Part 20: Study Session of the Gods!We are in very good shape. With a wall of five City-States on our east and wide ocean to our west, nobody will be able to invade us very well or be motivated to invade us. Some of the other players here seem to be conquering assholes but they're keeping each other in check and so far the only one who hates us is Isabella.
In fact, we are in such a good position that if we wanted to we could get all the rest of the way through the game without fighting another war.
Some people derisively call the science ending what you go for if you run out of ideas on what to do next or can't figure out a better way to win. It's true, in a way: if you don't have enough culture to win culturally, or enough friends to win diplomatically, or enough might to win militarily, the only other option is to build a rocket and blast off. Time is on your side in that case.
There's no good religious pressure overlay to demonstrate, but you can sort of see here that there are a lot of towns with Countdown Club here and the ones that don't have a lot of pressure on them to join the Club. That's the other benefit of Itinerant Preachers (farther spreading). It only spreads three tiles further than the usual ten-tile range, but that's enough to create a lot of interlocking fields of pressure. If Madrid hadn't generated its own Great Prophet for Hinduism recently it'd still have more Club pressure on it than it generated for its own religion.
Well, shit. But Himeji Castle isn't nearly as big a pain in the ass as the Great Wall.
New policy time! We now get 2 science from every specialist (including science specialists, of course). Once we go Freedom, this will go through the roof.
This is with 2 Observatories + Secularism. It's already jumped up a ton. Imagine how much more it'll go up once we research more science buildings and increase our population!
Oh, eat my shorts, Isabella! Theodora wanted me to attack you in ten turns with her. You ready for another proxy war?!
Spain has a spy in Milan, making them hate everyone except Spain. Spain has somehow pissed off England which is fighting them now, so Milan is fighting too. Tricky. If I had a top-promoted spy in Milan, and had him there for a longer time than any other same-ranked spy, we'd be rigging the elections in our favor or be able to order our spy to pull off a risky coup. As it is, though, I'm just going to have to live without their culture points.
And it looks like Byzantium had the same idea and tried it. Failure means the town in question hates you and the spy dies. Success means the town immediately allies with you and doesn't like anyone else. The odds are usually not in your favor unless you have a very experienced spy that has been in town a long time.
I'm going to try for the Porcelain Tower, that will really help out our science a ton in the long run though it also requires us remaining friendly with a lot of guys.
I'm going to politely decline to attack (or "attack") Elizabeth because I'm trying not to burn any more bridges than I already have. Heh.
Go, Caravel! Explore the deep blue seas! Discover the cities of gold!
Oh, no, wait, we already found that, didn't we?
Yes, the Maya/East Roman Empire/British Empire alliance!
You'll note her title is "Doge" there. That's what happens when you take a lot of Commerce policies.
Wait, wait, Ethiopia attacking France? Wow, what did they do to deserve that? Haile Selassie is not programmed to be an aggressor most of the time.
Hi, Venice! I'm told you're being turned into a full-fledged merchant-army civ in Brave New World, with the restriction of only being able to directly control one city! Sounds cool! Looking forward to playing as you!
This should cook up some trouble Doing this unlocks Freedom, Order and Autocracy, again.
Camazotz? We have a spy named after the bat-god? Hey! We literally have Batman working for us!
Beautiful! I'm going to create another Academy--researching Scientific Theory has made Academies put out more science.
Just in the nick of time, too, because that just got built a turn before our research agreement with Theodora concluded, finishing Fertilizer and giving us a head start on one of the other technologies!
New policy time! This makes all those little trading posts I've been building everywhere give us science and makes Universities give +50% instead of +33% science. Very handy.
Those are most of the policies that directly stimulate research in Rationalism. The rest can wait a short bit while I focus upon Freedom.
Okay, I'll go to peace with you. I only did it because I didn't want to turn down Theordora, sorry! (Damn, that is a lot of gold per turn. She has the Colossus, which increases gold on nearby ocean tiles)
With the discovery of Industrialization, I see that I have no access to coal anywhere, but Hanoi has it. I give them some money to allow them to improve that tile properly and build a coal mine. This gives me 3 Coal, exactly how much I need to build factories in my main cities.
Right now, I have little to do but research, build wonders and other cool support buildings.
Friends? Didn't you just try to kill each other a few turns ago? Man, I must have missed capturing something...
Oh, yeah, I generated a Prophet somewhere during all this. Let's send him off to screw with other people's religions!
Love this one. I plan on using as many Golden Ages as possible in this session, you see, guys, because it amplifies our production, gold and culture. That means we'll be able to turtle up, build wonders and develop better and better without needing to expand into dangerous territory.
Odd, it looks like Harun and Isabella are somehow gunning for the cultural victory. We need to step up our game!
I have oil! as evidenced by this horrible, environment-destroying oil slick. It's offshore, and I haven't researched offshore drilling yet, but I'll build a work boat now and scoot it over there for when I do.
New Policy Time! We're going Freedom. Why? We've got a small but highly-developed nation and that's what Freedom is best for. Now, you might think that that increased spawn rate of Great People won't be so hot because we keep resetting our GP counter because of the Long Count, but
We just had another Long Count! This will, in fact, be the last one we see for a very long time. The only two left to pick are a General or Admiral. I'll pick General.
Researching Electricity reveals the aluminum and it's everywhere! It's all over our territory! This is good. This is really, really good. Aluminum is required for all the best toys at the end of the game, and it is also required to build spaceship parts and spaceship factories. We will have absolutely no problem leaving our planet behind.
Shut up, fool! Your spies are ruining my reputation with Hanoi!
And this will increase the rate at which we get new policies. It's speeding up a little because I just bought a bunch of opera houses and built a Hermitage in the capital. Ten turns to next policy
Looks like Arabia is really kicking ass in this part of the world.
We're doing well in the wonder race now, because we're pulling ahead in science, but for the first half of the game anyone could grab any wonder they wanted from us. Too many for us to steal now without declaring war on the whole planet.
Case in point, Arabia just beat us to building the Kremlin! Grrr. No matter.
Now, this, this is where things start getting cool. With specialists only eating half food, our cities will automatically start filling up every single specialist slot in them. Our cities will soon be producing a glut of extra science, culture, production, and gold. Especially science because of that policy I took in Rationalism that makes all specialists give us science too! The next policy will make them produce half unhappiness too.
I built this in Salt Pass. Any ship or land unit will be very experienced and do a lot of extra damage to their foes thanks to this and Heroic Epic!
Holy crap. I think this is the very first time we've generated a Great Person without the Long Count. We're quickly running out of free space around our cities, though, so I'm thinking I should just burn him up now for a quick tech-boost.
Hospitals provide extra food because we eat our own dead now. After properly recycling them, of course. It is every citizen's final duty to go into the tanks and become one with all the people.
Alright, things are shaping up!
Everybody and their brother is fighting over religious dominance of Milan, and I just had a near-miss with a Spanish coup attempt. Yeesh.
Look at all those filled specialist slots! And once we finish building the Statue of Liberty, all those specialists will be even more special.
The last two policies in Freedom are more about small-country toughness. One makes our cities shoot better at invaders, the other makes 8 of our units maintenance-free. Freedom stacks very well with Tradition.
Damn, that's a lot of happiness. And I still want MORE! MORE GOLDEN AGES! Soon as I have no Rationalism or Freedom to fill out, I'm taking that massive happiness booster from Commerce.
I'm telling Salt Pass to build Neuschwanstein. Like Machu Pichu, you need to be next to a mountain to build it. It'll make all of our castles pretty like a storybook castle, increasing culture and happiness for each castle (that's a defensive structure after walls) in each city.
I am running out of places to put these guys..but this is a good sign.
Perfect. Now all those specialists are contributing bonus construction points and bonus science points, each. My little nation will shortly become unstoppable! I am like Doctor Doom!
People have been making declarations of friendship with me. Lots of them. Arabia, Byzantium, now Ethiopia. We are much more popular than last game. I could actually win a diplomatic victory this time if I wanted to.
Even people who don't like us too much like it when we're friends with their friends. I assume Ethiopia's even more popular than us, their befriending everyone.
With this, Freedom is complete. The real prize is the finisher: Golden Ages last 50% longer and Great Tiles now give double yield.
See, our academy is putting out 18 whole science points on its own, multiplied by the multipliers inside the city itself. This also goes for the manufactories, the landmarks, and so on. If we had a Great Prophet build a holy site we'd be getting a ton more faith, too. Maybe I should have used him up for that.
With Mad Ludwig's castle built, our cities are a little prettier, cooler and richer. Personal theory: Our castles have become Disneyland.
On turn 296, we get another Rationalism policy. This is the last Rationalism policy that directly gives us more science, after this it's just happiness boosters for science buildings and gold from science buildings. Filling out Rationalism will give us two free techs, though, and I will never turn down happiness, so I'm still going for it.
Lovely! This makes getting new policies just a little bit easier. It'd stack with a similar effect from Piety, but we don't have Piety. Not that it matters.
Leaders like it if you've chosen their policy of choice from Freedom, Order or Autocracy. This is something that they say will be expanded upon in Brave New World.
Y'kno what, guys? I'm tired of just waiting for our tech. We have faith points we're not using. Tons of them. So, let's take advantage of the other major benefit of Rationalism: Using our faith points to buy a Great Scientist!
The cost will go up each time we do this, by a lot, but it's still a great way to blow your wad of faith and pull ahead of everyone else. We can also buy a Merchant or Artist this way too because we went Freedom and Commerce. All very handy, huh?
Boom, we now know how to put a man on the Moon and build the best goddamned artillery in the game, Rocket Artillery! It requires aluminum to build, but it fires from three tiles away and unlike every other siege unit, it doesn't need to set up beforehand. If I upgrade our cannons to these we will be easily able to ride roughshod over every single other player in the game.
in fact I'm sorely tempted to do so just for the hell of it. World's ending anyway, right?
It would be nice if we said "goodbye" before we left.
State of the world: