Part 42: I don't know what I'm doing!!!Okay, we're going to flail about a bunch and also hopefully attempt a culture win. Why not, right? First things first.
Raid my caravans will you? You must die!
Looks like it's not just cultural buildings that house cultural artifacts. The Great Library does, too. A pity someone else just built it!
Killed one barbarian but the other is busily destroying all my improvements! Gah! They don't mess around in this version of the game!
And another one comes outta nowhere to wreck my marble quarry! STOP THAT!
Uh-oh, Indonesia has put out a new city just south of Warsaw. We'd better be quick and careful or else we'll be dealing with a very pissed-off warrior commanding a bunch of guys with wavy blades.
Built this because, hey, why not? I want to check out the new Piety tree and get the most out of it. So, with that in mind New Policy!
Piety may just boost our religion, but I've checked out the list of reformation beliefs, and there's one in there that significantly boosts our potential tourism. With that, we could overwhelm our rivals with tourist buildings.
A scout from some new guy appears!
Ohohoho. That "The Pious" moniker means he too is going Piety. We may need to be careful. Venice is unique in this game: they can only puppet cities, they get no settlers. They can, however, use their version of the Great Merchant, the Merchant of Venice, to purchase City-states into their empire, and they can use gold to buy things directly in their puppets. The kicker is they get double trade routes.
The Republic of Venice was geographically small in terms of land but in terms of reach quite widespread, with many, many ports and cities all around the Mediterranean and they traded with everybody, you see, so they were a small but super-wealthy nation with a lot of influence, a finger in every pie, so to speak. Dandolo was clever enough and influential enough to get the Fourth Crusade to shift its target from Jerusalem to Byzantium and sack it as part of a ploy to get Alexius Angelus back on the Byzantine throne and to restore some territory to Venetian control. (There's a legend that this was revenge for being blinded by the Byzantines, but historians argue over this).
The lesson is: don't mess with Uncle Scrooge, because he's got a friggin' giant Money Bin and can buy an army if need be. This version of Dandolo is, potentially, just as fearsome. At the very least we need to be careful of him buying out city-states from under us (either by puppeting them or just using the Merchant of Venice to get a shitload of influence over them).
The lesson has been learned: guard your friggin' trade routes or at the very least make sure no barbarians can get to that area. Fortunately the route to Hong Kong is mostly straightforward and not long.
Since we are potentially going for a cultural win, we need more culture! Important to note: almost everything on this technology is different than before. From the left:
See, the Amphitheater only produces 1 culture on its own now. It's "slotted." We need that Writer's Guild much more, it's the only way we'll get Great Writers who can make Great Books for us and give us something to slot into the Amphitheater. Great People generation was, in general, very important for the old Cultural victory but it's vital now.
This also puts us into the Classical Era, which, according to Poland's trait, means we get a free policy!
We've hit the Classical era, which unlocks Patronage and Aesthetics. I'm opening up Aesthetics immediately, I really want more Great Writers. Our focus afterwards will be upon finishing Tradition, then filling out Piety and Aesthetics. I hope I'm not spreading us too thin, though...
Our enormous faith output gives us a great prophet, too!
I'm doing something different here: more faith for foreign believers! This won't give us more happiness, more money or more culture, but it will allow us to completely snowball our religion's spread by giving us more faith for each city we spread it to. This will also allow us to purchase more Great People (including writers, artists and musicians) with faith more easily when the time comes. If this pays off like I hope it does, anyhow... Cathedrals have been altered too, instead of having an Artist Specialist slot they have a slot for putting Great Art into, for more tourism. And there's a Reformation Belief that makes buildings purchased with faith give more tourism by default. We'll get to that soon.
You'll note that there's three crosses up there instead of one. That's because Christianity was split into Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and Protestantism for this expansion. Because a lot of the big Civs favor some brand of Christianity, this gives them more types to try out (for example, Ethiopia is and always has been one of the biggest bastions of Orthodox Christianity, and Byzantium was the seat of Orthodox power for a long while--they even call it "Greek Orthodox" in some places still. The split was one of the reasons Dondalo was able to politically "justify" the Fourth Crusade attacking Byzantium instead of the Islamic-held Jerusalem, "they follow a non-Catholic version of the faith!").
Sadly, non-Christian religions didn't get any new icons added. Oh, well. It's not like we're actually following Catholicism in this game. Oh, no.
We're the Cult of Personality We shall overawe the world by praying to TV Sets, music and plays all extolling the virtue of Polish life!
Our scout bumps into another new face:
Shaka Zulu! This guy is an old Civilization favorite, and he's finally back! The Zulus can support an army at half maintenance cost, and they gain promotions quicker. They get a unique pikeman replacement called the Impi, who throws his spear as a ranged attack before closing with the enemy as a melee unit, but that's not the most fearsome thing they've got. It's their barracks. It provides unique promotions to their pre-Gunpowder melee units that make them move faster, attack better on open ground, take less damage from ranged attacks and do way, way more damage while flanking the enemy.
The Zerg Rush is now the Zulu rush. Attila the Hun may be able to completely wipe out his next-door neighbor on turn 50 while laughing in all-caps, but these guys can encircle and annihilate their enemies all the way up to the Renaissance at least, especially if they get the flanking, faster-experience and faster-production policies from Honor. They just need to make sure they have the numbers and open ground.
If Shaka was our next-door neighbor we'd be boned, but he must fight through other players to get to us, thankfully.
I also managed to build this wonder:
Two reasons: If we want to build lots of Great People, we're going to want to get paid for using them, and that marble quarry near our city will now give us money. Oh, and Samarkand wanted us to build it.
Same turn, I've researched something else that's new:
Early game tech, but with two critical changes: this gives us another trade route (we can use it for land, though) and lets us build trading ships. Ship trading routes give double the yield as land ships (remember, water doesn't give us any money directly now, but it makes trade better).
We're getting cracking on building the Writer's Guild immediately. There's also one other Wonder we need to research and build ASAP: Petra. Krakow has been built, it's right next to a whole lot of desert hills and I want that sucker to produce hammers and food from them as well as getting the extra trade route it provides.
Attack Indonesia? I don't have the army for it. I do want to remove his potential threat, however. Gimme...ten turns?
And this, as far as I can tell, is even more important than the writer's guild. It comes with its own Great Work, we would start with the Tourism the instant it was built. However.... the instant I think I want to build it... Dandolo beats me to it! Buddy, I am going to kill you next, see if I don't.
I move to attack one of Gajah Mada's warriors and it looks like his empire is a little bit unhappy! (Probably from over-expansion) Interesting! There's no other way to directly see it, if I know of it, but that's good to know. It makes his guys fight worse.
Great Writer born, and none too soon as I also just completed the National Epic to store a work of writing in!
These guys can be consumed to create a Great Writing but they can also be burnt up to create a huge amount of culture at once, if you're hankering for a new policy. I'm going with the Writing.
A surprisingly feminist sentiment from something so old. Then again, I do believe the Tale of Genji was written by a woman, so...
Our caravan has finished its 30-turn trip and can now be reassigned. I'm sending it to give food to Krakow, that should stimulate the growth of our little colony immensely. We're making enough money from other sources at the moment, and it'll be safer to send a caravan west than south. Note that this doesn't take away food from the source. It makes the food from nothing! This means we can feed our satellite cities, or they can feed our capital.
Well, it looks like Dandolo just lost his capital to the Zulus. Yikes.
My army isn't big enough yet to actually take any Indonesian cities, but I've got a decent, up-to-date "stay away!" army now. It seems to be working.
Had enough, huh? Well, me too, to be honest. I never turn down free cities, though in this case I'm just going to burn it since I'm at my unhappiness limit.
FUCK! Someone beat me to Petra. No idea who, but I can live without it...grudingly...because most of the desert tiles near Krakow are hills, so they're not worthless at all. I wanted that extra trade route, though...
Time to finish off Tradition! Doing so will allow us to expend faith on Great Engineers in the Industrial Age. This was moved from Order.
Another great writer! Write me up something, will ya?
Edgar Allen Poe: Secretly a Classical-Era Polish writer.
And our religion's been enhanced!
And...Terracotta Army! Which is...heh...different to how it was before. Very different.
Yes, it is no longer a culture-generator. Instead it gives us a copy of each type of soldier we already have, giving us several more military units! Our army is looking' pretty sweet now.
Nice. Hate to see the look on anyone's face if they fight us now. Woulda been even better if I had catapults, but I'll take it.
Time for another caravan re-route. We need a little more income, so I'm sending him to Jakarta. Note that this exerts pressure upon Jakarta to convert, just as if they were in range of one of our cities. We also get some science out of it because they know things we don't! (Medah gets no extra religious pressure upon it because it's already in range of the pressure from Warsaw).
I research Civil Service, making us reach the Medieval Era. New Policy time!
Commerce and Exploration have both unlocked. Exploration is mostly sea-based stuff, but completing it also lets you see hidden archaeological sites. At the moment, though, I'm just going to take this, the new "Mandate of Heaven" :
More Great Writing!
Let's check out our culture.
Holy FUCK the Zulus have a lot of culture. No doubt because of all the buildings they've got in their huge conquered empire. We'll never catch up to them if we don't do something fast.
We've got the ability to make this now. It's just like the writer's guild, they just make paintings. Great Artists can also initiate Golden Ages, just like G&K Great Artists.
One new wonder added to Theology: Borobudur, gives you three free Missionaries and more faith. It's good for a quick shock if you want to spread your religion everywhere. I've already got my own faith spread around pretty well...but I could use more!!! Plus, some other asshole just built the Great Mosque.
Now this is interesting. We could potentially get multiple benefits in our cities! One more policy from now, 23 turns, we get the awesome Reformation belief. I hope we can get the one I'm shooting for.
We're doing well to spread our faith around, though, we're at 8 cities, when everyone else is just at 1.
Lodz, your food sucks! Time to ship you some imported vitamins! Since this is a sea-route, the yield is much greater, sending them 8!! food. Yowza. They'll be fairly populous soon.
God damn it, who the fuck is building all the wonders I'm trying to build?! Austria: The Revenge?
Anyway: Great Artist, GO!
A few turns later. We have researched workshops...and as soon as we build 'em, we can use trade routes to send production to our cities. If we had spare trade routes, we could use them to have caravans ship production to our capital, allowing it to build stuff faster!
Heya, Prague! Join the Cult of Personality! I've been so good at managing pressure that I didn't need to spread missionaries to any nearby cities. Instead I'm sending them to the far-off ones.
Finally. Now is where my strategy hopefully pays off. Every one of these abilities is really, really powerful, but I want one that'll pay off towards a cultural victory. We are going for Sacred Sites, which will make those pagodas and cathedrals I built all start producing tourism. Our tourism should nearly double because of this.
Great Writer Virgil, go!
A few turns later I get notified that Shaka is going to try to sneak attack me from his southern continent. Yikes. Time to upgrade my military.
Well, this is where things are at, for the time being. I've been trying to keep up, but it's been difficult to wrap my head around what to prioritize and when. Morocco is producing tons of culture too, probably because their trait is generating culture from trade. Fff. Maybe I should have specialized in Aesthetics sooner...but I still think I'm on to something with my reformation belief.