Part 25: A whole lot of fighting on the other side!
Let's not waste time. We have the happiness to support it. So let's get another settler built and sent out to that salt and sea now while we know we can still get it.
Elizabeth wants an embassy. Sure, let's do it.
Uh-oh. This is both good and bad. Bad, because any city-state we don't have under our wing can't vote for us, and conquered city-states don't give out goodies to other players (one savvy way to cripple other players is to take out city-states).
However, there is an opportunity in this crisis. If we conquer Lhasa and free it from their Hawaiian oppressors, they will be super-grateful and be locked in as a vote. We must make a note of this if they lose the battle.
Cotton Cutoff has a slight production problem. Lots of green and gold around it, not enough hammers. I'll try to rectify that soon.
Ooh, that won't be good. For reference, Statue of Zeus helps you conquer cities.
Say hello to the Salty Coast! It'll get access to the salt, the fish, nearby horses and deer, soon. Not so hot on that Tundra territory, though.
Huh. Looks like the Hundred Years War is stirring up again.
Vatican City wants an ass-kissing. I'm almost halfway tempted to producing a missionary early just to zap some city-states but I really really REALLY want to enhance the religion first.
I also desperately hope I can get Pyramids up and running. Those things are seriously a huge time saver, and anything that's a time saver is an enormous efficiency boost that pays off later in the game.
I also got notified by Napoleon that he's bullied Lhasa, setting up the usual choice.
Dammit, I knew I shouldn't have offered them protection! Uh uh well, Lhasa will eventually forgive me, but I don't really like Napoleon either and yet, Lhasa probably won't exist soon. Tell you what, Emperor, I'll forgive you for once and just take the temporary -20 influence hit with Lhasa. Once I give them Asskissing and Patronage, it'll all be good with them.
Aw, geez. He's playing to his strengths, more population growth.
New Policy Time!
I said I was going to unlock the next policy in Honor, but first, I really, really, REALLY want to make sure I can build wonders without interruption, and for that, I'm going to need Aristocracy to stack with the marble. Next time, I swear!
With this, we can order our Salt Coast city to build a Dromon, the unique Byzantine ship! It's a ranged ship, so no good for invading cities, but it's a very powerful ranged ship, armed with Greek Fire, a napalm-like substance with a secret recipe guarded more closely than the formula for Coca-Cola. So closely guarded that eventually the last guy who knew it died and nobody could make Greek Fire anymore. Whoops! That's the downside of mysticism. You get too secretive, your secrets eventually become worthless.
China's got Buddhism. Let's see what practices they stole from us.
Hm. Monasteries give you +2 Faith and Culture and make wine and incense give +1 Faith and Culture in that city decent, but no happiness upgrade like Mosques or Pagodas. It's situational. Peace Loving, +1 Happiness for every 5 followers in non-enemy foreign cities, is pretty powerful if you're playing a defensive culture game, it's a pretty damn good ability if you're playing as Ethiopia and going for a culture win. Not sure if it's any use to them if they start wars.
So far, nothing I was shooting for. Good.
Scrolling through the diplomacy menu, I see that everyone likes me except for Egypt, who hate us for no clearly expressed reason, and Kamehameha covets our lands. Why, I do not know, because we are far from where he lives. Perhaps the same reason he tried to conquer Lhasa, he's hungry for resources he doesn't have.
Well, now I covet your lands you prick!
Goddamn it, only two turns away. Did you know there's an achievement for getting beaten to wonders? I got it on my first game.
Awesome. Now we can create the other unique unit of the Byzantines, the Cataphract! They are armored horsemen. The horse armor slows down our horses to 3 movement points, but they're strong, very strong, 15 attack points, and they gain defensive terrain bonuses unlike regular horsemen. They also suck less at attacking cities than regular horses, -25% instead of -33%.
Time to enhance!
Religious Texts is one of the most powerful enhancers in the game. It greatly increases our pressure, so surrounding cities convert faster. If we spread our faith around enough, rival religions will be completely pressured out and only exist in their holy cities. I'm also going for Religious Center instead of something like Pagodas because this way, we don't need to expend faith on a building in that city--I'm going to be spending every ounce of faith points on missionaries, you see, to inundate the world with Asskissing.
You can set your religion to automatically purchase stuff with faith, too, so it doesn't go to waste. I like that. Setting it to missionaries now.
I do get a wonder that we never built before, though!
This is a pretty decent culture generator for the early game, nobody else built it for some reason so I snapped it up. If I get some more amphitheaters in my cities our culture will be back up to snuff!
Uh-oh, looks like Ramses is sneaking troops past my border, possibly to attack my main city. I may need those Cataphracts sooner than I thought.
Without me even needing to do anything, Cotton Cutoff has adopted Asskissing, which gives it the ability to get faith points from that quarry there. Excellent! This also starts putting more pressure on its neighbors to convert.
Ramses beats us to the Oracle, and Gandhi to Halicarnassus. Grr. We'll see who's laughing in the end!
On turn 108, France conquers China's capital (see the minimap!) and I build us a Cataphract!
Tough bastards, more combat strength than an iron swordsman! Too bad the horse armor slows them down.
Um, that's okay if you want to fight her, but me, I'm going to just sit this one out, okay? I want more friends than enemies this time.
With Theology researched, we hit the Medieval times! Also we get another policy!
This is handy. It'll give us some much-needed happiness and culture boosts just by having our soldiers chill at home. The happiness is more important than the culture but I'll take what I can get. All my next policies, though, must come from Patronage. I plan on maxing that out ASAP.
Napoleon and England go at it again, and India develops its own religion, far, far later than I originally estimated it would. I guess they never got much use out of that holy mountain.
Let's check out what they chose!
Hmm, Ceremonial Burial is pretty good, but the rest I can live without. I'm not too worried about India out-religioning us.
Vatican City had a quest to spread Asskissing to them. Giving them an ass-kiss and a little money makes them our stalwart allies, gives us access to pearls, and more faith points. A lot more faith points. This will help us in turn create more missionaries. YESSSSS.
Jerusalem! Mind if I share with you the art of making friends and a little money on the side?
Yes. More friends, more faith, more asses kissed. Also more money.
Grr, need to get that national college built and then research universities. Pronto!
(Image of Great Mosque reused from earlier in the thread because I lost this version's screen cap)
Perfect! With the Great Mosque built, our missionaries will last longer and work better! The more asses we kiss, the better!
State of the world:
Politics of the world: