Welcome Back

Hello and welcome back. The last installment, which can be found here: Writing History: Part I, ended with the noble Arabia in the Golden Age after winning the war against the treacherous Persians. The Persians survived with one city remaining on a remote island. After the end of the war, the generous Arabia initiated Food for Technologies program, buying several technological secrets from the pitiful Persians. The war was a great success, as it brought freedom to the Persian people, making them as free as gypsies.

Nevertheless, Arabia emerged from the war weakened militarily. Here is the unit count as of 640 AD.

-Worker - 19
-Warrior - 16
-Spearman - 25
-Swordsman - 1
-Horseman - 4
-Pikeman - 1
-Galley - 2
-Ansar Warrior - 7
-Medieval Infantry - 1


Lastly, here is the tech tree from the Middle Ages with my up-to-date knowledge for your reference:

A Look to the Future

I had several objectives. First of all, I wanted to build up my culture to prevent more culture flips. That was going well, with the majority of my cities making culture-producing buildings. Second, I needed to build a Forbidden Palace. In Civilization III corruption becomes greater as the cities get farther away from your capital. A city that builds a Forbidden Palace creates the effect of a second capital, with the cities around it experiencing less corruption, though still more than in the vicinity of the actual capital. To get the most effect out of the Forbidden Palace, it needs to be built as far from your capital as possible. But there is a catch, because a city that is far away from the capital has very high corruption, and therefore produces very little shields, the 200-shield Forbidden Palace takes a very long time to complete.

I picked Cordium, formerly a Persian city, to be the site for my Forbidden Palace. I had to build at least a temple there first to give it some culture. Cordium suffered a lot of damage during the prolonged siege, and the only building that survived was an aqueduct. At the time, Cordium was producing 2 shields per turn, loosing over 10 to corruption and waste. Yeah, it's that bad.

My greatest advantage at that point in the game was that I had a lot more cities than any other civilization, so I had to build up the population of those cities to increase their power and my production base.

Finally, I needed to keep growing, which meant I needed to select the target of my next war. This was a difficult task because all nations around me were quite powerful. Additionally, I had bought technologies from some of them and was in the process of paying them off. If I cut off the payment early by declaring war, my reputation would suffer, and other nations would no longer sell me tech for gold per turn.

My immediate plan was to use the Golden Age income to build up my infrastructure, all the while trying to accumulate enough money to buy Military Tradition, which would allow me to produce cavalry, my weapon of choice for the next war. By that time, ideally, I would be done with building city improvements and start working on producing my army right away.

As a parallel project, I was going to clear out the jungles in the former Persian empire to allow my new cities there to grow.

The Golden Age

640 AD - The last remnants of resistance in the former Persian cities ended, and peace reigned across the land. I used this time of peace and increased shield production to build city improvements that would normally take a long time to produce. All the while I was surveying the territory of my neighbors. Apparently, my citizens enjoyed building things so much, they offered to expand my palace. I planted trees in my garden, realizing that it looked somewhat bare with just paths and grass lawns.

650-680 AD - A few turns ago I had sent a galley to cross the ocean to attempt to find the other continent. Normally, galleys are not safe outside of coastal waters; they have a significant chance of sinking in seas and oceans. This galley got lucky, however, and after a long voyage, the sailors saw land. The first nation from across the ocean that I encountered were the Zulu. I contacted them and found that, though they were a very large nation, they were technologically backwards (3 technologies behind me) and poor (they had 0 gold). So despite my technological lead, I could not profit from them. Nevertheless, when I looked at the scores, the Zulu had assumed second place after the Netherlands.

In 660 AD my trade agreement with the Chinese ended, and I lost my supply of furs. To keep my male population happy by making sure that their wives could always buy a fur coat, I bought another 20-year supply of furs from the Chinese for Mathematics and 137 gold. Yes, the Chinese were still in the Ancient Times.

The turn after the Zulu, I contacted Koreans, another nation of the New World. They were similarly behind in technology but had money, unlike the Zulus. I traded them Theology for Monarchy, 26 gold, and 23 gold per turn. This was not the best deal in the world, but it ensured that they were always to low on money to devote too much to research or to buy tech from another civilization. Civ3 experts call this tactic "bankrupting the AI." It works. Ideally, computer would be forced to sell buildings and disband units to pay what it owes, but I was pretty sure it would not happen in this case. I just did not want Korean money going somewhere besides my treasury. Translation: I was being greedy.

Babylonians stopped by, asking me to trade them Navigation for Music Theory. I refused because Music Theory was an optional tech whose great wonder had already been built, making it worthless. Nice try, though, Hammurabi.

690-710 AD - I kept building up. A lot of my cities had completed an aqueduct and had grown to city-size (population > 6) and were supporting 3 units for free instead of just 1, saving me money. Additionally, the more powerful cities had built banks (banks increase tax output of a city by additional 50% and are available once you build a marketplace). My culture output was increasing as well, though it would be a long time before I would be able to close the lead with the more culturally-advanced nations.

720-740 AD - I contacted the French, another of the nations across the ocean and found that they had Printing Press, a prerequisite technology for Democracy, and a tech that even the most advanced nations on my continent did not have. One of the benefits of the Printing Press is that it allows trading communications with the other nations. Despite having Printing Press, the French were still technologically behind me in the required tech tree. I gave them banking for Printing Press, 41 gold, and contact with the Japanese and the Ottomans, the only two nations I had not yet found. When I checked them out, I found that both of them were weak and technologically backwards.

Upon getting Printing Press, I directed my research towards Democracy. The one scientist I had doing all my research would get it for me in 50 turns. I was hoping to get as much of it researched as possible before one of the AIs got it so that I could get it for cheaper and use it in trade later.

I went to the Mayas next and found that they did not have a lot of the contacts. I gave them Printing Press and Contact with the French in return for Metallurgy and 85 gold. Then I sold the remaining 6 contacts I had to the Mayas for 463 gold and their territory map. While these trades were taking place, I was very upset to find that the Mayas had over 9,000 gold in their treasury.

Next I went to the Netherlands. I had 1203 gold in my treasury and was making 179 gold per turn. I gave them Printing Press, 1192 gold, 53 gold per turn, and my World Map in return for Military Tradition. Then I traded them the remaining two communications I had for their territory map and 90 gold.

I contacted the Hitties last and gave them Monarchy for Spices. Everyone else had that tech anyway, and I was far enough ahead of them to ensure that they would never catch up.

During the AIs' turn, I noticed that France was at war with the Zulus.

Suddenly, Mayan troops moved into my territory en masse. The first thing I did was freak out. Even though I had a Right of Passage with them, they could still break it and declare war, which they would win because I of their technological lead and bigger military. Thankfully, they ignored my cities and moved straight through, heading south. Then...a war was started by the most powerful nation in the world. The Persians declared war on the Mayas! I am serious. In the screenshot you can see Mayan troops moving through my territory. That is about 25% of the forces they were bringing in. A lot more troops were moving through in the west. For those of you not familiar with Civ3, the white bars to the left of the units indicate the number of units in that one square. You can have up to 10 bars or so, so if there are 10 bars, you can assume that there are a lot more than 10 units there.

750-790 AD - After a few years of difficult war, the Mayas decided they could not handle Persia alone, so they enlisted the help of the Chinese by signing an alliance against Persia with them.

China's help did not seem like it was enough for the Mayas though. They approached me and asked me to sign a Mutual Protection Pact. Under this pact, I would have to declare war on any nation that attacked the Mayas. This was an important dilemma. The main reason I did not want to do this was because I was paying 53 gold per turn to the Netherlands for Military Tradition, and if a war started between them and the Mayas, I might have had to join in and stop paying that, which would ruin my reputation with all nations. Plus I did not need the MPP right at the moment, and even though the Mayas were offering up to 7 gold per turn for it, I did not feel like that was something I wanted to do. Politely, I declined.

Then I went to the city of Cordium, the site for my upcoming Forbidden Palace small wonder (one can be built by each civilization). Since it is a small wonder, the Forbidden Palace cannot be hurried, so I was making a marketplace there. I hurried it for 300+ gold. Next turn I started a bank that cost 160 shields. I was going to hurry that as well and then switch to the Forbidden Palace and have only 40 shields left to complete, but right then my Golden Age ended, putting a stop to my elevated gold production, and I could no longer afford it. I had 455 gold in my treasury and was losing 11 gold per turn. I would have to wait until my payments to the other nations ended before I could hurry.

I remembered that I had not spoken to the Americans in a while. When I contacted them, I was pleasantly surprised to see that, while they had Physics, they did not have Metallurgy. I gave them Metallurgy, 23 gold per turn, 7 gold, and my World Map for Physics.

During this time, I also produced my first cavalry division.

Cavalry is a 6.3.3 unit that costs 80 shields, and is the strongest non-unique attacker of the Middle Ages. With their appearance on the scene, the battle field balance, which up to this point remained in relative equilibrium, shifts to favor the attacker (the strongest defender is 2.4.1). This is one of the most important shifts in the course of the game, which is why many players pick this time to launch an offensive.

Finally, during this period, the Mayas made known their reason for troop movement by declaring war against Babylon. That was good considering that Babylon had been gaining power very quickly. Soon after the declaration of war, the Mayas signed a military alliance with Japan against Babylon. They also enlisted the help of the Ottomans against the mighty Persians.

Economic Globalization

800 AD - I needed to know what the world looked like, so I gave the Zulu Metallurgy for Economics, World Map, and 1 gold.

After trading with the Zulu, I gave Astronomy to the Koreans for Music Theory, 58 gold, and 16 gold per turn. Music Theory was worthless, but I did this for a bit the gold and to make Korea spend its money. Translation: I was being greedy again.

Next I noticed that the nations across the ocean had plenty of luxuries for trade. While roads can serve as trade routes on land, in order to trade across bodies of water, both nations must have built harbors and discovered Navigation which allows to safely traverse ocean squares. I went to the Babylonians and traded them Economics for Navigation and 19 gold.

With Navigation granting me the ability to trade across oceans, I contacted the French and traded them Metallurgy for incense (luxury), wines (luxury), their World map, and 17 gold.

The Golden Age was over, and after completing all my trades, I had 532 gold and was making 18 gold per turn. In addition, I had finally found all civilizations in the game. Below you can see civilization scores at the time along with the map of the world.

France - 2153
Netherlands - 1938
Zululand - 1895
Babylon - 1845
Japan - 1730
Maya - 1714
Arabia (me) - 1634
Ottomans - 1552
Sumeria - 1545
America - 1487
Hitties - 1370
Korea - 1151
China - 913
Persia - 841
Russia (eliminated) - 805
Carthage - 646

As you can see, the other continent contained 3 of the 6 nations that are ahead of me in score, including France, the world leader. Despite their technological lag, the sheer size of those civilizations presented an important threat. Additionally, France was being very aggressive. It had already conquered a large portion of the Ottoman empire (you can tell because Ottomans have a very high score but a tiny nation split in two by France). At this point in the game, the French were waging war on the Zulus, and if they won, their gains could be enough to make them the world super-power.

810-840 AD - In the world, the war intensified. Mayas signed a military alliance against Babylon with the Hitties and with the Zulus. A turn later, the Mayas included Sumeria in that alliance. Another turn--Carthage, Netherlands, and the Ottomans entered the war on the side of the Mayas. Besides me and the Americans, the entire continent was now at war with Babylon. Half the nations from the other continent got involved too. Even the best human players would have been hard-pressed to top this kind of display of diplomatic prowess. After the initial excitement over the AIís fighting each other had passed, I decided I did not like this war one bit because Babylon was far away and not a good target for me. At the same time, I was now wary of starting a war against one of the allies because all of them could just turn around and unite against me. Nevertheless, I kept up building my cavalry force and rallying the new units to the Sumerian border. I gathered them outside of cities in order to prevent their loss in case of a culture flip. In the image you can see that the city was defended by spearmen, which were very outdated at that point. I did not have the necessary resource to upgrade them, so I was working on producing more up-to-date defenders and moving the spearmen back to the core of my empire, where they would be unlikely to get attacked.

For the good news, my payments to some of the civilizations ended, and I was making 236 gold per turn. I immediately went to Cordium which, to my great surprise, was producing 5 shields per turn, and hurried the bank for 524 gold, saving myself 27 turns of production. To my great dismay, when I tried to switch to the Forbidden Palace, I could not. Apparently, you cannot use any hurried shields towards a small wonder production. Damn! Well, I did not need a bank there. So I took my losses of 80 shields, and built a courthouse, which would decrease corruption in the city, allowing me to produce the Forbidden Palace faster. This whole period was turning out crappy.

To top everything off, William of Orange of the Netherlands contacted me demanding gold and my territory map as tribute. I was quite pissed off by this time and told him that the only thing he would be getting around here is a foot in the ass. He left disgruntled, muttering to himself about finishing a painting of his dinner (no, really).

850-870 AD - The Mayas enlisted the aid of Japan against the great Persians.

I completed an explorer and sent him on his way south to keep track of the war against Babylon.

Explorer is a 0.0.2 upgrade to the scout. It has the ability to treat all terrain as roads, which means it can move 6 squares in any terrain, making it the most mobile ground unit in the game. On the downside, explorers tend to dress in a rather homosexual fashion. We have no one to blame for this except ourselves, however, since that was how our ancestors used to dress.

Then I took my 9 remaining Ansar Warriors and upgraded them to cavalry. It cost 60 gold each, but having 617 gold in bank and making 279 gold per turn, I could afford it.

My deal for Furs with China ended, but since I still had 6 luxuries, I did not renew it yet. Luxury price when you buy it depends on the number of happy faces that it will create. The 7th luxury creates 4 happy faces in cities with marketplaces (most of my cities), so it was quite expensive. I was going to wait until my other luxury agreements ran out.

880 AD - I signed a Right of Passage with the Netherlands, with them paying me 13 gold for it (the greater your area, the more valuable your right of passage is). My scouts needed to pass through their territory to reach Babylon, and I knew I was not going to attack them next because they were technologically advanced and not positioned very well in relation to me. This treaty made William go from annoyed with me to polite.

Meanwhile, America joined the Maya's war against Persia.

890 AD - America signed a military alliance with the Mayas against Babylon. All nations on the continent were now at war with Babylon.

My citizens, at that same time, decided to expand my palace. I added an extra-wide bath tub.

900 AD - I kept tabs on the research conducted by other nations, and noticed that some of the ones that were previously behind me had gotten ahead, notably France. I contacted them and gave them 1688 gold, 36 gold per turn, gems, and my world map for Magnetism. Next I contacted Babylon and gave them Magnetism and dyes luxury resource for Theory of Gravity and their world map. It was risky trading with the rogue state, the enemy of pretty much every other nation in the world, but the only other nation that had Theory of Gravity and not Magnetism was Sumeria, and they were the most likely target for my next war, so I did not want to make a long-term deal with them.

With Magnetism and Theory of Gravity in my scientists' hands, I had advanced to the Industrial Ages. My science advisor, excited, declared that we were technologically advanced, but immediately caught himself and requested more funds.

Industrial Ages Tech Tree

910-920 AD - Persia and Netherlands signed a military alliance against Babylon. Korea and America did the same moments later.

Next message surprised me. Persia and Sumeria signed a military alliance against Japan, and Sumeria declared war on the Japanese. It looked like another world conflict was brewing, and political situation was becoming more and more complicated. To me this was good news--Sumeria was now at war with two nations, which meant its forces would be away from home.

I checked out the trades next. My supply of spice from the Hitties ended this turn, so I went to the Chinese and bought their furs, world map, and 10 gold for Feudalism.

Next I went to the Mayas and bought Steam Power from them for iron strategic resource, world map, 325 gold, and 254 gold per turn. It hurt to pay that much, but I felt it was worth it. Steam Power allows you to construct rail roads terrain improvement. Rail roads are the next step after roads. They allow your units to move along them without expending any movement points. Additionally, they increase output of mines and irrigation by one, giving you a huge production and growth boost. To build railroads, your civilization needs to have access to iron and coal strategic resources. Unfortunately, the first thing I noticed when I got Steam Power was that I did not have coal anywhere in my territory. Moreover, it seemed like the majority of nations did not have it. Netherlands had one source, France had two, Hitties, Korea, Zulu, and Sumeria each had one that was not connected to their roads network, but did not have the necessary technologies to see or use it (coal becomes revealed with discovery of Steam Power). Babylon had two, but was not using them for that same reason. This meant that there were 8 sources of coal in the world with 15 nations. This spelled coal shortage for me. I was immediately tempted to declare war on Babylon, but again decided against it because I was currently supplying them with dyes as part of an earlier deal and did not want my reputation to suffer. So I would hold on and keep planning my war against Sumeria. They had coal as well, and they were much closer. Meanwhile, Babylon was crumpling under the combined assault, faced with superior numbers and technology. In the image you can see the Babylonian forces in red and my explorer in light pink. Hammurabi had already lost 3 or 4 cities. It would not be long before his empire was gone from the face of the world and a bunch of archeologists were digging around the known locations of Babylonian trash dumps in search of important historical artifacts.

Meanwhile, I needed coal to build a railroad network. France was the only possible source. I contacted them and bought a 20-turn supply of coal for world map, 38 gold, and 23 gold per turn. To get some of that money back, I sold my only source of ivory to the Mayas for 400 gold. To replace the lost luxury, I went to the Japanese, and got silks, 2 gold, and world map from them in exchange for Chemistry.

After that, I contacted the Americans, and traded them Steam Power for Democracy, world map, 32 gold, and 24 gold per turn.

In the end, I had 425 gold in my treasury and was making 49 gold per turn. Nationalism was the only tech that I did not have that I wanted right then.

Once all my trading was complete, I set to work on my rail infrastructure. My initial goal was to connect all my cities with railways so that I could move units anywhere within my territory in one turn. To accomplish this I felt I needed additional workers, so I ordered a few produced out of my weaker cities that I used to plug the holes between the more powerful ones. I could not develop them until there were railroads all around anyway because most of them were in the middle of a desert. I produced some more workers from the large cities that were sitting at size 12 with a full food box. Once a worker got produced, those cities took only one turn to get back to population 12. In fact, a common strategy for cities like that is to produce workers and use them join slower-growing cities to speed up the overall empire growth.

I tried to get Nationalism, but no one would trade it to me. I decided to wait. Even as it stood, I was buying technologies a bit too early, which was why they cost me so much.

930-990 AD - I kept building up troops. As my number of musketmen grew, I disbanded some of the warriors I had defending cities. They were obsolete and too expensive to upgrade. Letting them go saved me 2 gold per turn per warrior in soldier pay. I also upgraded one veteran (4 HP) horseman to cavalry for 150 gold, and disbanded the other 3 that were all regulars (3 HP). Shields from disbanding them went towards production of a marketplace in one of my cities with low mineral output. Everyone was happy.

I wished I could produce riflemen instead of musketmen, but I needed Nationalism for that. Musketmen, 2.4.1 for 60 shields, are the worst infantry unit in the game. They are simply not cost-effective. Two pikemen 1.3.1 for 30 shields each would do a much better job. But alas, there was nothing I could do about it at the moment.

Rifleman is 4.6.1 infantry unit that requires no strategic resources to produce and costs 80 shields. It is the first infantry unit of the Industrial Times, and serves as a much stronger upgrade to the musketman of the Middle Ages. In addition to having higher stats, they dress better too.

During this period, Maya got the Koreans to sign a military alliance against Persia with them. Meanwhile, I discovered that Sumeria actually had 2 sources of coal within their territory. My decision to invade them became final.

Since there were so many small islands scattered all around the map, I needed a stronger navy as well as means to transport my armies across water. I ordered production of galleons.

Galleons are large, lightly armored wooden transports with 1.2.4 stats that cost 50 shields to produce. They can carry up to 4 land units.

To defend my transports, I also started working on a small fleet of frigates.

Frigates are the strongest pre-industrial warships that require saltpeter and iron to build. Fast, cheap, sporting 2(3).2.5 stats along with the ability to bombard up to one square away, and costing 60 shields to produce, they remain useful until the advent of modern ships.

While I was doing this, Sumeria kept unfolding its war plans against Japan. During this period, they enlisted Carthage to help them. On the other hand, the some of the nations were abandoning their war against Babylon. The Zulus were the first to do so. Carthage followed suit soon after. I wondered if perhaps Babylon might hold off the invaders long enough for its enemies to abandon their crusade. They were certainly putting up a good fight. Two defending riflemen in the city of Shuruppak held off at nearly 20 Mayan troops before finally succumbing to far superior numbers. That stand-off had me rooting for them.

When I glanced at my territory, however, my faith in Babylon wavered. Americans were moving their army against Babylon. I estimated it consisted of at least 50 units. In the image American units are teal. The only thing Babylon had going for it was that the American army seemed technologically inferior; it lacked riflemen and cavalry.

1000 AD - I lost my supply of wines and incense that was coming from France, and since France was ahead of me technologically, there was nothing I could offer them except for money. Needless to say, I did not want to pay. I contacted the Hitties and got silks from them in exchange for Music Theory and Printing Press, two useless technologies. My citizens would not be as happy, but they were spoiled anyway. Once I took over Sumeria, I would have plenty of extra luxuries to trade for the ones I did not have. Until then, my citizens would have to learn to deal.

There was plenty of good news however. First of all, I had passed the Mayas and the Japanese in score, and was now ranked 5th in the world. Additionally, my workers had connected the first two cities, Horses and Sardis, with railroads. I tried to build railroads in the squares that had mines first because I needed more shields, and was ok on food since my cities could not grow past size 12 at this point.

My military buildup was going well too. At this point I had 30 cavalry. My goal for the start of the war against Sumeria was 50.

1010-1090 AD - On the other continent, the Zulu were losing the war against France, which had taken over 5 of their cities. I was just considering the implications of France becoming a super-power, when this happened: "Zulu and Maya have signed a Mutual Protection Pact," announced my foreign advisor. If France attacked the Zulu again, Mayas would declare war on it.

I decided to get some money, and contacted the Chinese. I sold them Invention for world map, 21 gold, and 8 gold per turn. It was not much money, but then I would always be ahead of them technologically. Plus I was greedy.

Netherlands signed a military alliance with Carthage and Zululand against Babylon. It looked like there would be no respite for Hammurabi, and his nation would go down in history as the second to be annihilated in Raider's Civ3 game. The only tradeoff for Babylon was that the Ottomans signed a peace treaty with them, but they were weak and far away, so that did not make the war any easier.

America was becoming annoyed with me. To appease them, I signed a Right of Passage with them, and since my territory was bigger, they agreed to pay 1 gold and 2 gold per turn for it.

In 1090 AD Netherlands and Ottomans signed a Mutual Protection Pact.

1100-1110 AD - My cavalry division count was up to 42 when Tokugawa of Japan approached me demanding to give them Military Tradition as tribute. I told him he smelled bad.

Hammurabi was losing city after city, but each time Babylonian defenders extracted catastrophic toll on the attackers.

I was sufficiently advanced that it was time to start thinking about trying to grab a few of the great wonders. I picked the city of Medina as the site and started making a palace there, which would serve as my prebuild for a future wonder.

1120 AD - I lost my supply of silks and furs. My payments to other nations also ended. All the sudden, I had 1486 gold in my treasury and was making 317 per turn.

I bought furs from the Chinese again. I gave them Theology in exchange for furs, 43 gold, and 2 gold per turn.

After furs, I needed to get silks back. For that I took a trip to Japan, ate some sushi, talked about the good old days of the samurai, and made the deal. I gave Japan Theory of Gravity in exchange for Silks, world map, 2 gold per turn, and 9 gold.

Next I went to the Mayas and got Industrialization from them for iron, world map, 1491 gold, and 169 gold per turn. Industrialization allows you to build factories, which increase shield output of the cities they are built in by 50%, and coal power plants, which increase output of factories by 50%. For the mathematically-challenged, this means that a factory and a coal plant increase city shield production by 75%. The coal plant is the cheapest power plant in the game, and its biggest drawback is the incredible amount of pollution it produces.

Once in possession of Industrialization, I looked for ways to get Nationalism. I needed it for the riflemen it would unlock as well as because it's a prerequisite technology for Communism and Espionage, two technologies I would want to have later on. If that was not enough, I noticed that Sumeria had it, which meant they would have access to riflemen. Ideally, I would too, but when I checked out how much other nations were asking for it, my enthusiasm vaned. Most would not even trade it to me despite generous offers. Korea demanded two technologies, two luxuries, and 88 per turn. I was not willing to pay that much. Yet I wanted the tech.

So instead of spending, I decided to get some money first. I sold Steam Power to Babylon for world map, 2 gold, and 60 gold per turn. It was very low price for an Industrial Ages tech, but Babylon looked like it would not be a contender any longer, so I did not mind giving it to them for cheap. This trade took me back up to 212 gold per turn income. I just hoped Babylon stayed alive long enough to pay it all off. The allies were really pushing it back, capturing and razing city after city. Every time a nation's military alliance with the Mayas ended and they signed peace with Babylon, the Mayas would bribe them to redeclare war.

Korea next. I sold them that same Steam Power tech for a similar low price--world map, 12 gold, and 61 gold per turn. I was being real generous that year. Next trade was with Koreans again, and this one was huge. Gems, dyes, Industrialization, Democracy, world map, 14 gold, and 10 gold per turn, all for Nationalism.

Nationalism is a great tech, as it unlocks a number of abilities. First of all, it allows mobilization for war. When your nation is mobilized, your shield production is doubled during production of military units and city improvements. Second of all, you get the ability to draft. Depending on your government type, you can draft 1 to 2 citizens and convert them into your most up-to-date defensive unit novice (2 HP). Third, and this is new to Conquests, once you discover Nationalism, you gain access to a new specialist, a police officer. Police officers fight corruption by converting one wasted shield and one lost gold into good ones. If that were not enough, Nationalism allows the signing of Mutual Protection Pacts, an agreement where two nations pledge to declare war on any nation that attacks one of the signers. And of course, Nationalism is the prerequisite to Communism, Fascism, and Espionage and allows production of riflemen. All this makes Nationalism, possibly, the one most useful optional technologies. You can see why I wanted to have it.

The trades all done, I used the new technologies I had bought and started factories in a few of my core cities. I wished I could have done that everywhere, but I had a war to prepare for and could not afford to pause all military unit production across the empire. I did, however, switched Medina's production to a factory abandoning the prebuild for a wonder.

As I was about to finish my turn, one of my advisors informed me that our deal with France for coal had ended. I gave them Industrialization for coal, wines, incense, 59 gold, and world map.

The last thing that happened this turn (really) was Mayas and Korea signing a Mutual Protection Pact. Mayas were coming out to be kings of diplomacy in this game. I was just glad I was on their side at the moment.

1130-1140 AD - I had all 8 luxuries, but did not need them all. Mayas had over 30k gold by this point, a lot of it mine, and I wanted some back. I sold them 20-turns of ivory for 470 gold. I had 862 gold and used the money to upgrade 13 musketmen to riflemen at 60 gold a piece in my main strike force and in the cities along my border with Sumeria.

I received great news next. My Forbidden Palace construction finished. My income went from 280 to 350 gold per turn. Shield production in the city that built it increased from 7 to 18. Around it everywhere production went up as well. Out of 1006 gold I made each turn, only 152 were lost to corruption. 15% loss, that was pretty good.

I still had 7 luxuries coming in, and 95% of my citizens were happy, which accounted for over 30% of my score. In addition to advancing my score, the high percent of happy citizens resulted in a large portion of my cities celebrating 'We love the King day' every turn. This celebration reduces corruption and decreases the chances of a culture flip. Happy citizens are that big a deal. And I had it all with my luxury spending at 0%.

My pre-war planning was entering its final stages, and I wanted to see what kind of defense Sumeria had in its cities. I used my diplomats to conduct an investigation of Agade, a Sumerian city near my border. I found the city lightly defended with only two riflemen. This was good news. It meant that the majority of Sumerian military was away from home waging war.

1150 AD - Babylon and Sumeria signed a peace treaty. I needed to move quickly before Sumerians had time to bring their troops home and dig in. I was still a few turns from the ideal starting date for my war, but I decided to rush it a bit and begin right then.

The Drums of War and a Few Lessons Concerning Patriotism

1160 AD - Before I plunge into the action, I would like to provide a few details on the general situation. To start with, here is the unit count as it stood at the beginning of the war. Next to it is a map detailing Sumeria's territorial holdings in the world.

-Worker - 34
-Explorer - 1
-Warrior - 14
-Spearman - 25
-Swordsman - 1
-Pikeman - 1
-Musketman - 6
-Rifleman - 14
-Cavalry - 48
-Galley - 2
-Frigate - 2
-Galleon - 2
-Medieval Infantry - 1


My plan was to capture as much of Sumeria's mainland core cities as possible and then use transports to ferry troops over to their island to take control of those cities. Meanwhile, I was counting on enlisting a few allies who would take care of the cities Sumeria had captured from Babylon. Below is my plan for attack. I divided my 48-strong force of cavalry into 3 groups of 16 each and placed them along the Sumerian border. Arrows indicate the intended paths that each stack and its reinforcements were going to follow. Movements represented with arrows of the same color were planned to occur at roughly the same time. So, the three border cities at the end of the dark-red arrows were going to be captured on turn one of the war, if my plan worked.

The scores for all civilizations at that time are given below. I had just passed Babylon and was catching up to the Zulu and the Netherlands. France was the world leader by far due to the size of their empire. I hoped that I would conquer enough in the upcoming war to overtake them.

France - 2756
Netherlands - 2159
Zululand - 2130
Arabia (me) - 2088
Babylon - 2077
Maya - 2023
Japan - 2015
Sumeria - 1747
America - 1647
Hitties - 1571
Ottomans - 1499
Korea - 1474
China - 1003
Persia - 726
Carthage - 701
Russia (eliminated) - 679

In terms of power, I was tied for second with the Maya, about 10-15% behind France, and double that of Sumeria.

1170 AD - Making sure that not a single one of my units was inside of Sumerian territory, I declared war on them. For some time now, I had shunned them in trade, and as a result, broke no agreements with this act.

Next I contacted the Hitties and signed a military alliance and trade embargo with them against Sumeria, giving them Democracy for compensation. I did the same with Netherlands, and that cost me only 450 gold. I did not look for more allies though because I did not want too much competition for Sumerian cities.

Diplomatic stage behind me, I ordered an attack on all fronts. Agade fell first, costing me only one cavalry division. Erech was next, but the 4 defending riflemen there brought down 4 of my cavalry before finally going down. Akshak was last to fall. 3 riflemen in this 4-population city managed to destroy 2 cavalry divisions. The image to the right is the bird's eye view of Agade shortly after the battle. Some buildings were destroyed during the fighting, but the majority, mostly administrative and military, survived and were promptly put to use.

Once all three cities were captured, I moved in slower defensive troops by roads and made sure to cover damaged cavalry units that had escaped with strong defenders. A lot of buildings had survived in the newly-captured cities, which was good. I started temples in all of them to gain some culture and expand borders. My main worry was that these cities would go back over to Sumeria due to that nation's superior culture. More immediate issue, though, was the resistance movement in those cities. I moved all military units into the cities to put it down faster. Many players believe that this is too risky because a when a city culture flips, the rebellion kills all military units within, but I noticed that this usually happens later and thus it is relatively safe to place large numbers of military within the cities to quell the resistance in one or two turns.

Target cities under my control, I shifted my attention to the sea. Sumeria controlled a few ships in the Damascus Bay. I used my frigates and a galleon to sink a frigate and a galleon of my enemy. I also captured a few of the Sumerian workers that were hanging out near the border.

So far, everything was going according to plan. I had captured all three Sumerian border cities and gained control of a coal resource near Ashak. I would be able to use it as soon as my workers connected it to my road network. Now I needed those cities to stay under my control.

1180 AD - Resistance ended in Erech and Ashak thanks to the large amount of military units I had stationed there. I used that to hurry the temples being produced in those cities. I also began to starve the populace to reduce the Sumerian population to more manageable levels. Thanks to the 7 luxuries I controlled, all citizens in the captured cities were happy. Lesson learned: luxury > culture and patriotism.

Two enemy riflemen and a frigate showed up, but I dealt with them, losing only one swordsman.

As I was ending my turn, Carthage and Netherlands signed a military alliance against Sumeria. This was good news. Sumeria had a new target, but Carthagians were too weak to capture any cities. A bit later, France and Maya signed a military alliance against Babylon.

1190 AD - We love the king day ended in all cities across the empire. War weariness--my citizens had realized that going to war is more complex than weeding your garden. Despite the widespread criticism and several angry articles in the national publications, all of my citizens remained happy and no riot ensued. Lesson learned: luxury begets patriotism.

I patted my trade advisor on the back, and gave him his next assignment. Sumeria would most likely attempt to use diplomacy against us, so we had to beat them to it. I contacted the Americans and signed a trade embargo against the Sumerians with them. It did not cost me anything. Then I proceeded to make the same deal with Maya, Korea, Japan, Sumeria, Ottomans, and France. The only time I had to pay was 120 gold to France. Now there was no way for Sumeria to sign any embargos against me to deprive my nation of its luxuries.

During the AI's turn, America signed a peace treaty with Babylon, which was damn good for Hammurabi since Lincoln had a huge army in his territory and had taken a few of the cities.

1200 AD - On my turn, I contacted Babylon. They needed as much help as they could get, and I could use some money. I gave them Industrialization in exchange for Free Artistry, world map, 21 gold, 38 gold per turn, and Free Artistry, which still had its wonder, Shakespeare's Theater available, though I doubted I could get it in time.

I had lost my supply of spices this turn, and even though Sumeria had it in its territory, it would take me some time to gain control of that. I could not risk my citizens starting to riot, so I bought another 20 turns of spices from the Hitties in exchange for Theory of Gravity.

With more income from Babylon and the captured Sumerian cities, I was making 473 gold per turn. My next goal tech was Medicine. Surprisingly, out of all the civs that had it, France was offering me the best price by a good amount. I got it from them for world map, 990 gold, and 202 gold per turn.

Back on Sumerian front, my injured cavalry had finished healing, and I was ready to move on to the second stage of the attack plan. I left two defenders in each of the captured cities and ordered my forces to advance. It was going to take me two turns to reach the next line of cities, so I kept riflemen stacked with cavalry to defend the more vulnerable mounted units.

In the image above, you can see Sumeria's second source of coal. Once I controlled that along with the one near Akshak, I would gain some serious bargaining power.

Taking a look at the Damascus Bay, I saw 4 frigates and a galleon approaching. I only had 2 frigates and decided not to attack. The galleon was my primary concern, as it could unload troops on my poorly defended area on the eastern shore of the bay. I sent a few more troops, some warriors, spearman, and a rifleman to defend those cities. I also positioned troops along the shoreline, making sure that Sumerians would not be able to disembark. Most units do not have the ability to attack from ships, and so cannot move from a sea transport into an occupied square.

During the course of the AI's turn, I was pleased to see that Netherlands were moving troops out of Babylon to attack Sumeria. This would give Babylon a much-needed breather as well as ensure that Sumeria could not focus all their military on me.

That was the extent of good news though. Next America signed a trade embargo against me...with Sumeria. Those double crossing bastards! If that were not enough, Japan and Sumeria signed a peace treaty. Then Sumeria attacked Erech with one cavalry division, killing one of the defending riflemen. They did not stop there, and proceeded to bombard one of my unit stacks with their frigates, injuring a rifleman. And they continued to advance their navy in Damascus Bay. Two more frigates and a Caravel appeared on the horizon. Caravel is basically a less advanced naval transport capable of transporting up to 3 units.

1210 AD - I started the turn by killing the Sumerian cavalry division that had attacked me with cavalry of my own and bringing in a replacement rifleman to reinforce the defense at Erech.

Mecca completed a factory and its production went up to 39 shields. I started a coal plant there. Mecca would become my wonder city. I also stepped up my navy production, ordering privateers in some of the coastal cities.

Privateers are 2(3).1.5 ships that cost 50 shields and have hidden nationality. This means that there is no way of telling what nation owns the privateer, which allows them to attack sea vessels without triggering a war for their country. They have defensive bombard ability of 3, which means they get to bombard a unit that is attacking them before engaging but cannot bombard remote targets. In addition, privateers have the enslave ability, which gives them 33% chance to capture a defeated ship and convert it into another privateer for their owner. The tradeoff for these advantages when compared to a frigate is weaker defense and the lack of offensive bombard ability. One last thing you should know about this unit is that other nations will attack all privateers on sight. I chose to build privateers as opposed to more frigates in this case because their lower cost allowed me to produce them more quickly.

Since there was nothing more I could do against the Sumerian navy at the time, I put them out of my mind and gave a go on the ground assault. My cavalry converged on Ur first, the Sumeria capital. It was defended by artillery in addition to riflemen, which damaged my incoming troops. In a remarkable display, my army captured the enemy stronghold with only 4 losses, while defeating 6 veteran riflemen. 10 cavalry divisions got heavily damaged, however, and some escaped only thanks to their superior speed. The rewards for capturing the city matched the challenge. I captured two wonders, the Oracle, and Leonardo's Workshop. The Oracle had become obsolete with the discovery of Theology in the early Middle Ages, but it was bringing in 16 commerce per turn from tourism (in Conquests, some wonders can become tourist attractions and bring in a lot of commerce from tourism as more time passes). Leonardo's Workshop, on the other hand, was still active and would remain so for the rest of the game. Its benefit of cutting unit upgrade costs in half, makes it one of the best wonders in the game. I also caught and immediately enslaved 3 foreign workers.

With the Sumerian capital under my control, I moved my western division to attack Sumer where, coincidentally, Sumerians had moved their capital. I lost 5 units of cavalry, while killing 3 riflemen, and 2 enemy cavalry units. I also captured 4 workers in this city. The death toll was mounting, but I still controlled 36 cavalry units.

My last group of units that was targeting Isin was still too far away from the city to be able to attack this turn, so they just moved in within striking distance of the city and set up camp.

During Sumeria's turn, they signed another trade embargo against me, this time with Persia. Oh no. Later, Maya and Carthage signed a military alliance against Persia. I knew there was fairness in this world...after all, it is based on a random number generator. And what do you know? The Mayas approached me next and asked me to sign a trade embargo against Persia. They even agreed to pay me 92 gold for it. Of course, I agreed.

In addition to signing embargos against me, Sumerians used their frigates to bombard my coastline; luckily their bombardment failed to destroy terrain improvements or damage units. A caravel of theirs unloaded a rifleman on a hill near Fustat.

1220 AD - I used cavalry to kill the invading rifleman. Then I used some of my gold to hurry privateers being made in Damascus and Fustat so that I could take care of Sumerian fleet sooner.

Finally, I attacked Isin. Three more cavalry units became signs on the Memorial Wall and many more were heavily damaged before I captured the city defended by 3 riflemen. Most of the buildings there survived, and I captured another slave. I also captured a cannon and a trebuchet. I used those to bombard a small stack of Sumeria riflemen parked next to the city, damaging them somewhat.

Cannon is (8).0.1 artillery unit that costs 40 shields to produce. It can bombard units up to one square away and has a firing rate of 1, which means it can do up to one damage per turn. Since it has no defensive value, cannon can be captured if undefended.

With Isin captured, the second stage of the war was a success.

During the AI turn, the Zulu contacted me asking for a trade embargo against Babylon. I refused. Instead, I sold them Medicine for world map, 87 gold, and 111 gold per turn. With this income plus the gold coming from the captured cities, my treasury was growing at 396 gold per turn.

Later, the Hitties sparred with the Sumerians right outside of Isin. Each side lost a few units with no advantage gained.

A Sumerian caravel unloaded a cavalry division near Damascus. And they repeated the frigate bombardment of my shoreline, destroying some terrain improvements and creating craters, which my workers would have to clear before rebuilding the improvements.

1230 AD - First of all, I used a cavalry of my own to kill its invading Sumerian counterpart. Next I used the newly-produced privateers in conjunction with frigates to attack the Sumerian naval forces. The battle went great. My first Privateer defeated an captured a frigate. I used the new privateer to attack again the next frigate, but it got defeated, as did the second privateer. However, the pirate ships damaged the enemy enough for my two frigates to clean up taking no losses. At the end of the battle, I still had 2 healthy frigates and a privateer in red remaining.

With a small victory on the water under my belt, I ended the turn. It was too early to move on to stage three of the war since the most recently-captured cities were still in discontent and rebellion.

1230 AD - while it was their turn, Sumerians managed to sink my last remaining privateer with a frigate. That frigate sunk two more of my ships as I tried to counter attack it. My navy was back to zero. With nothing to do, I grew impatient and hurried the production of several cavalry divisions to speed up tempus of the war. One thing that surprises me the most is that there had been no culture flips of any kind so far among my cities.

1240-1250 AD - Former Sumerian city of Sumer celebrated 'we love the king day.' Lessons learned: people will always pick comfort over patriotism.

I sent the cavalry units I hurried the turn before to the Sumerian front and then examined the trade windows for different civilizations. Mayas already had Corporation and Electricity. I wanted both, but at the time I needed the income to conduct a successful war, I just clicked the end turn button. As soon as I did, Japan and Babylon signed a peace treaty. Once again, it looked like Babylon might pull through, albeit with only 5 cities remaining of its once glorious empire.

1255 AD - Starting in 1250 AD, each turn is 5 years.

Mecca completed the coal power plant and was producing 52 shields per turn. It could complete the Universal Suffrage great wonder (reduces war weariness) in 16 turns. I did not really want that though since I was having no problem with war weariness thanks to all the luxuries I controlled. The wonders I really wanted were Theory of Evolution, which would grant me two free technologies, and the Hoover Dam, which would place a hydro power plant in every city on the continent. Since there were no structures that I wanted to build, I started a worker (Mecca was at 12 population and had a full food box, so it would regain the lost population in one turn).

Thanks to my hurrying production of cavalry a few turns back, I had 39 of them. All troops had rested and healed after the battles of the previous stage of the invasion; I ordered them to resume the advance. Three separate armies marched south-west and set camp inside the enemy territory. In the image you can see the last four cities of the Sumeria's core as well as my 3 invading groups. At this point, I feel very confident at this point, as there is very little Sumeria can do. They lost 6 of their most powerful cities, and they had committed a lot of troops to the war with Babylon. In addition, my production potential grew immensely with railroads and Industrialization technologies. Even in the worst case scenario, if I lost a lot of cavalry and did not manage to conquer all 4 remaining cities, I would be able to replenish my forces relatively quickly and get back on attack.

Troop movements behind me, I hurried a few structures, including a courthouse (reduces corruption in its city) in Sardis. That city was suffering almost 50% corruption, and I was hoping that institution of capital punishment for stealing would discourage illegal practices. Anything for the greater good.

As soon as I was done, Korea signed peace with Babylon.

1260 AD - I ordered an immediate attack on Kisk. Sumerians put up a decent fight, killing 3 cavalry units before their defense consisting of 3 riflemen, 2 cannons, and 1 longbowman was brought down. The cannons were a nice extra prize for taking the city.

Bad-tibira was my next target. Positioned on a hill, and defended by 3 riflemen, a longbowman, and a cannon, it presented a significant challenge. Cities on hills receive an additional 50% defensive bonus. Combined with the 50% bonus from being a city bigger than size 6, it doubled the defensive value of the units protecting Bad-tibira. The riflemen I was attacking had a defensive rating of 12...compared to my offense 6 cavalry. This was going to be an uphill battle, literally.

It started well, with my first cavalry division taking down a rifleman. Then a single rifleman defeated 6 cavalry units, killing 5 of them. The last rifleman claimed the life of another before being defeated. Finally, the longbowman went down inflicting no losses on my force. When I took the city, I found most of the buildings in it destroyed and all 8 remaining citizens participating in the resistance movement. Nevertheless, the city Bad-tibira was mine. I moved 11 divisions of various units into the city to restore order. Finally, I ordered the cavalry units that were not part of the attack to join the western stack moving towards Umma, which was still one turn away. That stack now contained 16 cavalry, more than enough to ensure victory.

1265-1270 AD - My western stack reached the outskirts of Umma. I ordered the attack. In an amazing display, my forces took Umma with no losses, defeating 4 riflemen, one of them a recently-drafted recruit, and a longbowman. One of the cavalry units even got promoted to an elite, a big deal for a non-militaristic civilization. In addition, with the capture of Umma, I gained control of my own source of spices. This would grant me some more independence in the future as well as reduce the price of keeping my populace happy.

Once my units were inside the city, I started the usual temple, then took the 11 unused cavalry divisions and directed them east. Lagash, the last of the core Sumerian cities was next on my list.

I hurried a few more buildings in the cities with low shield production. After I captured Lagash, I would have to take the island. The problem was, Sumeria still had a superior navy with at least 6 frigates. Not all that, but I had no navy. On the other hand, the Netherlands were doing their job well with the cities Sumeria had captured from Babylon. They had already taken one of them and were working on the rest.

My strike force was prepped in Bad-tibira, and I moved them out towards Lagash.

Sumeria and France signed a military alliance against Babylon. Sumeria was probably getting money out of this deal. Good, they would give it to me as part of a peace treaty when and if it came to that. Plus the amount I would pillage when I took their cities would no longer be zero. Later America and Maya resigned their treaty against Babylon. Mayas were not letting it go.

1275-1280 AD - I took Lagash. The conquest cost me 4 more cavalry, but now I controlled the entire core of what used to be Sumeria. I also captured 5 workers that were hiding in the city, some of them Russian slaves. The latter were overjoyed to see my troops enter the city, knowing that their cruel masters had fallen. I congratulated them and rewarded each with a new set of chains. The old ones were all worn down.

When I took a look south, I was pleased to see that the Netherlands and the Hitties had done well, each capturing two former Babylonian cities held by Sumeria. Of the 5 Sumeria controlled, one was left, and it would be captured by the allies in the near future. The island to the north was the last challenge.

The new cities I controlled, even though they were still in horrible shape, were providing a lot of income. I was making 448 each turn and had 865 in my treasury. I had also taken control of 2 new gem sources. France did not have gems. I bought Electricity from them for gems, world map, 245 gold per turn, and 865 gold at signing. Then I got The Corporation and Espionage from the Koreans for Electricity and 82 gold per turn. I was down to 121 gold per turn.

Electricity is an important technology because it allows irrigation without a source of fresh water nearby. This would allow me to make the arid island currently controlled by Sumeria into a lush paradise filled with workers.

The main campaign of the war against Sumeria behind me, I directed my production towards city improvements. I needed to implement the new technologies that had become available with Industrialization as quickly as possible.

The scarcity of coal in the world was showing. The Mayas, despite having all the necessary technologies, had not built any railroads because they did not have access to coal. Since railroads provide a significant increase in production, it meant that their industrial potential was low for the Industrial Ages. I intended to keep it that way if I could help it.

I was also thinking of ways to ensure my building the Hoover Dam great wonder (gives hydro power plants in all cities on the same continent, which increase factory output by 50% and cause no pollution). If I could get that, it would save me a lot of shields and time that I would have had to spend building power plants in all cities.

Discovery of The Corporation gave me access to stock exchange city improvement, which can be built in cities that already have a marketplace and a bank, and which increases the tax output of a city by further 50%. I started one in Mecca, my capital and was planning on building more in other large cities.

Lastly, while many of the nations kept calling off their war against Babylon, the Mayas paid them to get right back on attack, while being the most aggressive attacker themselves. As a result, Babylon was down to 3 cities.

During their turn, Sumeria continued to use its frigate fleet (which now looked to contain at least 10 frigates) to bombard my coastal cities. That same fleet was the only thing keeping my galleons from transporting my army to their island. I was in the process of building a privateer fleet to deal with Sumerian ships, but it would be a few more turns before my pirate fleet was ready to set sail.

1285 AD - My trade advisor slid into my command tent. I looked up, and he went pale as he announced that we lost 5 of our 8 luxuries because the agreements had run out. He was lucky we weren't under despotism any more. Well, it was time for my luxury purchasing world tour. Chinese gave me furs, 16 gold and their world map for banking. Then I gave Nationalism to the Japanese for their silks. This brought me up to 5 luxuries. France had 2 more than I would have liked to have, and they were asking over 100 gold per turn for them. Still, I could not afford riots due to war weariness, so I bought a 20-turn supply of both wine and incense from France for 130 gold per turn, 242 gold, and world map. Paying so much hurt, but that's the price of a representative government under which citizens have the right to be unhappy. After this trade I was down to making only 50 gold per turn.

Another resource I lost this turn was coal that was coming from France up to now. One of my workers was working on a road to connect a coal resource I had captured from Sumeria, but it was in the middle of a jungle and that road was taking a long time to lay down. It would still be a few turns before that road was done, but I decided to take a few-turn pause from building railroads and wait for it to finish rather than paying France for coal.

I had been supplying the Mayas with Iron for quite some time now, and the latest deal there ended this turn as well. I sold them another 20-turn supply for 1810 gold, which offset about 2/3 of the cost

I sent a few more workers to help building the road to coal and ended the turn.

1290-1295 AD - Mecca finished the stock exchange, adding 17 gold per turn to my overall income. Next project for my capital was the Intelligence Agency small wonder. It would allow me to plant spies with other nations that I could use to conduct city investigations during war time, sabotage city production, steal plans, steal technologies, and it even produces culture, unlike in real world. This project would take 8 turns to complete.

The new workers had arrived at the coal site and reported that the road would be done in 2 turns. I could wait that long.

My biggest problem at the moment was the complete lack of navy. In addition, I only had one productive coastal city from which I could produce ships, Damascus, and it did not even have a factory. I had captured several great coastal cities from Sumeria, but it would be some time before they became productive.

Netherlands signed a peace treaty with Sumeria during their turn after capturing the last of the Sumerian cities in the south. That suited me perfectly. When I captured the island, Sumeria would be eliminated.

1300-1315 AD - My workers completed the road to coal. I could build roads again as well as coal power plants where I needed those.

The deal with the Mayas for ivory ended, and I no longer had to send them any, giving me all 8 luxuries. Needless to say, my population was very happy about that.

One of my advisors notified me that the French had started working on the Theory of Evolution, a great wonder that gives the nation that builds it two free civilization advances. It was one of my two goal wonders. The other one, as I had mentioned was the Hoover Dam. Medine was producing 42 shields per turn, and had already done 3 turn worth of work on a stock exchange. I switched it to Universal Suffrage great wonder as a prebuild. Once that was built by someone else, I would use the palace to store shields in. This machination gave me extra 12 turns to get Scientific Method advance which allowed Theory of Evolution. I had gone from making 50 gold per turn to 94, and I was paying 659 gold per turn to other civilizations. That timeframe looked promising.

In 1305 AD time ran out for Babylon; Americans conquered their last city. Babylon was still paying me some money, so my income went down from 112 per turn to 74 per turn. I shrugged off the loss.

Sumerians kept abusing their naval superiority. Their frigates constantly bombarded my coastal areas, while their galleons and caravels periodically unloaded some musketmen and cavalry north of Mecca. I killed those with only one loss using cavalry of my own and with the help of cannons I had captured from Sumerians themselves. I actually did not mind these mini-invasions. Killing troops that came into my territory was easier than it would have been if Sumeria used them for the last stand on the island. In addition, during one of those battles, a leader emerged (leaders can emerge when an elite unit (5 HP) wins a battle). I named him Shrek. Leaders can be used to either create an army by combining 3 to 4 units into one super division or to hurry city production of anything except a great wonder. This was great news, and quite rare for a non-militaristic civ. Consider this, a leader did not emerged in any of my wars up to this point.

In 1310 Koreans destroyed the Persians by capturing their last city on a remote island. I was actually slightly disappointed by that since I had been hoping to take that island after the war with Sumeria. That same turn the Hitties signed a peace treaty with Sumeria. I did not mind. Next turn Koreans signed a trade embargo with the Sumerians against me. To add to my troubles, war weariness became worse in my cities, and I had to assign a few entertainers. I needed to finish this war quickly.

1320 AD - I started getting paranoid; I was worried that someone might complete the Theory of Evolution before me. I had built a lot of plans around completing that wonder first. In my mind, the top two opponents were France and Maya. I used my diplomats to investigate the French city of Paris. There the Universal Suffrage was 2 turns from completion. To my great surprise, in the Mayan capital Chichen Itza there was no wonder building. I was baffled for a moment, but then I remembered that I saw their city Bonampak completing a wonder a few turns back. I investigated that and saw the Universal Suffrage great wonder 4 turns from completion. I knew what that meant. As soon as Paris completed Universal Suffrage, the Mayas would switch their production to Theory of Evolution, and it would complete immediately because it costs less than Universal Suffrage. This meant I was not going to get the Theory of Evolution.

Suddenly I felt a surge of anger. In the beginning of the game, the Mayas terrorized my nation demanding tribute. Throughout the game I was forced to buy technologies from them. And now they were about to beat me to my dream wonder. I was not going to let that happen. It was time to put an end to the Mayan dominance in the world. I started preparing for war. Two turns to get ready to take on the strongest military on the continent.

I started by switching the intelligence agency production to Medina, and Universal Suffrage to Mecca to serve as the prebuild for the Theory of Evolution. Then I used the leader Shrek to create an army and loaded it with 2 veteran and 1 elite cavalry creating a 6.3.4 super-unit with 13 hit points and the ability to attack twice in one turn. Then I began moving troops towards the Mayan border and fortifying my border cities by upgrading outdated defenders to riflemen; the captured Leonardo's Workshop made those upgrades affordable. The main obstacle was the lack of a railroad network that connected all cities. The fact that I had to move a large number of troops from former Sumerian territory, which was on the opposite side of my empire from the Mayan border, made that weakness all too apparent.

The last thing I did was sign a peace treaty with Sumeria. Ideally, I would have finished them off, but with the new plan already in motion, there was no time for that. I tried to do my best, however, to turn a former enemy into an asset. In our peace treaty agreement, they gave me Communism in exchange for The Corporation and Espionage. This trade gave me Communism 24 turns earlier than if I had researched it on my own.

During their turn, Koreans signed a Mutual Protection Pact with the Ottomans.

Challenging the Titan on a Whim

1325 AD - I received a notification that France had completed the Universal Suffrage wonder. This meant that the Mayas had just switched their production in Bonampak to the Theory of Evolution. It was my signal to attack. There were a few things I had to take care of first.

This turn some of my technology purchase deals ended, and my income jumped up to 296 gold per turn. I contacted France right away and bought Scientific Method from them for 983 gold and 197 gold per turn, intentionally increasing the per turn payments to keep some of the gold in my treasury and use it for war preparations. Then I put the new technology to use by switching my production in Mecca to the Theory of Evolution. It was going to take 5 turns to complete.

Then it was time. I declared war on the Mayas. Below you can see the entire northern Maya territory, the core of their empire. In the south, they controlled 10 cities they had captured from Babylon (you can see a blue area on the world map directly south of Netherlands), but those were still weak after being conquered and would not be a significant factor in this war. The cross marks my target city Bonampak and the line, my route of attack.

Even though the Mayas controlled a much smaller area than I did, especially without their new gains in the south, I estimated their military to be at least 3 times the size of mine. There was no way I was going to win this war quickly, quite the opposite. In fact, my goal this time was to survive the initial stages of the war without losing any of the cities (or at least not too many). If I managed that, factories would finish in many of my cities and, combined with the advantage of having rail roads, would increase my production capacity enough to beat the Mayas. The first 5 to 10 turns were crucial however. If I lost too much ground, I would have a much harder time recovering and getting my production under way.

Once the war had been declared, I attacked Bonampak, the city that was going to build the Theory of Evolution next turn. It was defended by 3 riflemen, and I lost 2 cavalry divisions in the attack. Upon capture of Bonampak, I looted it for 420 gold gained control of Magellan's Voyage great wonder, which increases the movement of all sea vessels by 1. In addition, I took control of one of Maya's two sources of saltpeter. The second one was right on my border with them a little way to the south-west, and it was defended with 1 cavalry. I used cavalry of my own to kill the Mayan defender and destroy (pillage is the term used in Civ3) the roads connecting that source of saltpeter to the Mayan cities. This double hit took away their ability to produce cavalry, the main offensive unit of that time period. Back at the captured city, all 11 remaining population units were in rebellion. My plan was to starve the city down to population 1 and then have it grow into a city with Arabian majority to avoid a culture flip. To put out the rebellion as quickly as possible, I moved all my remaining cavalry and riflemen into the city to make the number of troops greater than the number of resistors (this makes the resistance end quicker). I also ordered one rifleman unit to defend the cavalry divisions that had attacked and then did not have enough movement points left to get into the city. This way those units would not be left vulnerable to a counter attack. Then I used some of the cavalry divisions I had dedicated to defense and counter attack to a rifleman that the Mayas had placed on a hill inside my borders. That cost me two cavalry units, as much as taking the city.

Military operations behind me, I tended to the diplomatic situation. Obviously, I could not take on the Mayas on my own. I contacted the Netherlands and signed a military alliance with them against the Mayas. It cost me 419 gold to get Prince William of Orange to agree to this. The agreement would last for 20 turns, which meant that if either of us signed a peace treaty with the Mayas before then, their reputation would suffer greatly. Once that deal was done, I signed a trade embargo against the Mayas with them. I did this in a separate trade because if I had asked for an embargo along with the military alliance, the Netherlands would have wanted me to pay extra for that. Once we were at war, they did not want extra money. Note that when nation declare war, all trade between them stop, so I was not asking them sign an embargo to stop trade, but rather to keep them from starting up trade with the Mayas if they exited the war before the military alliance was up.

Then I contacted the Americans. Military alliance with them cost me 540 gold. Then I traded Scientific Method to the Americans for world map, 540 gold, and Sanitation (allows construction hospital city improvement, which allows cities to grow past population 12). Finally, I signed a right of passage with Hitties and Carthage to allow them to get to the Mayan territory quicker. I already had this agreement with America and Netherlands.

To the Hitties I had to give Nationalism for them to declare war on the Mayas. I did not mind that since it put them on equal military footing with the Mayas. I gave Sumeria Scientific Method. Chinese asked for gems for 20 turns. Koreans asked for dyes. I had to give Communism to the Japanese. I continued talks with other leaders until all nations in the world were at war with the Mayas. In addition, all world leaders were polite towards me. The Mayas were now on the receiving end of the strategy they had used against Babylon. With the entire world allied against them, I thought my chances of survival were above average.

During the AI turn, Netherlands and America moved their troops into the Maya territory. Mayas counter-attacked some of them and even launched attacks against me. They killed a rifleman and captured some of the slaves there. They also attacked my border city of Arbela in the former Persian territory, but were repelled despite being very close to taking the city.

1330-1335 AD - I cleaned up the Mayan troops in my territory and recaptured the slaves. They were so glad to see my troops they started crying. Rebellion in Bonampak had been mostly quelled, so I pulled out the cavalry so that it would not be lost in case of a culture flip. Mayas were world's cultural leaders, and this was a real possibility, especially since it was an island surrounded by Mayan territory and had no access to luxuries to keep its population happy.

France and America signed a Mutual Protection Pact. During their turn, the Netherlands pillaged some of the Mayan roads (AI does that a lot in order to decrease enemy cities' production; it works, but then you have to rebuild those terrain improvements). They also turned some of their troops around, presumably to fight the Mayan troops coming out of the former Babylonian empire. That was good news since it meant that some part of the Mayan army was in the north and would not be able to help them defend the core of their empire.

Most of the payments to me from other civs ended, and my income went down to 7 gold per turn.

I moved my cavalry force (which consisted of only about 20 cavalry and one cavalry army) south to Bactra to get ready to attack the city of Lazapa.

The Mayas attacked me several times with cavalry while at the same time making hit and run attacks on Hittie and Netherlands troops. They killed some units, but failed to capture any cities. The most disturbing part of the attacks was that they killed 3 out of 4 defending riflemen in Bonampak.

1340 AD - I attacked an captured Lazapa with no losses, killing 3 riflemen and 2 cavalry. I pillaged 442 gold from the city. The city kept its harbor and was able to receive luxuries across the small sea within my territory. From Lazapa, luxuries were also taken by road to Bonampak, making the Mayan citizens there happier and easier to control.

The orange troops in the image belong to the Netherlands, and the blue to the Maya.

The Mayas were trying to sneak troops into my territory, primarily riflemen, and pillage my terrain improvements. I kept sending cavalry against them and had taken no losses so far thanks to the cavalry's ability to escape when losing.

The intelligence agency had been completed the previous turn, and with the new gold from the Mayan city, I used it to plant a spy with France. It cost me 84 gold, but it gave me the knowledge of France's troops count. This knowledge made me sad, as their military was over three times the size of mine. I had 30 riflemen, they had 110. I had 27 cavalry, they had 40, I had 3 privateers, they had 40 (!) frigates. If the Maya's troops count was anything like that, the war was going to continue for some time. Unfortunately, my attempt to plant a spy with them failed, so I decided to wait a few turns before trying it again. The Mayas were under a Communist government, which gave them more experienced spies.

1345 AD - There was one turn left until the Theory of Evolution was done. All captured cities were doing well. Three of my cities had produced factories, and I ordered them to produce a batch troops before going back to infrastructure. On a down note, I started getting some pollution. In Civ3 pollution strikes individual squares, and those squares become unproductive. Workers can clear pollution, but it takes time and during that time a city cannot get resources from there. If pollution in the world becomes too bad, global warming causes terrain to change to become less productive (grasslands to plains, plains to deserts).

I saw some guerillas from the Mayas. It was a good sign since it meant that they did not have rubber to produce infantry. Unless the guerillas I saw were upgraded medieval infatry and longbowmen.

Guerillas are 6(3).6.1 infantry units with defensive bombard of 3 that cost 90 shields and become available with Replaceable Parts. They are weaker than infantry, but their advantage is that they require no strategic resources to produce, making them a perfect choice for civilizations that do not have access to rubber.

Infantry are 6.10.1 units that cost 90 shields and become available with Replaceable Parts. They require rubber to produce. With their arrival on the scene, the balance shifts to favor the defenders. This is done to simulate World War I trench warfare where, with the invention of automatic weapons, infantry and cavalry charges turned into mass suicide resulting in a stalemate.

1350 AD - Mecca completed the Theory of Evolution. I used it to get Atomic Theory and Electronics. Electronics was the tech that allowed the construction of the Hoover Dam, which would give me a hydro power plant in each city on the continent. I contacted France and traded them Atomic Theory for Replaceable Parts (makes workers work twice as fast), Refining (reveals the oil resource on the map), and 5470 gold. Moreover, the French were gracious towards me, the best an AI can think of you. My war with the Mayas paid off.

After that I contacted Korea and traded them Atomic Theory for Steel and 34 gold per turn.

Then I contacted the Netherlands and sold them the now-useless Scientific Method for 717 gold and world map.

The French were offering incredible amount of money for Electronics, but I wanted to make sure I got the Hoover Dam wonder, so I decided to wait a turn and let all the shields they had accumulated building the Theory of Evolution go waste and then trade them Electronics next turn. As it was, I had 6672 gold in bank and was making 99 gold per turn. It was time to put all that gold to use. I hurried factories and other production all across my empire. In Mecca I started building the Hoover Dam. It would take 15 turns in the city producing 54 shields per turn. I also upgraded some riflemen to Infantry. With Leonardo's Workshop it only cost 15 gold per unit. By the time I was done, I had 8 gold left.

Replaceable Parts revealed rubber resource on the map, and Refining revealed oil. I was glad to see that I had a source of rubber and 4 total sources of oil, 2 connected by roads and 2 not connected. Having a lot of desert within your borders definitely helps.

1355 AD - I had a choice to make. I could either trade Atomic Theory to the French for Combustion and advance in technology or I could sell it to them for a lot of gold and use that to rush important buildings. I picked the latter. Tech could wait. Once I had my production base set up, I would not need the advanced technology to take down the Mayas. I sold Electronics to the French for 16,291 gold. Then I sold Scientific Method to the Zulu for 53 gold and 31 gold per turn.

I used the money to hurry hospitals in the cities that had done at least one turn worth of work (remember, not started items cost twice as much to hurry). On average it cost about 600 gold per hospital. I also hurried other buildings in less advanced cities. Acquisition of Replaceable Parts gave me access to civilian engineers, specialist citizens that contribute 2 shields towards production of buildings and small and great wonders. I used these in the newly captured Mayas cities: I converted the non-rioting citizens into civil engineers and used them to increase the shields contributed towards production of temples and other happiness and culture buildings.

A number of Mayan troops had crossed into my territory, and I had to take them out. I lost no unit, however, in the many skirmishes.

1360 AD - I hurried more buildings, mainly hospitals this turn. Next, many of my cities started banks. Their completion would greatly increase my income. I also moved my cavalry army into vicinity of Fez. It was time to take back the city whose citizens had so irresponsibly chosen to join the Mayas.

Finally, I used my intelligence agency to plant a spy with the Mayas. This gave me information on their troop count. I was satisfied with what I saw. Even though the Mayan forces outnumbered mine by about 2:1 ratio still, most of their troops were riflemen, which were defensive and not good on attack. They only had 6 cavalry divisions to my 22 and they did not have an army. This meant I would not be seeing any counter attacks from them.

1365 AD - I put my intelligence agency to use again and conducted an investigation of Fez at the cost of 122 gold. It was only defended by 3 riflemen, so I ordered the attack. I captured Fez at the cost of 3 cavalry divisions and sacked it for 431 gold. Only one of the citizens had retained Arabian nationality, all the rest carried Mayan passports and were involved in the resistance movement against me. I fortified the city with my entire cavalry army and some infantry. I also killed some Mayan guerillas in the countryside surrounding Fez. One thing that bothered me was that Netherlands troops kept pillaging Mayan improvements as they advanced. I planned on conquering that land, so it meant that I would have to rebuild the entire infrastructure in thoes regions.

1370-1380 AD - As my troops healed and rested, I was planning which city I would take over next. Then the bad news came. Korea and the Mayas signed a peace treaty. I decided not to renew it since there was little chance of Korea and Mayas signing an alliance against me; that was not a big deal. What came next though was. Bonampak citizens revolted, killed my troops stationed there, and reverted back to Mayan control along with Magellan's Voyage great wonder that had been constructed there. My enemy's superior culture was showing.

Culture or not, I was not going to stand for it. My cavalry had healed, and I received a report from intelligence that Bonampak was only defended by two riflemen. I ordered an attack. My army of 3 cavalry divisions recaptured the city barely getting damaged. Unfortunately, most buildings in the city had been destroyed, but Magellan's Voyage was still there along with an aqueduct.

On the bright side, my some of my payments to other civs ended, and my income jumped up to 575 gold per turn.

Mayan guerillas had been infiltrating my territory heading for strategic resources and my workers. I kept using cavalry to combat them and so far was successful, clearing them out with no losses.

In the south, my allies were wiping out the last remains of Mayas' resistance. They had captured all but one city, and were moving in to capture that. The best thing about it was that those Mayan cities had been split between several of the allies. America, Netherlands, France, and Hitties, each had captured some of the cities, which ensured that none of them was gaining too much from the war.

1385-1390 AD - I lost my supply of furs, silks, and wines. I renewed my supply of Furs from the Chinese for Metallurgy and Physics. Silks I got from the Japanese in exchange for Electricity. Wines I had to buy from the French. It cost me 986 gold and 42 gold per turn. I needed the luxuries to prevent my cities from rioting due to war weariness.

Then I contacted the Koreans and sold them Electronics for 2150 gold. Finally I bought Combustion from the French for 1991 gold, 220 gold per turn, gems, and world map. This technological advance allows construction of the first of modern warships.

The destroyer is the first of the modern warships. Costing 120 shields to produce and sporting 12(6).8.8 stats, it is the fastest ship in the game. It can bombard up to 1 square away and has the ability to detect submarines. It also has anti-air defense of 1. Due to their low cost, destroyers tend to make up the majority of nations' naval forces. They requires oil strategic resource to produce.

Cruiser is slower and more powerful than a destroyer. 160 shields for 15(7).10.6 ship with anti-air defense of 1. Unlike the destroyer, however, the cruiser cannot detect submarines, so even if you chose to make it the core of your fleet, you still need some destroyers to provide safety against subs. Like destroyers, cruisers require oil to produce.

1395 AD - I lost my supply of incense and had to buy it again from France for 187 gold and 87 gold per turn.

The last of Mayan cities in the south had been captured by the allies, and they started moving their forces to attack Mayan cities in the north. The Hitties' cavalry force captured the city of Calaklum, directly north of Cordium, the site of my Forbidden Palace, and burned it to the ground. This left an unoccupied spot. I immediately switched production in one of the local cities to a settler. It would be done next turn. In the image the site of the destroyed city is marked with a red cross.

I had produced my first units of artillery and moved them to the Mayan border. I also upgraded what cannons I had to artillery.

Artillery is a 0(12).0.1 artillery unit that is capable of bombarding units up to 2 squares away. It is the first long-range artillery. Costing 80 shields, it is one of the most powerful tactical weapons in the game.

I was going to attack Copan this turn, but my spy report revealed that it was defended by 4 riflemen, a guerilla, and an artillery unit. I decided to wait a turn until I could move more artillery to that area and perhaps give my allies a chance to kill some of the defenders.

At the end of my turn, Maya and France signed a peace treaty.

1400 AD - The Hitties captured the Mayan city of Palenque, which you can see in the screen shot above, just to the north-west of the ruins of Calaklum. This time they chose to occupy the city.

On the other side of my empire, I ordered the attack against Copan. 6 of my artillery units bombarded the city, bringing all its defenders down to 1 hit point. Then I sent in the cavalry. My army killed 3 of the defenders. I lost a cavalry division to the last defender before capturing the city and looting 197 of the Mayan gold. For my next target I wanted to capture the Mayan capital city of Chichen Itza, the world cultural leader and the site of 4 great wonders. Unfortunately, it was defended by 11 riflemen, a guerilla, and 2 artillery units. In addition, it was a metropolis (greater than size 12) with population of 17, which would give its defenders 100% defensive bonus. Combined with the 25% bonus from being fortified, and 10% bonus from the plains terrain, the riflemen stationed there would have 14.1 defense against my cavalry's 6 offense. This was going to be a major campaign. So I decided to wait a few turns. In the meantime, I would capture the cities Yaxchilan and Quirigua, which were now separated from the rest of the Mayan territory following my capture of Capan. There was little chance any of the allies could capture the Mayan capital in the meantime.

1405 AD - Zululand and Maya signed a peace treaty. I have no problem with that.

I continued the campaign against the Mayas. Using artillery to bombard the city first (I had 10 of them by this point) I captured Yazchilan with only one loss. 147 gold was my loot. I kept attacking with my elite cavalry units hoping to get another great leader, but so far had had rotten luck.

I had a new problem in the form of increasing pollution. Orange polluted spots started popping up around the larger cities of my empire. I assigned some workers to automatic pollution clear to deal with this.

1410 AD - I captured Quirigua, once again using the artillery to bombard the defenders down to 1 hit point first.

Hoover Dam that was being built in Mecca was 3 turns away from completion. I hoped that France would not beat me to it. Getting it would increase my industrial capacity immensely and save me the time and shields on power plants.

Carthagians had been more and more unfriendly towards me. To improve their opinion of me, I sold them iron for 7 gold per turn. Hannibal, their leader, immediately became polite.

1415 AD - Netherlands' forces conquered and razed Lagartero. I immediately started a settler to take the spot.

1420 AD - France declared war on Korea. This was not good news. If France conquered Korea, it would become even more powerful. Moments later, though, my international advisor informed me that Korea and signed a military alliance against France with the Zulus. I welcomed the news since it would bring balance to the war and, possibly, weaken France.

Having captured two more Mayan cities, I felt confident enough to go for the gold. I ordered my army to move out against Chichen Itza, Mayan capital.

1425-1435 AD - The image of a new wonder greeted my eyes. My capital Mecca completed the construction of the Hoover Dam, giving me a hydro power plant in each city on this continent, which increased my factory production by 50% in those cities.

Construction of new banks throughout my empire and ending of more payment agreements had increased my income to 702 gold per turn. I contacted the Americans and traded them Atomic Theory for Fascism, world map, 580 gold, and 54 gold per turn. Then I sold saltpeter to Koreans for 337 gold and 30 gold per turn. In the next deal I sold Sanitation to Carthage for world map, 263 gold, and 22 gold per turn.

When I contacted France to try and buy technologies from them, I saw that they had advanced to the Modern Times because Jean of Arc had shaved her head and was wearing an army tag. In addition to this, they had grown cautious of me and refused to sell me technologies despite my having over 3,000 gold in bank and making 800+ per turn. A large part of that was that they were the only ones in the world who had any of the technologies I did not. Also for some reason they did not wish to accept gold per turn. I was seriously considering starting doing the research for myself. All I needed were the technologies that granted access to the most advanced military units, and most of those came a long time before the end of the tech tree. Even with mediocre research I would be able to get them quickly. For now, I decided to just fight out the war with the Mayas and check my situation later.

The Hitties had captured another Mayan city, and I saw William of Netherlands moving large number of troops towards the remaining 3. It was time to take the Mayan capital. Unfortunately, 20 artillery units did not manage to damage the defenders enough; the majority of the riflemen in the Mayan capital only lost 1 hit point. So I contented myself with killing one rifleman with an army of mine and ending the turn.

1440 AD - I had been right to call off the attack on Chichen Itza the turn before. a few of their units had been killed by my allies attacking the city, and some actually ventured out of the city to counter-attack the invaders. 7 defenders were left, and my artillery force (which got reinforced in the meantime) brought all of them down to one hit point. I ordered my cavalry to attack. I captured the city losing 5 cavalry units, but the reward was more than worth it, as I took control of the Pyramids (grants a granary in each city on that continent), Shakespeare's Theater 9 (makes 8 unhappy citizens in a city content and allows the city to grow past population 12 without building a hospital), Smiths Trading Company (pays the maintenance costs of all trade buildings such as marketplaces, ports, etc.), and Mausoleum of Maulossos (makes 3 unhappy citizens in its city content). The Pyramids and the Mausoleum had become tourist attractions and were producing 14 gold per turn each. The capture of there wonders and of this city increased my gold income by over 150 per turn, giving me an impressive 1030 gold per turn growth.

The war with the Mayas was drawing to a close, and I started to shift my focus to new projects. My navy was virtually non-existent. That was unacceptable. I started producing destroyers and naval transports in some of my coastal cities.

Transports are 1.2.6 naval units that cost 100 shields to produce and can carry up to 6 land units. It is the fastest and the most advanced naval transport in the game, and it requires oil to produce.

As I ended my turn, France signed a military alliance with the Hitties against the Zulus. It looked like the war was going their way. Joan of Arc had already captured a city from both the Zulu and Korea.

1445-1450 AD - France's opponents did not wait long, however, and Korea immediately signed an alliance against France with the Netherlands. Alliance or not, though, France had captured another Korean city during this time.

Politics did not stop there, though. France signed a military alliance against the Netherlands with Sumeria. Prince William responded by signing a Mutual Protection Pact with the Japanese. If the French attacked him anywhere, Japan would declare war on France. Then Ottomans and Sumeria signed a Mutual Protection Pact and an alliance against the Netherlands.

1455 AD - The Rampaging Hitties forces have destroyed the Maya. The last of the Mayan cities had fallen to the allies. A war, which I doubted I could win was over and my enemy had been eliminated, while I grew stronger. I had reached the second place in score, with only France ahead of me. Below you can see the standings at this point in the game as well as a minimap.

France - 3545
Arabia (me) - 3005
Netherlands - 2509
Japan - 2423
Zululand - 2353
Maya (eliminated) - 2238
Hitties - 1923
America - 1923
Korea - 1864
Babylon (eliminated) - 1774
Sumeria - 1575
Ottomans - 1461
China - 1159
Carthage - 761
Persia (eliminated) - 604
Russia (eliminated) - 558

As you can see, I had achieved the lead in size, which was the first step to victory. Even though France was head of me in score, its territory was not as big, and I was catching up in score. Below you will see the victory status table, which relates my progress in relation to the various ways of winning the game.

I am the world leader for the domination victory, which is my goal at this point. Normally, at this stage I would be worried about a diplomatic loss to France. However, having broken no agreements, I am the most popular nation in the world. The only nation who would vote against me is Sumeria, and that can be easily corrected by eliminating them. No, my main concern at this point is still the sheer size and power of France. Their military is more than 5 times the size of mine, and their technological lead is vast. So vast in fact, that they could win the space race with me having now say in the matter. What's worse, is that at this point France is getting stronger through its war against Korea and Zululand. Even though I am catching up in score, I am still over 500 points behind. I need to pass France as a fallback plan in case my domination victory falls short.

So it happened that just as I rose to the position of the world Super Power, so did France. Now, separated by an ocean from my rival, I needed to find an answer to their technological lead and growing might.

To be continued...

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