Part 7: Mo' Money, Mo' ProblemsAfter reviewing all possibilities, I've decided to finish off Liberty. It'll increase our happiness a bit, and let us generate a free Great Person of my choice. There's a couple of outstanding requests from City-States to get a Great Person I haven't shown off or even mentioned yet.
Like all other Great People, they can build a structure on the ground (this one makes gold) but you can also expend them once you make them go to a City-State border. Doing that gets you a lot of money and a lot of influence.
This really impresses Budapest (Militaristic) and Prague (Cultural).
We should soon finish building the next cultural-type building in my cities, the Ampitheater, to get the next policy quicker. At our current rate it'll be 20 turns to the next policy.
This guy is a little upset at us for trespassing earlier without permission, and he's right in Roman territory, but he's got TWO luxury items we don't have. Befriending him would greatly increase our happiness meter, and right now he's got a quest to get more influence for our money. If I bribe him now and use up my Great Merchant it'll make up the difference, easily.
Two more city-states want us to build the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Dublin will build it next as soon as it's done with the amphitheater. The Mausoleum does two things: it makes rock quarries give us money, and it gives us 100 gold each time a Great Person is expended. It's actually an early-game wonder but for some reason nobody's built it yet.
Soon, once Guilds is done researching, I'll be able to build Trading Posts, gold-making improvements that can be put on any tile. The AI recommends you put lots of these around puppeted cities because they're set to gold focus anyway automatically.
I think I have enough happiness to spare. Time to finish off Tikal and Pacal.
I really need to upgrade my military for the next target, though. I need crossbows and trebuchets.
Already planning on it, pal!
So, wait, Sweden and the Maya were at war earlier but neither has much of an army? What, was it just two guys with slingshots pelting each other?
Uh you can go to war with Rome if you like, Dido, but right now I'm thinking that developing my navy and taking YOU out is probably what'll come before taking out Rome. Both your cities are coastal and you have no navy.
I spend the gold to make friends with Colombo (and trade a couple of horses to Dido for extra cash to keep me afloat) and my happiness jumps up to 30. Wow.
Something funny happens too fast for me to screenshot. When I hit next turn, I see a Great Artist appear in Tikal, then expend itself to start a Golden Age. My best guess is that Pacal's special ability, The Long Count, which gives him a great person every 394 years, just popped.
This is before just war:
And this is after we spread Asskicking to Tikal
This strategy will save us a lot of trouble in the long run. I just need to take steps to eliminate the Christian religion from this area. If even one Christian exists in the rest of the world, the holy city will reappear in Palenque eventually and that'll just interfere with all my plans.
Crud. Well, there is one bright side: There is a limit to how many times a religion can be founded in this game, about half as many starting players. Only two more competing religions can be formed at this point and we've got the jump on both of them.
Aww, pal, don't be like that!
sorry, I couldn't help myself. Forgive my bad art.
Anyway, we have the happiness to support Tikal at the moment, and they've got a gold mine up and running, a rare luxury that we shouldn't sneer at, so I'm not burning Tikal down.
In my rush to Theology and Civil Service there's a bunch of nice techs I haven't gotten yet. I should probably get Education first because it'll let us build a University and the rest of the techs will follow quickly, giving us those trebuchets, crossbows and knights.
Damn right, pal.
Those grayed-out trading post icons are where the computer is suggesting I build one. Unless we annex it, Palenque will only build buildings for itself, never units, so this isn't a bad idea. Our cash flow is already starting to go positive, though, and our research is picking up!
Gorgeous! Time to spread Asskicking to Sweden and stamp out Christianity for good.
There's one other thing I need to do: build this unpleasant guy.
Inquisitors are bought using faith points, using the same cost Missionaries have. You can only use them once, but they remove foreign religions from cities you control (and right now, that's Palenque). You can also park them inside your cities to prevent them from picking up any foreign religions, so it's nice to have a few of these guys around if you're in the middle of a religion tug of war.
I'm going to use the Prophet to remove the last vestiges of Christian converts in the surrounding cities, Quebec City and Sigtuna.
Since Gustavus Adolphus does not have a religion of his own, it would improve relations between us if Asskicking got spread to all his cities. (If he did have a religion of his own, doing this would piss him off).
Huh, weird. I can only guess that Kamehameha and Gustavus agreed to attack the Maya in ten turns, only I beat them to it and got that error message.
My great Merchant has managed to get to Colombo, and now
Damn! That's nothing to sneeze at!
Way out to the west, my last Pict has managed to slowly swim to an island full of sugar where I think our mystery 8th player has been hiding this whole game.
Thanks to Engineering, I can now build Aqueducts in my cities. They make the growth process faster, so they don't have to fill up the ENTIRE quota when growing.
Well, this will be good for business!
Ahaaaaa. Interesting. Our final player is Wu Zentian of China. China gets an awesome crossbowman that fires twice in one turn and a library that gives them money instead of costing money. They generate great generals better, so they're good for a military strategy.
I have absolutely no idea why Wu Zentian is limiting herself to a One City Challenge here on the Isle of Sugar. When I get a proper navy I'm going to need to come over here.
I actually don't have any marble or stone quarries to make use of this, but I'll get 100 gold every time I use a Great Person from now on! Plus, building this has impressed two city-states.
Maritime City-States give you food. If you're allies, they give food to every city you've got. That adds up TREMENDOUSLY fast if you've got a big wide empire.
Now, it's time to use our Inquisitor to remove the heresy of Christianity!
Wu Zentian's got marble and horses she's not even using yet, what the hell is going on over here?
Gustavus thinks we're a warmonger, either because we attacked the Maya without warning or because he's now buddies with Polynesia, who hate us. Hmm Well, friend, soon as I've got those trebuchets, you're going down.
Time to pick a new Social Policy! See the meter at the bottom? You need to fill out five of these trees in order to get the "Utopia Project" which you build to win the game by culture victory. The choices are the same as last time minus the Liberty one. With our greatly improved happiness, Mandate of Heaven might be an even better choice for future policies.
We also could think about opening up Honor. Adopting it makes us very good barbarian killers, which is kind of obsolete at this stage of the game, but there's a ton of great combat-related boosters (+15% attack when next to a friendly soldier, faster experience rate) in there as well as two policies that are guaranteed to give us 4 happiness per city (specifically, 1 happiness 2 culture per turn for every unit garrisoned in a city, and 1 happiness per city wall or wall-like structure built). Since we seem to be going for a killcrazy military victory and my original plan of "drown the world in Holy Warriors" somehow became "Drown the World in Volunteer Soldiers."
Current state of the world: