Part 23: Surrounded by competition and opportunities!We have a lot of stuff on our plate and not enough time to do all of it which is the recipe for great things, according to the Big Ben quote! Build Stonehenge. Get firsties on our religion. Settle multiple areas and access a bunch of luxuries so we don't destroy our growth in the process.
It's the last part that will be the most challenging. This close to a neighbor, it means we're going to be like two guys elbow to elbow at a buffet. Even though Gandhi is not particularly the type to declare wars in Civ V, he is fond of making sure he gets his territory claimed, same as anyone. (He is also fond of using nukes when he has access to them, as a developer gag for the original Civilization game). He can also support more population in his cities since he has half unhappiness for population, which means he can become a big fat titan of research and/or industry when properly utilized. Remember how insane we became with only four cities, one of which was captured, in the last game? Gandhi can grow just as tall.
Additionally: we need to be very, very careful of not building too many settlers too early because that will stunt our growth and produce too much unhappiness at once. A delicate but swift balancing act is called for, like a surgical operation. This will test me in ways that merely preparing for an invasive neighbor like Boudicca did not.
Also, how well prepared we are for the next few turns depends on what happens when we pop the ancient ruins hidden around our cities. Let's see what happens when we break open these piñatas.
Case in point! Grab it, scout!
Awesome! This will be a time-saver. I love time-savers.
I tell the scout to swing east and we bump into this miracle:
SWEET! Vatican City gives us gold and, more importantly, faith points for being the first guys to meet them. This is incredible. If we have any way of getting just a few more faith points we won't even need that shrine to get our religion started.
They're also guarding Old Faithful. No good to us because they'll claim it in their borders soon, but discovering it gives us another happiness point and this early in the game even one happiness point is good.
Meanwhile my warrior has sneakily and luckily found this ruin north of Delhi. Making sure you snap up these prizes before anyone else does is important. It only has 50 gold in it, but we could quickly buy something soon in an emergency so I'm not turning up my nose at it.
The warrior also discovers a holy mountain just behind! If we could sneak a settler back here behind Delhi, oh, man, Gandhi would be steamed but that'd be his problem.
New policy. I'm taking Legalism, giving us a free Monument. Yay.
C'mon, no whammies, no whammies
I'll take it! Good thing I did, too, because it was about to be snapped up by the explorer sent from this dude:
AAAH! Egypt is good at building wonders. That is their only gimmick. They also get a free temple and can build a lot of war chariots. If we plan at all on building wonders, we can count on this guy to be our biggest headache.
The warrior north of Delhi also gets us this, which is one of the best things you can get for your city this early in the game. More people = more research and more resource collection.
The scout pulls north and discovers a literal gift from God!
YES. 12 faith points means we get a pantheon before anyone else on the next turn!
We're going Stone Circles. We are going to be putting out a ton of missionaries, getting more faith from that marble deposit near our city will help out quite well. If we were playing as Spain, One with Nature would crack the faith game wide open.
AAAH! Barbarians guarding an ancient ruin, ganging up on my warrior! I hate that! DIE!
SWEET! That's two tech boosts we've gotten.
The scout found this ruin which somehow the warrior sent by Rameses missed. I'm not complaining.
Aaah, crap, it just revealed empty ocean. Now I'm complaining.
I missed the screenshot for it, but Rameses phones us up to tell us our army suck and the barbarians are going to overrun my city. This isn't a baseless insult. I do have a barbarian problem. It's time to do something about it!
Time to show you guys the power of Honor!
Adopting Honor makes us very good at finding and destroying Barbarians, and even rewards us with a little culture for doing so. By far the best of these abilities isn't the ability to kill them, but the ability to see where on the map their camps are popping up, so we know if it's safe to send a settler out.
Killing the brute attacking Constantinople and another near Zanzibar north of Delhi gives us 16 total Culture points, enough to shave off a few turns to the next policy.
Yikes. If we want to steal Mt. Kailash and get at this cotton, we're going to need to clear out these barbarians quick.
And these guys near the salt, too. Honor let me know there was a camp here. It's already paying off!
Shit! They're spawning and he's being overwhelmed! If it's any consolation, Gandhi will have just as hard a time expanding with these assholes on him as we will. More, because he's not going Honor.
The murderers move north towards my city after killing the warrior. Their mistake. Constantinople, avenge our warrior and blow these suckers away!
I'm having our other warrior weaken the barb camp north of Delhi. I don't want to completely get rid of these guys too soon, though, or India will take advantage of the free space.
New Policy time. I'm taking Landed Elite to get more growth in the capital. The next policy in Honor, Discipline, is kickass but can wait. Discipline gives +15% to your combat units if they're next to each other but this early in the game we don't have an army to make that worthwhile.
Potentially troublesome, but if I get my religion spread out far and wide, this won't be as big a deal for us as it could be. We are already probably outproducing most people thanks to our shrine and our quarry.
Hmm. Lots of people being relatively quick to the religion draw. It'll take the stragglers longer and longer to form a pantheon, though.
SHIT. They got Kailash before us. We can still get the wine and salt around our city if we move fast but damn!
My scout moves north, way north, and finally bumps into Elizabeth again!
She is going to be a big pain in our ass. Remember, she gets an extra spy, and spies can influence city-state alliances. We may need to kill her later in the game.
SHIT SHIT SHIT.
With that pantheon, and Kailash, India will shortly be swimming in faith points thanks to being next to that desert. Even if we build Stonehenge, they are going to be our Religious Worst Friends.
I am seriously considering getting catapults and wiping them out ASAP so we don't have to put up with them cramping our style. If we have to get elected world leader by killing everyone else, so be it!
Fortunately if we kill this barb camp, Jerusalem will like us and give us a lot of faith points. GO ARCHER!
And past London, I found Lhasa, a religious city-state with a captured worker guarded by a wounded barbarian. My scout swoops in!
Man, this game is heating up fast.
State of the World: