokia starts work training a Worker, the laboring-class of the game.




MOAR MONEYS


We discover Polytheism! And since we're first to do that, the Native American nation is the one to found Hinduism. (You may have seen in previous screenshots that Buddhism had been founded in a distant land; this means some other nation was the first to discover the Meditation tech.)


Having a religion is Important, so getting to found one of the first religions is very nice. We immediately convert our state religion to Hinduism. There's a short (one-turn) period of revolt whenever you make sweeping administrative changes to your nation, but there's not much you can do about that. (Well, there are some things you can do about that, but not now.)


MOAR MONEY


This tribal village sent some of their skilled craftsmen over to Cahokia, giving us a free Worker unit. So yay for that.


yay


The next village teaches us the secrets of rearing animals. So yay for that too. It's rare to find this many tribal villages in a game before other players snatch them up, so I'm starting to wonder if I'm stuck on this continent by myself.


Now I can build my own Scouts.


Cahokia finishes its Worker, who gets starting building a road over to Poverty Point, the heretofore-unnamed city on the floodplain to the east. Roads allow easier movement between places on the map and connect cities so they're capable of trading with one another.

The Worker we got for free from the tribal village is building a pasture for the wild cattle that live south of Cahokia. The tile the cows are on is worth a little extra food and extra production, allowing Cahokia to grow and build faster. Furthermore, the Cow resource, once pastured and connected to the capitol by roads, will provide health-sustaining beef to the entire nation. Adding variety to your peoples' diet always helps maintain their health, which keeps your cities running smoothly.


Aha, we're not alone. A Celtic Scout has been spotted by our borders, putting us in contact with Boudica, the leader of the Celts. She's another new leader in the expansions, so I'm not sure what her overarching/preferred strategies are, but I know she's got a lot of Gaul.
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We keep on learning new things.


And meeting new people. Meet Montezuma of the Aztecs, the biggest jerkface on the planet.


Having founded a new religion, Poverty Point starts generating lots of culture. To measure its effect on the hearts and minds of the people, the culture starts pushing out the national borders -- that brown line -- away from the city, claiming more of the countryside as my own.


Upon discovering Bronze Working, we can implement the Slavery civic. We don't right now, though.


There was a tribal village on that hill, but the Celtic Scout rushed past my Warrior and beat me to it. Dick.




Nothing to complain about.


With Monotheism discovered, we can also implement Organized Religion. So...


Civics determine your nation's type of government, legal system, labor force, economic policy, and how the state religion is treated. They're unlocked as you develop more techs (or build certain World Wonders). We can do Slavery and Organized Religion now, so I switch to both of those. Changing civics results in at least one turn of anarchy as your people fear and loathe change, so switching two at a time helps minimize the downtime you have for implementing new policy.


Oh great. I'm stuck with Montezuma AND Isabella? As you might expect from the historical implementer of the Spanish Inquisition, Isabella really frowns upon nations with different state religion than hers. She's almost as big a butthead as Montezuma.


yay


And Cahokia finishes its first World Wonder! These are unique buildings; there can only be one of them in the world. And we got this one. Stonehenge puts an automatic Monument in every city I control -- which are replaced by my extra-special Totem Poles -- and centers the world map in the bottom-right. Now we know where in the world we actually are: western and southern hemisphere, rather than having the map centered on our nation. (Discovering the Calendar tech centers the map anyway).


We also get started training our first Dog Warrior.
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Since every city has an archer-boosting Totem Pole now, might as well train some Archers.


I do to Montezuma what was done to me: outrace him to a tribal village. It's +53 gold for me and not him. Nyah nyah.



That little red frowny face near Poverty Point indicates that the citizenry are pissed off about something. As cities get more crowded (and due to a few other factors), the people living there get annoyed with how many other people they have to trip over to get to work every day. These can be avoided by building temples, colosseums, and theatres; or you can make the city less crowded.

Did I mention we have the Slavery civic implemented? Slavery lets you rush the production of whatever a city is working on by sacrificing the city's population. So I whip a few people to death to get them to pack their bags, Poverty Point churns out a Settler faster than projected, several people die in the process, and the city's less crowded. Less crowded city = less annoyed population. They're a bit miffed that I whipped some of them to death, but they're less mad about that than they were about the crowded living conditions. :shrug:


Fuck yeah we are.


Now we can build Temples to keep citizens happy, which will prevent me having to whip them to death.


The Settler we got from Poverty Point heads down here, where there are cows, wheat, copper, and crabs nearby. This city's gonna be pretty awesome with four resources at its disposal.


We train a new Worker to build a road down there and reap those resources.


And here's our first Archer. Power 3, starts with a bonus to power when defending a city thanks to Sitting Bull's Protective attribute. And between the Barracks in Cahokia and the Totem Pole, he has a lot of experience points to burn on other promotions.


Cahokia starts building The Oracle, despite that Delphi might not even exist in this game (being Greek, and we've never met the Greeks).
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And here's our first big problem: barbarians. They're unaffiliated with any nation, and barbarian units are hostile to everybody. They start out as animals (which cannot enter your national borders but will happily eat your Scouts) and soon progress to Warriors, then up to Archers, Axemen, and so on. They can spawn in any tile not visible from any nation's units or national borders, so they eventually stop appearing as more land gets claimed, but for much of the early- and midgame they're a pain.


Eras are mostly for cosmetic effect, redesigning the look of your cities and map improvements. But hey, we've discovered enough techs to proceed out of the Ancient era!


Swordsmen are nice but don't completely obsolete the Dog Warriors. I'll probably crank out both.


Ooh, a black-bordered area. That means the Barbarians have settled down and founded a city of their own. I'm looking at the northwest corner of what is a 3x3 area, with the barbarian town unseen on that hill that doesn't have any forest or jungle on it.


The Organized Religion civic lets cities build faster, but only if the state religion is present. So we send a Hindu missionary down to our new city to spread the good word.


We get a message that our Scout was brutally murdered for getting to close to Barbarian territory. To be fair, they'd have brutally murdered him no matter where he was. It's what barbarians do.


Completing the Oracle gives us a new technology. I choose the most complicated one available, Metal Casting.


Forges increase the production speed of a city, but at a cost of the health of those living there.


We have a coastal city now, so we learn how to sail the open ocean coastline. Sailing lets you build Galleys, which can carry other units across water, and Triremes, which are good at destroying Galleys.


With Barbarians becoming an issue, Poverty Point laborers set out to build a massive wall around our entire nation to keep them out.


The last benefit of Stonehenge pays off! Building a World Wonder lets the city accrue Great People points, which eventually reach a threshold that spawns a Great Person in one of several different disciplines: Prophet, Merchant, Artist, Engineer, General, Spy, and so on... although I think Generals and Spies might be spawned in different criteria. Anyway, I got a Great Prophet...


...who heads over to Poverty Point, where Hinduism was founded...


...and builds the Kashi Vishwanath, a Hindu shrine. Now every city in the world with Hinduism will tithe me one gold per turn as pilgrims come to Poverty Point for a spiritual experience. Dolla dolla bills y'all!


We're way late to the party with this one but now we can build Monasteries, which allow the training of missionary units without being in the Organized Religion civic and increase research output a little.


Blast! Someone else beat me to the Great Wall!


As I said, there can be only one World Wonder anywhere. The Poverty Point masonry teams dismantle their half-finished work and sell off the scrap for...


...41 gold. Bleah.


Flood plains produce a lot of food. Food is tied directly to population. Population is tied to unhappiness. What I'm saying is that those ungrateful jerks at Poverty Point are getting uppity again. Time to crack the whip!


Mound City finishes its Work Boat, which sails out to the nearby Crab spawning grounds and starts dropping its nets. Crabs are worth extra food for the nearby city and extra health for everyone, like the cattle from before.


That's all the Ancient techs and a few of the earliest Classical ones.


We've had a good start, with two World Wonders, a decent military, an early religion, and some critical resources including a few different kinds of food, copper, iron, and horses. We have a Settler coming out soon to found a new city northwest of Kahokia. Much of the map remains uncharted, largely because barbarians are big fat stupid jerks, but a few Horse Archers will be able to press through.

I'm gonna call the LP for now. Discuss as you like, more updates later.
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A new day dawns on the Native American empire...


Directly to the south of Cahokia, previously unseen, is another barbarian city. These things spawn barbarians quickly (as a city they build almost nothing but military units), so I've gotta deal with them pretty soon.


Deliciously rich and smooth Chaco Canyon.


The game always does diplomacy first on any turn, so sometimes you have leaders approaching you for a benefit you get from a technology before you get the screen announcing you've learned that technology. Monty here just signed an open borders agreement, allowing our units to explore each other's territory (which isn't as dirty as it sounds) and for trade routes from my cities to enter his (which isn't as dirty as it sounds).


Open Borders agreements need the Writing tech.


Boudica shortly follows suit.


I whip out a Hindu Temple to relieve some of the unhappiness in Mound City. And that's a terribly appropriate choice of words.


HELLO


YES, THIS IS DOG SOLDIER

This saves me from training a Settler and sending him out to this coast to found a city. I just steal Numidian. If I wanted to declare war, I could take cities from Spain the same way.


This is a new thing for this expansion: quests. Sometime several (all?) nations are tasked with achieving some goal or another, and the first one to do it gets a reward. In this case, the goal is to train eight Swordsmen.


This Worker in top-center is digging an iron mine to provide us with the metal we need to build all those swords. Can't train Swordsmen without Iron.


HELLO

(Yes, we raid and claim Chehalis too.)


With Monarchy we get our first government civic: Hereditary Rule. Citizens in cities with military units stationed in them get +1 happiness per military unit.


Not a quest, just an event. This oasis panel is worth a little extra money now.


With Monarchy discovered, we can now build Wineries to take advantage of all these wild grapes we have scattered around.


Our rapid expansion -- three new cities in a short time -- means our treasury is falling a little behind. Each city demands a few gold each turn in maintenance, so until they thoroughly established they consume more than they produce. Spreading Hinduism to my new cities helps, as every Hindu city gives me an extra gold per turn via the Kashi Vishwanath.
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Sitting Bull is Philosophical, which means the Native American nation churns out Great People quickly. Here's another Great Prophet spawning in Cahokia.


I don't need him to build another shrine; Judaism isn't established enough to worry about the income there. He can either contribute a lot of research to a given technology, or start a Golden Age (which increases gold and production and negates revolutions from changing religions or civics for eight turns). A Great Person doesn't let you choose the tech they contribute to; they choose the lowest-level tech you don't know that applies to their profession and contribute to that. So this guy wants to discover Theology.


Oops.


Another religion founded.


One of the failure conditions for the Elite Swordsmen quest was entering the Medieval era. And Theology is a Medieval tech. So I screwed the pooch on that one -- we'd just finished the iron mine, too.


Another event, this time with a choice of how to proceed. Replanting leaves the forest intact and costs 10 gold, emissaries destroys the forest and costs 4 gold, and not helping makes the nearby city unhappy. We spend the ten gold to keep the forest, fully intending to chop it down later for the lumber.


I sign an Open Borders agreement with Isabella in hopes of getting my Scout, trapped by her expanding borders on the eastern peninsula for ages now, out into the field and filling in some more of the map. Not two turns into Spain and he stumbles across a barbarian invader, which kills him. Way to go, chucklenuts.


Hell yeah we are! (Raiding barbarian cities makes your empire grow pretty damned fast.)
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Barbarians only spawn in parts of the map no one can see, and since they're starting to appear more and more frequently, I send a Dog Soldier down to the frozen wastes south of Mound City. He sets up on a hill, allowing him to survey much of the nearby landscape, preventing barbarians from spawning there to attack Mound City or Chehalis.


The realization that the seasons are the same year in and year out allows us to monitor the natural life cycles of silkworms or something. Anyway, discovering Calendar allows us to build Plantations, which are used to harvest the natural abundance of Silk near Cahokia.


Mound City finishes the Hagia Sophia, a feat of engineering so impressive that all of my workers do their jobs faster now. (There are videos that play each time you finish a Wonder, showing the planning blueprints blossoming into a constructed building, but with my crappy system and Steam running in the background, all the videos choke up and don't play. Oh well.)


Like the Dog Soldier to the east, a Horse Archer patrols the southwest side of the nation for barbarian uprisings. He's not even in position before he finds one. Totally worth it.


Getting off the barter system and minting currency allows each city to forge a trade route to another city on the map. The further away the other city, the more money the route is worth. Foreign cities are eligible for this as long as there's an Open Borders agreement signed to allow the merchants through.

It also allows the building of Markets, which increase the gold production in a city and improve happiness somewhat, depending on the resources available.


I built a Missionary to spread Hinduism in Chehalis, but the religion spread there naturally and made the Missionary redundant. So I sent him to explore the map instead. That Missionary's a spy!

Anyway, he soon discovers that it was Boudica who beat me to the Great Wall. I mean, there it is.


Montezuma and Boudica are both Aggressive in nature, so it stands to reason they'd eventually annoy each other enough to fight it out.


Having a Code of Laws allows the building of Courthouses, which reduce the aforementioned city maintenance by half in each city that has one. Courthouses also provide Espoinage, a new game element that I don't fully understand yet.


It also allows for Caste System, a civic I almost never use.


As much as I would love to plant a big Native American moccasin on Montezuma's ass out of principle alone, I don't even know where the Aztec nation is yet.


Boudica shortly earns a Great General, a Great Person that spawns when you do a lot of fighting. Having the Great Wall and fighting a defensive war both contribute to that, so it's not surprising she got one. I'll have to remember this happened if I ever get into a scrap with the Celts.


Discovering the Alphabet allows the building of Spies, again contributing to espionage. Spies can move in secret but have a small chance each turn of being discovered and destroyed if they're in enemy territory. They're good at sabotage and collecting information, but not at fighting. I'll train some to keep in my own cities, as spies are best at defeating efforts of other spies.


You haven't even discovered Priesthood yet? Man, clearly I was wrong about needing to be on Warlord difficulty; this game is going so well I'm WAY ahead of my opponents.


Numidian sends a Work Boat out to harvest some clams.


If there were wild elephants around I could train them as War Elephants. I can now build Catapults, which can soften up enemy cities a little before my troops march in.


Mound City addresses its health problems by building an Aqueduct, then takes a good long look at their new water source and says "What if we, like, planted stuff all over it?"

Then they start building the Hanging Gardens, one of the better Wonders because it's never obsoleted by anything.


This is one of the new techs in the expansion. You can tell because the quote read aloud upon its discovery is not in the stern, authoritarian tones of Leonard Nimoy, but in the monotone drawl of someone who couldn't be arsed to put any emotion into the script read. I remember thinking the same thing last time I looked at the voiced-over instructions in the game tutorial, so the new techs might be read by Sid Meier himself. :shrug:


In the lower-right corner, where all the known civilizations and their scores are displayed, I can see that Boudica is working on discovering the secrets of Monarchy. I assume that's the result of building a bunch of Courthouses and thus getting a boost in my espionage.


Explorers are like Scouts but better, but since I've already explored most of this continent and won't get any seaworthy vessels for a while yet, they're not very useful.


And that's the Classical era for today. Somewhere in the world is a nation about on par with my technology advancement; someone has already discovered Philosophy (which founds Taoism). Next update: I get Medieval.
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Niku

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Having never played any Civ games, this is informative and entertaining.  Thanks!
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Espionage works off a Ratio and as a Currency. If you look at the little diplomacy summary where it tells you why Boudica likes/hates you, you can see the ratio. I believe that if your Espionage is higher than theirs, it's like your Tactical Intelligence Offensive overwhelms their Anti-Spy Defense. Or something. The more you do this, the better: you can see their tech and eventually even their empire's vision.

And as a currency, you can just send a Spy to an enemy city to do mean things to it. I think it was like... Poison Water Supply for Population Reduction, sabotage city's current production, etc. If your ratio was higher it cost less/was less likely to fail and get the spy caught? Basically Espionage is... well, good for knowing things that are kept secret and taking a big risk for a well-timed sabotage. That's about it.

As an aside your difficulty has made your game comically easy. On Noble(Standard) and higher difficulty, villages can never give you Settlers. And maybe not even Workers, either. The construction order of your first Workers/Settlers is an incredible part of a strong starting build order.

Props for using my favorite opening strategy of founding a religion, building Stonehenge and constructing a Money palace. I usually try to Missionary the rest of the cities on the map to get more cash, give good odds of having eyes in their city(I think this was taken out and adapted to Espionage) and to encourage them to swap Religions to mine so they'd be less likely to get inevitably mad at me.
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On one of my BTS Games I ended up founding all but one religion, and then decided to build all of their holy temples. I had one city dedicated to doing nothing but pumping out missionaries.

Harry Enfield: loadsamoney

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I'm in the Medieval era at 400 AD, well ahead of the curve. Playing on one-step-below-normal difficulty for a little leniency turned into HA HA I AM UNSTOPPABLE somehow.

Maybe I'll LP another game after this one so everyone can watch me get smeared by rules I don't grasp yet.
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Yet another Great Prophet. This happens pretty much anytime you play a Philosophical leader.


And hey, another barbarian city.


That's Spy's a spy. Each city is building one for defensive purposes, I'm not sure how much I want to dive into sabotage quite yet.


Mound City finishes the Hanging Gardens, giving all cities +1 population and +1 health.


Locusts destroyed forty banana plantations. That's as many as four tens. And that's terrible.


Machinery leads to the next upgrade to Archers: Crossbowmen. It also allows Workers to build Watermills, which provide extra production to squares that border rivers (and Windmills, which give food and production on hills). Since Poverty Point has very little production capability, I'll be building some watermills on its floodplain.


The problem with neighboring nations being at war is that eventually they'll ask you to join their side. And you're all like "No thanks I got my own shit to do", and they get mad.


That would be a lot nicer if any city was actually capable of working that tile.


Boudica nets another Great General. So why hasn't she been able to capture any Aztec cities yet?


Feudalism is a big upgrade. It lets you build Longbowmen, which are very good at defending cities, and unlocks two civics.


We'll skip Serfdom for now, it makes Workers work faster and most of the countryside is already developed. But we'll switch to Vassalage, meaning all new units start with +2 experience. We flip from Organized Religion to Theocracy, too, for another +2 experience for units trained in a city with Hinduism. Which is any of them. :V


Barbarians are starting to appear in galleys now, so I build a Trireme to go sink them. Which it does quite handily.


I do actually! But my one city near Aztec lands is kind of underdefended and I don't want Montezuma running his Jaguars all over it. So I'll pass.


Couple turns later she just asks that I cancel my Open Borders and any other trade agreements I have.


Bureaucracy is good. It allows Macemen, guys with epic flails who are one of the best melee units in the game. It means farms spread irrigation, so that they can be developed bordering other farms instead of only on rivers. And it allows the Bureaucracy civic, which boosts commerce and production in your capitol city. The early Medieval era has some really good techs to learn right off the bat.


It took almost all my Dog Soldiers and a proper Swordsman to do it, but I leveled Phrygian. I'd have accepted taking control of the city, but that wasn't presented as an option. Sometimes if you raid a city that's really small it'll automatically get burned down.


Bottom-left corner: look at all those fucking promotions.

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Optics allows you to see further across water and grants the building of Caravels, the first sea vessel capable of sailing across the ocean. It can take Explorers and such, too, but not Settlers.


A Great Engineer can hasten the production of a building.


I send him up to Poverty Point while they're building the Mausoleum of Maussollos...


...and bam, they go from "How do you spell that?" to "Okay, done" in a single turn. The Mausoleum extends the duration of Golden Ages.


Drama allows you to build Theaters, one of the best buildings in the game for keeping citizens happy.


I send a Settler over to the western coast, just south of where Phyrigian used to be, to found a new city. Soon they'll have copper, cows, and wine to provide.


Building new cities in the mid- or late-game is kind of annoying, since they start with none of the buildings that are standard in all your other cities by now. You can start a production queue (in the bottom-left), though, so you don't have to keep issuing orders for what you want them to build every time they finish something.


And while I didn't screencap his spawning, being the first to discover the Drama tech nets you a free Great Artist. Great Artists can create great works of art -- the statue of David, Guernica, "Viva Las Vegas", or whatever -- to give a single city a huge Culture boost, expanding its borders rapidly. But pictured bottom-right here, this guy just chose to live out the rest of his days in Mesa Verde, creating small notable works but never really achieving a masterpiece. He contributes  +12 culture every turn instead of +4000 all at once.


My barbarian-stomping Trireme earned several promotions for its efforts, so I pay the gold to upgrade it to a Caravel.


Building Wonders is the simplest way to spawn Great People, so I try to build at least one in all my cities. The Parthenon... increases the number of Great People points accrued in your nation, meaning they're born even more often than before.


+1 movement on roads is not to be scoffed at.


Let's explore the oceans.
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R^2

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The game wants to know what I'm going to develop next, and I vote Guilds.

Incidentally, Astronomy obsoletes all my Totem Poles, so I'm going to hold off on that for as long as I can.


Mound City and Cahokia start churning out Longbowmen, sending them to defend all the cities in the nation. The production queue has an asterisk by the unit name, indicating that as soon as they're done training one, they'll automatically start training another.


Dude. It's 1070 AD and you're just now figuring out Monotheism? How do you even


I sail across the sea and find another continent. The Arabs are the first nation I meet.


Followed by the Byzants. Byzanites. Byzantines? This fuckin' guy.


Boudica offers to exchange world maps, but I'm damned sure she hasn't sailed across any oceans yet. I ask her what her maps are really worth, and she reluctantly asks for a few spare coins and some pocket lint for them.


Grocers provide a monetary and a health boost, Knights are powerful mounted units.


FOOTBAWWL WOOOOOO YEAH

I almost never build Colosseums, probably a holdover from my Civ 3 days when they were kind of useless overall. They're not as good as theaters and generally aren't that necessary. So this quest is probably the only way to get me to bother with them.


It's possible to select every city you control with one click by holding down the right hotkey. A different key will add the selected item to every city's build queue. I tell everyone to build a Colosseum to finish the quest. Some will take longer than others -- Numidian is almost done with their Forge, and will start the Colosseum almost immediately. Chaco Canyon is busy with a World Wonder and will take a while finishing that.


And I have to manually switch Cahokia and Mound City, otherwise they'll keep building Longbowmen instead.


That's a lot of Workers improving one city.


If you're the first to sail around the world -- or in my case, have one ship go east and one go west and get them to intersect eventually -- you prove the world is round. All your naval units get +1 movement as a reward.
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R^2

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Don't let the name fool you, this Zara is Ethiopian rather than Brazilian.




The musical sting for anything having to do with Islam -- founding it; building a temple, monastery, shrine, or mosque; training a missionary; spreading the religion; anything -- is a really discordant little tune that I try to avoid wherever possible, so even if I found Islam I don't spread it around too much.

My ultra-conservative, fundamentalist, Fox-News-loving mother would be so proud.


I build the Mausoleum, so I have this guy initiate a Golden Age. More money and production for everyone for eight twelve turns!


Sistine Chapel means all the specialists in a city, like the Great Artist over in Mesa Verde -- also provide +2 culture.




Education lets me build regular Universities. And then...


Chaco Canyon finishes the University of Sankore. Now every Hindu temple, monastery, and shrine produces +2 research every turn.


Well, rebuild it.


Like Boudica before him, I talk Zara down to a reasonable price for his (Zeux's?) World map.


A Great Engineer out of Mound City travels across the country to Mesa Verde, hastening their production of the Spiral Minaret. Now all Hindu religious buildings are worth +1 gold as well as the extra research. I'll never adopt Free Religion now!


The Taj Mahal immediately starts a Golden Age, the Hermitage doubles a city's cultural output.


The only draft I care about is the one that comes out of a foaming tap, sir.


Mesa Verde finishes their Colosseum, so now every city has one, finishing the BOOFBAWL YEAH quest. I can either grant a permanent +1 happiness to all cities, +4 culture to all cities, or... well, the last option isn't available for some reason (Zeus? Why Zeus?) and I forget what it did anyway. I take the Happiness option.

And that's the start of the Renaissance I guess. Onward and upward.
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François

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I suppose the Zeus thing is a chance to start the Olympic Games. Maybe you'd need to be Greek though.
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R^2

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Yeah, this is turning out to be kind of a curbstomp battle.


Windmills and Watermills both get an extra production every turn, and I can build Lumbermills. Lumbermills are kind of useless but the limited options on tundra squares make them sorta-kinda viable.


Justinian has Universal Suffrage? We know who built the Pyramids... (Pyramids unlock all Government civics.)


Liberalism isn't always this easy to research, but I had a Great Prophet study up on it and almost discover it himself. In vanilla, Liberalism is the last tech that Great Prophets can contribute to, and I doubt that's changed much.


Bing. As the first to discover Liberalism, I get a free tech.




Between Liberalism and Democracy, most of the better lategame techs are unlocked.


I realized there was enough room here for another city, so I built one.




Being the first to discover Economics nets me a Great Merchant. These guys can join a city for an income boost, or travel to a distant land and conduct a trade route for a big one-time bonus. Or they can discover money-related techs, like Corporation. I actually forget what I had this guy do, but I think I sent him to Poverty Point, my BIG MONEY BIG PRIZES I LOVE IT city. The irony is not lost on me, I assure you.


Shit. Montezuma has spent about 1500 years getting his ass handed to him by the Celts, so he finally gives up and capitulates to them in hopes that they'll stop. This means Celts has access to anything in Aztec lands, sorta-kinda-conquering them totally.

This also means that if I attack Aztec like I planned to, Celts will declare war on me in their defense. And that's not what I want.


I don't really get how Corporations work yet, but I'm sure I'll figure it out soon enough.


Well, rebuild the Theater. Most of these seem to assume you don't have the scratch to pony up for the best result.


pkang pkang pkang pkang


*sigh* FIIIINE


No more massive bonuses to my archery units, but given that we know the secrets of Gunpowder, there won't be any more training of archery units.
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R^2

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Anyway, with that over and done with, it's time to lash out at my ever-growing enemies to keep them from gaining too much of an advantage over me. But I'm not going to strike them directly, oh no. That'd be foolish.


I declare war on an uninvolved third party!


All those Knights I had massing at the Aztec border moved over to the Spanish border, at which point I discovered Gunpowder and paid to promote them all to Cuirassers. Which then invade Spain.


I also have a few Trebuchets, which bombard the enemy cities before my troops move in.  Cities grant a bonus to the units defending it depending on the city size, and bombardment negates that.


It's not long before I have a Great General of my own.


As they're new to the expansions, I waste him because I don't quite understand what it is Great Generals do yet.


And now my shabby Musketmen are replaced by more awesome Riflemen.


Grants a bonus from Workshops and allows the building of some new naval units I don't remember much about.


Yep.


Another new tech for the expansions voiced over by someone very bored. I should have saved my Great General for this; I could have built a Military Academy now.


Having taken Spain's three southernmost cities and somewhat overextending myself, I politely tell Isabella that I'm done pillaging her country.




Yep.






Automatically starts a Golden Age.


Huh, this one doesn't have an "expensive but obviously right" option. But an Academy (increases Research by 50%) is nothing to sneeze at, especially in the capital.


Riverside cities can build Levees, increasing their production. Wish I'd studied up on that more; I'd have placed some cities differently.


Love this quote.


Montezuma has replaced his traditional worst enemy -- the Celts -- with me. How sweet.
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