Part 4: Por Amor de Deus
As mentioned previously, Portuguese early culture bore a distinctly Celtic influence, and this is also apparent in historical architecture seen in northern Portuguese territories as well as Spanish Galicia. The earliest architectural works still present include the Megalithic structures and small fortified settlements created from minimally worked stones, generally an indicator of difficult times full of conflict.
The later, more refined structures are part of something called the Castro culture, which is another term for distinctly Celtic craft and architecture present in Iberia. The term "castro" in this sense refers to a specific type of Celtic primitive hilled fort, and shares a linguistic ancestor with the word "castle". These sites are still visible in parts of Portugal today, with megaliths mostly visible in the south-central region of Alentejo, and the castro in the Norte (North) provinces.
The thread has determined that our second city should be placed southeast of Kilimanjaro between the nearby river and coastline, granting numerous advantages in the long term versus some slight disadvantages in the short term. As you will see, the start of the new location will be slow, but it will have a strong presence once workable tiles like the Sugar to the southwest and Kilimanjaro become available.
As to Lisboa, Dona Maria has decreed, despite the rational arguments of many of her people, that the gods must be appeased with a grand monument to time. The timepiece is also to be used to track the lifespans of the prized royal elephants. Though a significant portion of the populace is acutely aware of the risks involved in such an undertaking, their devout counterparts are dazzled with the idea and begin construction immediately, driven by a passionate fervor.
These passions are also reflected in the enthusiasm with which the army takes to the horde of Barbarians to the east. The less experienced, but more populous second brigade leads the charge.
The veteran brigade soon follows.
The result is a significant Portuguese advantage, since the Barbarians lose fully half of their forces and Portuguese casualties are fewer.
Vancouver, meanwhile, expresses a great curiosity in exploring the distant world, as they are now acutely aware of their isolated position. If the Portuguese were to find and report back to them on the discovery of a new Natural Wonder, they would be grateful and provide more Influence.
The next turn, we resume the onslaught.
The result is our first captured encampment. The soldiers loot the site for valuables and any captives are taken to Lisboa to work on the wondrous timepiece.
The Settler is almost in position, so the Warriors return towards the north for a little recuperation, and to defend against possible Barbarian retaliation from near Vancouver.
In Lisboa, some architects working on the device note that there might be advantages to using the horse populations nearby to ease the transport process of the stones, and the Worker moves to initiate their plan.
One Warrior will move back towards Lisboa, while another will remain close to the settler and heal in the new city created when the Settler is finished with their task.
With our path clear...
The city of Luanda is born.
Note that our production queues are significantly longer than Lisboa's were even at 1 population. This is a consequence of Luanda not being the capital, therefore it lacks the Palace building that contributes to early growth and resource output. As such, Luanda will take some time to grow as a city, but in support of our overall Imperial ambitions, we have them start work on a Monument.
Lisboa makes good progress on the structure with the people they have, though something odd does happen which you can see at the top just under the city name. Cities over a certain population size can start making demands for access to certain types of Luxury Resource, and upon fulfilling that demand, will begin experiencing faster Growth rates. Portugal in particular, with a focus on trade and their unique qualities, can realize these missions quite easily, but for now, I am mostly left wondering how Lisboans even know what incense is.
Through the power of eminent domain, Dona Maria informs the horses of Norte Lisboa personally that they are now her subjects and that they are to report to the structure immediately to provide support and prayer.
After first corralling the Queen back to her home, the citizenry are assigned the task of breaking the wild horses to prepare them for the task of transporting several tonne blocks of stone.
Luanda, meanwhile, is being used to heal the soldiers and some citizens are recruited into one of the brigades.
The Barbarian shipwrights, meanwhile, also demonstrate their (very) basic knowledge in order to avoid being crushed by elephants or sacrificed as part of the monument preparation. Their secrets quickly become the talk of Lisboa, and early plans are made to use the sailing ships to see what lies outside the known world.
For purposes of defence, meanwhile, we begin looking into the secrets of archery.
The warriors position themselves to defend the Worker against Brute incursion...
...but the first assault comes from the sea. Lisboa itself is the only unit that can engage, so the people loose arrows from prototype bows.
With Dona Maria's fevered ranting about the monument being halfway to completion, all hands and hooves in Lisboa dedicate their lives to its construction.
With the bows perfected from practical tests against seaborne mobile targets, the greatest minds in the nation begin to tackle the problem of getting the horses to more easily carry around hundreds of pounds of stone.
Our Warrior, meanwhile, scouts north to verify the state of Vancouver and its Barbarian guests.
It looks as though the city is mostly unharmed, and handily dealt with the invading force, leaving behind a camp with a token defender. The time is ripe to capitalize on the Barbarians' weakness.
From time to time, the game provides little scorecards on the progress of civilizations by various metrics. In this case, our abysmal total Culture output has resulted in us being dead last for total number of Policies. Not a surprise given our start, but something we should try to rectify for later on.
The Warrior moves in to assault the Encampment without waiting for backup, simply because the Brutes' fortified positions are still insufficient to garner them an advantage in otherwise even combat.
The other Warriors, meanwhile, move in over the hills to provide support, which would normally take forever were it not for Altitude Training doubling movement speed on Hills.
Thereafter, the Barbarian galley returns to seemingly harass Lisboa, but there is little it can do against an onslaught of arrows by itself.
With another Pasture complete, we consider our options. I was considering starting construction of the next Pasture, but it will not be done before the structure is, so there isn't as much of an advantage to going after the Production boost. Instead, we should ensure that Lisboa and Luanda continue to grow steadily, and to do that we should make sure our Happiness remains high, so our next move is to create a Cotton plantation to access another type of Luxury Resource.
The backup Warrior is almost on scene, and the first group fortifies to ensure there is no chance of reprisal (and there is not, since I now notice the Encampment spawned a Galley rather than a land unit).
With two turns until the structure is complete, the Workers begin their task creating a Plantation improvement for extra Gold.
The Warriors, meanwhile, move in.
Two versus one is hardly fair, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
The encampment is down, but this time our rewards are much more substantial.
Now that we have completed two tasks for Vancouver (destroyed an encampment and a nearby Barbarian unit) we have earned their Ally status. As defined on that screen, we get a unique bonus based on their Trait, and as a Maritime City-State, we get +3 food in our Capital and +1 food in every other city for being their Ally. That is an excellent payout and all the more reason to try and pursue City-State requests whenever they become available.
We also have a sight radius around the city of Vancouver thanks to that Ally status...and we now know absolutely that the continent ends on their north border. We are indeed all alone out here.
That's OK for now, though, it means we can keep our military lean and mean and our cities can focus on growth and building production mostly free of interruption.
Lisboa takes one more shot at a moving target and sinks it effortlessly.
The end is nigh.
God has seen fit to inspire a divine miracle in the hearts of the Portuguese, and through the visionary efforts of its citizens and the tireless labour of its animals, the creation now stands as a mark of greatness upon the countryside of...
...we built it in the water?
And so, as it was made clear after the fact, Dona Maria's project ultimately relies on measuring the passage of time by the ebb and flow of the tides, as well as the rate at which the the surging seas wear away at the stones of the mainland. The structure, originally conceived as a ritual circle or "henge", is now largely inaccessible due to its distance from the shoreline, and as such it becomes known as "Baia de Pedra", or "Stonebay". When the tide is low, it can be accessed by small boats, and to the amazement of the Portuguese and Vancouverites, it has occasionally trapped large fish wandering too close to the shoreline. The devout Portuguese recognize this as a sign from their Huntress that the Portuguese dominance over the beasts of the land must also be extended over the sea, and that a greater bounty awaits them in the vast ocean. Plans are made to begin the creation of a Lisboan sailboat to begin the exploration effort in earnest.
Almost as an afterthought, the engineers of Lisboa have also constructed a device to vastly simplify overland travel and transport, but with the structure complete the usefulness of the device seems lost on the populace for the time being. Time will tell if it sees a resurgence later on.
With that, Portugal's fate must be determined through its next discovery. What should our next researched technology be? All six are up for grabs as far as I am concerned, so choose whichever seems most suitable for our next step forward. Your choices are:
Mining: Leads to the creation of Mine tile improvements (+1 production on hills) and the ability to cut down a forest for purposes of access to some resources and production boosts to Cities.
Optics: Leads to the creation of the Lighthouse building and Great Lighthouse Wonder, which gives boosts to sea-based resources and the Wonder gives +1 movement and sight radius to ships. This also enables land units to embark onto Coast tiles and travel the same way early ships do, though they are at a crippling disadvantage in sea combat.
Horseback Riding: Allows creation of a new Military Unit, the Stables building, the Circus Maximus National Wonder and the Caravansary. These are all utilities of various types so there are decent military, production, and trade advantages to be had here.
Mathematics: We can create Catapults, Courthouses, and the Hanging Gardens we don't have because we didn't pick Tradition. This is not great by itself, but leads to better technologies down the line.
Philosophy: Allows creation of Temples, our tier 2 Faith building, the National College, which is an amazing Science National Wonder, and the Oracle, which gives a little bonus Culture and a free Social Policy. A decent choice given our earlier focus on Piety and learning.
Drama and Poetry: Allows creation of the National Epic, the Writer's Guild, the Amphitheatre and the Parthenon Wonder, each of which are for advancing our Culture game.
Nota bem, all of the technologies that aren't Mining are considered Classical Era technologies, and getting any of them will push our Civ into the Classical Era, resulting in changed visuals and a boost to all rates at which technologies from the previous Era become available to us.
Also, while I have chosen to pursue Monument construction for the time being, I would like to open up the floor to determine what Lisboa should produce after the Monument. Pick anything from the list, and whatever gets the most votes will start after the Monument is done in 3 turns.
Voting will close on Monday the 11th at 7 PM Eastern.