The Let's Play Archive

Civilization 4

by Zoolooman

Part 5

Selected passages from the Annals of the Synagogue of Crimea.

825 BC

It is a blessing that Miroshka, son of Josef, may travel with the Donner Party around the Red Sea and inspect the holy sites where Moses fled from the Pharoah and into the Spanish homeland. He has stopped at the shrines along the road and paid his observances for us all. May his pilgramage grant him wisdom, so that upon his return we may partake in his experiences of our people's history.

800 BC

Warriors scouting out of St. Petersburg have met delirious men touched by the false beings that pretend to G-d's throne. It is said that an Oracle has been built in a distant land, and through it, a nation has recieved divine secrets. I will remind my students today to protect our Covenant with the Lord. Thou shalt not worship false idols, no matter their claims, for we will know them by their lies. The real truth was entrusted to the Jewish people by G-d and his prophets.

Aside posted:

The Oracle is the primitive World Wonder associated with the technology Priesthood. It's used in a lot of religious teching strategies that center around building to Priesthood, researching all the requirements for a very expensive technology, and then building the Oracle to get that technology for free.

The most common strategies are the Alphabet, Code of Laws, and Civil Service slingshots. In each strategy, the player techs through Mysticism, Meditation or Polytheism, Priesthood, and Writing. After that, he uses the Oracle to learn the Alphabet; he techs through Alphabet so that the Oracle gives him Code of Laws; or if he's really gutsy, he techs through Code of Laws so that the Oracle nets him Civil Service, which is the second most expensive Medieval technology.

These are powerful strategies, but hard to achieve on the higher difficulties, and even more risky to attempt with a civilization that starts without Mysticism, such as Russia.

775 BC

Word comes to these ears of a religion that worships laws without a lord, and takes its directives from a false prophet who denies G-d's place as maker. He is called Confucius, and he is glorified by his followers for denying His laws and sanctifying the laws of the infidels and heathens.

The face of the infidel.

Aside posted:

This game contains seven religions:

Each religion has the exact same game effects. They take their specific names by the technologies which inspire their foundation. The first Civilization to finish researching one of these technologies will found the Holy City of that religion in a quasi-random city of their empire (almost always the most recently founded city).

Religions have several effects. First and foremost, they cause diplomatic modifiers (I'll cover this later in diplomacy.) Each civilization can declare one of the religions to be its State Religion (or they can declare to have no state religion whatsoever.) Suffice to say, civilizations with the same state religion will work with you and like you, while civilizations of a different state religion will fear you--or worse, they'll hate you and seek to kill you.

If you declare a religion to be your state religion, then all cities with that religion produce 1 culture point per a turn. This makes early religions one of several effective ways to expand your cultural boundaries (more on culture later!)

Three of the five religious civics only affect cities that have your state religion, and only work if you have a state religion selected. More on this later!

If a city has a religion, then it can build certain religious buildings as long as the technological requirements are met. For example, Meditation allows you to build Monasteries, Priesthood allows you to build Temples, and Music allows you to build Cathedrals. Religious buildings increase happiness and cultural production in a city. The monastery allows you to build missionaries for that religion, so that you can forcefully spread it elsewhere. Having any religious buildings allows you to assign priest specialists.

Religions spread naturally to cities without any existing religion. They spread along trade routes and roads, using a quasi-random process. It's very unlikely (though possible) to spread a religion to a civilization that has closed borders with you. It's very likely to spread a religion to a civilization if that civ. has open borders and you have founded the Holy Site of that religion.

Holy Cities give several important bonuses. First, if you control the Holy City of a certain religion and you have that State Religion, then you can see in real time the terrain inside the cultural borders of any city that shares that religion. It's the ultimate ancient-era spytool. Second, if you control the Holy City of a certain religion and you recieve a Great Prophet great person, then you can use that Great Prophet to build that religion's Holy Site. For example, you can build the Temple of Solomon in the Jewish Holy City. A Holy Site gives you one gold per turn per city in the entire world that has that religion. Founding a religion (or several religions) can therefore pay for all your debts and maintenance, allowing you to devote more (if not all) of your commerce to technological research or cultural production. Furthermore, Holy Sites spread that religion to secular cities at an alarming rate.

And that, my friends, is religion in a nutshell. This turn, Confucianism was founded, meaning someone has researched Code of Laws. Unfortunately, I can't figure out who until I have researched all the prerequisite technologies.

725 BC

Rabbi Edemskoi claimed he saw a terrible beast in the market with pure white teeth as long as a man, wrinkled skin as gray as ash, and a long flexible arm on its face. We discussed the matter for several hours until it was concluded that the Rabbi had been driven to visions by the sun and the heat, and that the beast was a fevered imagining. When the animal broke loose of its ropes and crashed through the stalls of a Jewish businessman, we apologized to Edemskoi. What use could such clumsy, destructive "elephants" have for the Russian people? Only G-d knows.

Later, we learned that Peter is collecting these animals in his recently completed camps. While I understand that the ivory, as this material is called by the barbarians, is beautiful, I hardly think that it is worth the trouble of killing the elephant. I've seen the mangled brought back from the hunt. We shouldn't have to exchange ivory for lives.

Aside posted:

Certain resources increase the happiness of your cities. Elephants as a resource are rounded up in camps, which can only be built by a worker if you've researched the Hunting technology. Elephants supply ivory, which increases the happiness by one in all the cities you've connected to the ivory by trade routes. They also supply elephants, which are a key component of the war elephants you can build after researching Construction (which is the technology I'm researching currently.)

I'm also recieving gems from Isabella in exchange for my second corn resource. Gems increases all my city's happiness by another +1. Since the default happiness at Prince difficulty is 4, these two resources give me 50% more workers in my cities.

Later on in the game, certain buildings will also give extra happiness bonuses as long as I have a certain resource; effectively, this makes some resources worth an eventual +2 happiness.

675 BC

Peter has sent away a thousand of Adam's sons on missions to foreign lands. Wherever a city garrisoned warriors, he now garrisons archers; but rather than relieve his warriors, he sends them to scout his enemies. Though we are G-d's chosen, must we have hubris? Through His grace our foes could become our friends, but it seems that the throne will not wait for the Messiah to lead us. In his eagerness to conquer new lands, Peter has demanded the construction of a settler in Moscow, to settle these Crimean lands with a proper city. I would advise against this, if he took my counsel. It is certain that if he establishes borders so close to other nations, he will goad them to war.

Powercrazy explores the lands of the Yangtse Jungle.

Aside posted:

At some point around this time, I discovered Construction. I didn't mention this in the fluff, because it won't have a major effect until I finish my first War Elephant or bridge. However, I've begun to research Currency.

For those who want to know, Construction gives me War Elephants, Colliseums (for +1 happiness in a city), and the ability to build Bridges (meaning that roads at rivers will now have a free bridge over the river.) Before construction, rivers negated the road bonus when you crossed them.

Oh yea, roads. Roads allow your cities to share resources and increase the value of internal trade routes. Roads also allow units to move twice as quickly as normal, making them an incredible asset for war and construction. They also allow you to hook up a resource to your trade network, so that the resource effects all your cities.

575 BC

Though the crown fears Egypt's expansion, Peter grudgingly granted his scholars the chance to peruse the records of Egypt's religious past, even though it came at the price of handing out the secrets of Iron Working. They discovered that prior to the Exodus of our people, the Pharoah had practiced both Meditation and Polytheism. Our understanding of their religious administrative practices is now our own, and already we are beginning to percieve the potential benefits of missionaries and public temples. Whether we incorporate these elements into Russian culture is a question left to time and G-d.

Aside posted:

I learned Priesthood from Bismarck in exchange for Meditation on the next turn. This is the actual technology that gives you temples.

525 BC

North of the Yangtse Jungles, Powercrazy discovered the Chinese outposts of Parthian and Nanjing. He described these "cities" as small, underdevelopd huts with populations plagued by malaria.

Here in Crimea, the settler has arrived. This land is dry and arid, and hardly fit for agriculture. Yet, the crown has declared this the site of the next city, and so it shall be.

In response, the Queen of Spain, who had attempted to claim Crimea, has revoked the covenant with G-d and taken up the old ways of Buddhism. May she worship her idols somewhere else.

Aside posted:

Talk about a close call. The axeman southwest of the city is escorting a Spanish Settler to the plains/hill north of Moscow. Now that I've settled Crimea, they can't do shit. Cities cannot be settled within 2 spaces of each other, so poor ol' Bitchabella will have to find another place to spread her spawn.

On the same turn, Isabella also spread Buddhism to her third city, Seville. Now she's changed back to Buddhism from Judaism, and she hates me. However, I haven't found any reason to switch away from Judaism yet (though I probably will if I ever want Isabella's help.)

Note that this land is particularly bad. The plains/hill that Isabella was about to take would have included a Flood Plains, a spice resource, the gold, and the iron. However, and this is key, in the very long run, the spot I've taken covers more grasslands. In the very long term, Crimea will make a great production city. However, it will take many centuries of improvement, and I'll need to learn Civil Service first.

450 BC

I have seen the war machine with my own eyes. It is a fortress carried by a beast whose first reaction to danger is to stamp trees flat and spread ruin with its tusks. If an elephant alone weren't dangerous enough, there are archers firing from the raised platform of the beast's back. Construction has blessed us with bridges, but damned us to build these abominations.

425 BC

Our scouts from far afield report various details about the world. Confucianism was founded in the Indian city of Bombay. In the far distant city of Berlin beside Sunset Peak, the Germans have built great stone Pyramids in order to bury their dead. Axeman are ubiquitous in every foreign nation: I'm beginning to question the wisdom of my peaceful forefathers. The Indians have tamed elephants of their own; the Spanish and the Chinese have learned the secrets of Iron; and it is only a matter of time before the Chinese learn to tame and ride horses.

At home, Moscow is producing another settler, St. Petersburg is continuing to train war elephants, and workers are extracting the first iron deposits near Grozny. Soon enough, we will compare in military strength to the foreign powers.

May G-d assist us on the battlefield, if that day may come.

400 BC

The effects of Peter's currency are being felt throughout Russia. These days, bartering is no longer slowed by the necessary establishment of a benchmark price. I could pay three coins anywhere in the empire for a sheepskin. Soon, I expect we will see markets everywhere.

Aside posted:

This technology gives each city a second trade route. Trade routes in game terms are free commerce. Each route gives a certain amount of commerce depending on the size and distance of the city being traded to. The game automatically selects the best trade routes in the best possible pattern, in order to establish the maximum amount of trade altogether. Effectively, by researching currency, I just doubled my natural commerce. I'm now researching Literature.

Currency also allows you to build markets. Markets give +1 happiness for fur, silk, ivory, and whales. Therefore, I can increase happiness in my cities by building markets (I currently recieve Ivory.) This would also help me make up for the loss of resources caused by Isabella's switch back to Buddhism. She stopped trading gems with me, causing my happiness limit to drop by one. I've got angry citizens! Thankfully, I can use them in slavery.


A settler has left Moscow to settle on the coast near the tundra. These are poor lands, but they will be accepted unless the crown decides otherwise. If they do not settle soon, the Spanish will take the land, or it will be taken by the barbarian city which has grown in that region.

So far...

Let's take a gander at the world map, both culture and resources.


Note that exactly in the position reccomended by Willie Trombone to prevent Egypt from getting Iron, there is a settler about to settle on the next turn. If anyone wants to convince me of a better spot, now is the last chance. (I can think of some, but I'm letting you guys decide. This isn't the worst decision, but I don't think it is the best.)

I've currently got 3 war elephants, and nearly 2 catapults. I'll get some swordsman to boot once Iron comes online next turn. I must make war as soon as possible, and this war has to count for a lot until I hit Civil Service or Guilds. I also must find a way to get another luxury resource online, or I must spread a state religion. I can trade away a tech for monotheism if you like, or I can build a monastery. But remember, this all takes time, and the clock is ticking. If I don't hurry, the window will close on ancient warfare.

If you need any more information or detail, ask me. See you tomorrow!