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"Goliaths look much more badass than they actually are"

Rise of Rome: Attack on the Iroquois
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Date: 08/13/04 02:08
Game Type: Other
Labels:Image Heavy(1), Famous Reporter(1), Civilization(1), Long(1), Strategy Focused(1), Tutorial(1), Series(1)
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Report Rating: 9.6, # of Ratings: 5, Max: 10, Min: 9
Lifetime Rating for .Praetor: 8.2987
After writing the last report, I certainly enjoyed the next few days of constantly re-checking my comments section. Thanks to all of you who commented. Thanks also to Johnny, Brad the server guy, and Zerg~Ling (for getting me to do some formatting). You can thank them too by clicking on a banner before reading. And thanks to Raider, whose Civ3 report came out after mine, allowing me to get that errant 10 before everyone saw how pretty a Civ3 report can be.

I played this next part of the game after writing the first report, which handily kept me away from the comments section for a bit. That was a little while ago, but be assured that I havenít played the rest of the game yet. The ending (a few have asked) is as unknown to me as it is to you.

Now that thatís settled, let me recap. Iím Rome on an archipelago map in the Ancient Age. Oh, and I just assimilated the Persian Empire, and the exile Persian government exists at my whim. If you need any more description than that, go read the first part of the Rise of Rome. And if you want an overview of Civ3 as a game in general (plus nice pictures of the tech trees involved), go visit Raiderís excellent Civ3 report Writing History.

With just a little more ado, hereís part two of the Rise of Rome (wild cheering). I thought Iíd release it now so that all those wonderful reports that appeared over the past several days would have more time to accumulate comments. It had absolutely nothing to do with borrowing a copy of War3: TFT and becoming temporarily enthralled by Footmen Frenzy. Nothing at all.

Pondering the Future

Persia, which would be well known in the histories of this world for its intrepid explorers, had acquired the maps of the many nations it had met and peacefully traded with. Having extorted said maps, it was time for me to divine future events and chart the course of Rome. In general, things looked good. The future world situation was uncertain, but no nation was an immediate threat. No nationís power was too fearsome, no nationís future too bright. No nation was a clear rival challenging the ultimate ascension of Rome. No nation, that is, except that of the Iroquois.

Yes, I know I just left you with a teaser about the Iroquois. But most of the action was on this continent, not too far south east of the Roman homeland. I know I said the world would be crowded, but sheesh. Five of the civilizations vying for power were packed onto this not particularly large landmass. As if to make up for the crowding, you might notice that the land these civilizations occupy is very rich. There are supplies of dyes, spices, and incense to provide luxuries. And in addition to a few gold deposits, wheat tiles and bonus grasslands seem to litter the central area. Even the computer couldnít screw up the land around Athens, Corinth, Nineveh, Ur, and Thebes. Most of the other city sites, like Thermopylae and Ulundi, are also quite decent. I was particularly jealous of the massive wheat-bonus flood plains right by Athens and Corinth (with hills and mountains to make it worthwhile. In addition, Hoover Dam would be produced on this continent. Those familiar with Archipelago maps will note that major rivers sometimes donít appear at all, and the presence of one virtually guarantees access to that important Wonder.

But despite the richness of the land, I was extremely pleased about the strategic implications of the Persian maps. Let me go through the civilizations in order of concern, starting with the Aztecs. Montezumaís people are militaristic and religious, and have an occasional tendency to dominate early with their mobile and cheap jaguar warriors. However, they don't seem to have done that this game. In addition their peninsula was resource poor. They had few bonus grasslands (let alone other beneficial terrain) and an anemic three city empire. They werenít even a significant military target for the other civilizations, with nothing worth taking but an errant sources of dyes. Note that I canít verify when the Persians acquired their maps. The zones of control and city ownership are always correct, but the terrain improvements and city size could be wildy different from what is shown in the screenshot.

The Babylonians were also quite a disappointment. Iíd worried about them when Babylon grabbed the Colossus early, but they seem to have been slowed down clearing jungle around Ur and Nineveh, and by the general lack of space. Babylon in particular is on unfortunate terrain, with grasslands, lakes, and ocean being suitable for population and some trade, but little production. Their culture (with the benefits of being scientific and religious) was even behind many others when I checked the historiograph, usually the Babyloniansí greatest strength. I didnít fear them at all, but I hoped Babylon could somehow manage to absorb the Zulu cities surrounding her, forming a power that (perhaps allied with the Egyptians) could rival Greece.

I have no fear of the Zulus either. Militaristic and Expansionist, they had no hope if they couldnít dominate the continent militarily. With every civlization on the continent having an ancient age unique unit, I suspected they hadnít been able to ride an Impi-fueled Golden Age to achieve much of anything. They did seem to have captured the Aztec city of Texcoco. But if you look at the terrain around Texcoco, who cares? Nevertheless, I saw the Zulu as the key to the whole continent (raise your dubious eyebrows now). They are one of the most aggressive civilizations in the game, wantonly waging war even when they seem to merely match their enemyís strength, rather than exceed it. This makes them extraordinarily dangerous. They wonít take over the continent, but they may well start the war that allows someone else to do so. The question wasnít if the Zulu would attack, but when. They might be at war with the Aztecs already, or that war could be over. They could even have been at war with Greece while Greece was at war with the Aztecs or culturally took over Texcoco. None of that was important now, but previous hostility could cause war to break out again. I considered it most likely they would attack the Babylonians, due to productive Babylonian cities near the Zulu capitol and the long shared border. However, they could decide to attack weak Aztecs in an attempt to pick on someone weaker than them. The Egyptians were even a possibility with a possible low number of units for the Egyptians and a border with Ulundi. As Iíve mentioned, I was hoping for a war with Babylon. That could be risky, however, if the Zulu somehow scraped up enough money (or traded dyes) to bribe Greece into the war.

The Egyptians look particularly weak in this picture. However, I have a decent amount of respect for the Egyptian AI, especially when given rich land to develop. Their traits (religious and industrious) and AI seem to be able to handle large cities well. At the moment, Egypt possesses only Thebes and Memphis on the mainland, with an inconsequential Elephantine as a colony. However, the Egyptians seem to do better at keeping their military modern than most civilizations, and they will often catch up in a war by producing many units quickly. They do appear to have lost Memphis. However, the Egyptians frequently have high culture in their cities, and there is a good chance it will revert back to them. I am somewhat worried that this may indicate a disastrous Greek-Egyptian war. Thebes, though, would have been the Greeksí logical first target. I suspect the Zulu took Heliopolis and the Greeks took it from them at some point. In any case, I expected the Egyptians would stay around for a little while longer yet. With any luck, they would form a de facto alliance with Babylon against any Greek aggresion. In such a three-way war, Corinth, Thebes, and Nineveh would be key. I suspect such a war on even technological terms would grind to a stalemate between Corinth and Thebes. Thebes, the natural Greek target, is strong defensively. Other possibilities include a lucky combined attack taking Corinth, which could prove to be fatal to the Greeks. Nineveh, however, could be taken with far fewer forces than Thebes, and still tip the balance of power to the Greeks. None of this is actually going on, so far as I could tell, but I want to give you an idea of the kind of guesses and strategic pondering I undertake (made possible by far too many Civ3 games).

The Greeks are, without a doubt, the only significant threat on the continent. But even this threat is only potential. They have three good cities (and Sparta) on the mainland. Possibly enough of a base to take the rest of the continent. Thatís certainly a possibility if they take over a minor power in a direct war with no interventions. But the Greeks arenít terribly aggressive. Theyíll declare war if theyíre reasonably sure they have something to gain, but you canít count on them attacking someone. This is why the Zulu are the key to the continent. They could unlock Greek potential with some stupid move. And with Athens relatively centralized, Greek control of the whole rich continent would be far more powerful than any group of core cities I could develop by the Industrial Age. Whatís more, if you look at the minimap youíll see that the Greeks have numerous outlying colonies on small islands. These colonies wonít be particularly productive, but their trade income (and the Greekís commerical and scientific traits) will probably insure that the Greeks are the research engine driving progress on the continent in addition to being able to finance any war Alexander feels like fighting. Their territory may insure that Greece obtains any wayard resources that pop up later (like oil showing up on the tundra island in the north). The coloniesí presence might also induce Greece to develop a large navy, which is always irksome when the computer decides to bombard your coast. Greece doesnít always develop well in the early game. But if they do acquire a large empire, they wonít screw it up, and I will certainly keep my eye on Greece.

I actually considered putting together my spare Legions and launching an assualt on the Greek part of the island closest to me (Babylon holds the southernmost city on that island) and the tundra isle north of the Greek mainland. But not only would this tip my hand with respect to the Great Library, it would be too difficult to move troops that far. And besides, there was the biggest power in the game to worry about. Their homeland is laid out below:

ďWhat the heck,Ē I can hear all of those Civ3 players thinking, ďitís a bunch of crappy tundra land. The Iroquis are screwed! Whatís .Praetor talking about?Ē Well many of you donít play on Deity. Money and commerce drives the research pace and AI interaction (interaction meaning trades allowing a faster research pace and military alliances). And when youíre forced to work the open ocean, money and commerce comes in spades. And on Deity level, the AI can deal with little production capacity and still be capable militarily. Moreover, you canít see it well in the picture, but no less than five of the Iroquois cities also had a few bonus regions rich in game. This would allow those cities to produce more by working forest, while still being trade powerhouses. And because the continent was so food poor, the Iroquois had it all to themselves. The Iroquois also possess a considerable number of trapping areas and veins yielding precious stones (luxury resources).

I should mention that Salamanca (the Iroquois capitol) is under the minimap in that screenshot. In the middle of the Iroquois southern coast, Salamanca isnít in a great spot, but it isnít in a terrible spot either. Location is very important because of corruption. In addition, if the AI placed its Forbidden Palace in Tyendenaga, Akwesane, or St. Regis, a powerful second core could develop. You canít see it well here, but every bit of land between Akwesane and St. Regis was either a bonus grassland or a wheat grassland square. A very rich, if small, area. The AI only needs a couple of core cities on Deity difficulty to build up an army with offensive as well as defensive capability. Two other things also became apparent. First, if you look at the minimap closely, the Iroquois have also expanded widely, all the way to a small isle near by outpost of Sidon and a medium sized landmass south of that (parts of which are on both sides of the minimap). Second, I could reach Sidon easily by galley (due to the Great Lighthouse), and thus naval landings all along the nearby areas of Iroquois expansion should be simple. In addition, these newly developed areas would be the least defended.

Strongly impacting my considerations was a recent game in which the English had a slightly less centralized core that the Iroquois appeared to have, and a similar pattern of overseas expansion. None of their colonies was significant militarily, but the English were filthy rich all game. Even in the Middle Ages they bought Republic from me for over 100 gold per turn. Ten turns later they bought Feudalism for another 80+ gold per turn. Later in the game they took an impressive technology lead. I did eventually win by playing them off against the Germans and performing desperate nuclear strikes against multiple building spaceships, but I really didnít want things to get that hairy. With that in mind, I considered a war versus the Iroquois not so much for the purposes of expansion, but simply to stunt their growth.

Back To Reality

But that was not my immediate concern. First I needed to look after the development of my own holdings. For a despotism this late in the game (~500 AD) I was doing pretty well. Excepting the irrelevant city of Sidon, I controlled thirteen cities with a total of fifty population. Two legions guarding every city provided military police and a more than robust defense, considering foreign galleys couldnít even safely reach my island (they didnít have Great Lighthouse). My total fighting unit count consisted of twenty-six Legions and three scattered spearmen. Improving the land were four native workers and eleven slaves.

Commerce wasnít my strong suit. My cities were bringing in 81 commerce a turn, and I was getting 37 gold per turn from the Persians. Luxuries were set to twenty percent, and my losses were as follows: 27 commerce to corruption, 27 to building maintenance, and 10 to entertainment. With no research I needed to undertake and no large treasury needed to buy technology (thanks to the Great Library), my income of 59 gold per turn was encouraging rather than worrisome. One solitary scientist was providing minimum research towards The Republic.

In terms of development, the Persian-founded cities needed less corruption to be truly beneficiary, so they were all building courthouses. My Roman-founded cities were all building granaries, in anticipation of the aqueducts to come after contact with the outside world flooded us with technologies. Theyíre a luxury (no Pyramids on the isle, boo), but I had the time to build them. I hate setting cities to produce wealth before researching Economics makes it worthwhile. Iron City was producing settlers to facilitate its eventual abandonment. I had considered keeping it, since it had been a rather productive city during the Persian wars. However, it was simply using up good land other cities could use just as well. There wasnít even iron in its city radius anymore. Some players might keep Iron City, but I dislike the corruption that comes with large empires, and I planned on expanding elsewhere. I was also considering building a new capitol on some hills east of Rome (a bit south of Iron City), in order to obtain the most efficient corruption-reducing Palace location for my core areas. My workers were putting roads and mines on mountains and desert I wouldnít be using until well into the Industrial Age, because they had nothing better to do (cheers for fully developed land).

So, What Now?

After settling back into the game (there had been a few days before finishing my wars with the Persians and writing the first part of the Rise of Rome), I was back to the minor adjustments and calculations inherent in the turn by turn portion of the game. I donít know about others who play Civ3, but I tend to sit back every half hour of game time or so and just ponder grand strategy. The implementation of said strategy is just as important, but a very different thought process nonetheless.

As my Roman cities quickly finished granaries, I had them build courthouses as well. They werenít really needed, but one of the nice things about courthouses is that they almost always at least pay for themselves. They only need to reduce commerce corruption by one to provide for their one gold a turn upkeep. While they do take some effort to build, I had no pressing needs at the time.

The Persians soon offered to sell me Mysticism for 280 gold. Thatís not a terrible price from someone who is furious with you, but I rejected the offer out of hand. The Great Library would provide for my needs. I also considered the possibility that the extraordinary war reparations the Persians were paying me could be bankrupting them, forcing them to sell buildings and disband units.

I enjoyed that thought for a minute, and then considered trimming my own fat. After looking around for a bit, I sold barracks in Parsargarde, Arbela, and Tarsus. I rarely sell barracks, since theyíre so useful in war, but I wasnít likely to produce military units from those cities any time soon. I didnít get much gold from them up front, but that was another three gold per turn that could build up in my treasury.

As I looked around the map, I also noticed Sidon was really close to the Iroquois city of Kente. If the Iroquois happened to have a galley in the area, I could meet them and set off the Great Library. This might not be a problem, depending on whether or not Persia and the Iroquois both possessed knowledge of Education. If they didn't, I could benefit by meeting the Iroquois, getting they technologies both they and the Persians know, and killing the Persians (and then only being in contact with one civilization again). But at this point I was all fired up to utilize this little Great Library trick Iíd never actually pulled off, and I decided to play it safe. Sidonís production was switched to produce a worker, and I rushed the build. This forced build sacrificed a citizen (bringing the population down to one). When the worker was produced next turn, the city was abandoned (and I then disbanded the worker).

I soon founded a new city on the southeast corner of my landmass. Located near Arbela, Neapolis was never going to amount to much. But once a harbor was installed, the nearby ocean commerce could provide a net profit. It was also possible that in a naval war with the most populous continent, Neapolis could become a lightning rod for naval bombardment, sparing the effort of reconstructing after more widespread devastation.

After all this was completed, I entered a minor period of uneventful peace where I moved workers around and considered whether nor not to spend much of my treasury on finishing courthouses once Rome became a Republic.

Continued Wealth and Prosperity, or a Commitment to War?

Persepolis, Rome, and Veii all completed their courthouses within a turn of each other, and I had to chose whether or not to set them to producing wealth, or producing spearmen. If I was certain I wanted to puruse a war, a single spearmen would be sent to all my cities so that my Legions could all gather for one large invasion. If I was to continue peaceful building, they would simply be an unnecessary cost.

I chose to begin building spearmen, but a final decision was put off by finally researching Republic (in the maximum possible forty turns). My people revolted, demanding a Republic. Or more accurately, I chose a revolution to get out of the stifling confines of an unproductive Despotism. In any case, I had a short two turn revolution culminating in the Senate being put forth as a figurehead. Food reserves did dip a bit in my big cities, as I hired entertainers to keep riots out of the cities, but no starvation was experienced. Once in Republic, I sadly had to keep luxuries at 20%, as I no longer had any benefit from military police. The extra commerce provided more luxuries to make up the difference.

When the revolution is complete, I figure out that I donít actually have Map Making. Which is going to make it kind of hard to transport my Legions overseas when I canít make boats. I quickly contacted Persia, noting that I would enjoy only eight more turns of war reparations. They would accept no less than Wines, Horses, Ivory, and 800 gold for the knowledge of Map Making. More importantly form my point of view, I would take an additional reputation hit if I declared war before the twenty turns of trade wore off.

I decided to research the technology myself. Furthermore, I would do so as fast as was reasonably possible. After looking into the problem for a bit, I decided to research Map Making in eight turns, so that I could stop paying for research at the same time the Persians stopped paying me war reparations. To do this, I had to run only a slight deficit for those eight turns. In the meantime, spearmen began to spread out from my most productive cities. As the new garrison arrived, Legions rallied to Antium, my westernmost city. These new military units put a further strain on my treasury, but I had a decent amount of gold stockpiled.

In 680 AD, Arbela completes a courthouse with no help from me. I still havenít decided whether to invest in speeding up production of courthouses in the other Persian cities, but Arbela is quite productive on her own and switches to a temple. The Egyptians complete the Hanging Gardens, which is just further proof Thebes is probably the worldís leading metropolis.

When Map Making is researched, I consider switching to Mathematics so I can demand Currency and Construction after a war with the Iroquois. But then I come to my senses and begin to build my treasury again. My science funding is completely cut, and I donít even take a citizen off of production and make him into a scientist for minimal research.

With the new technology, I begin to produce galleys in Veii and Rome. Itís a bit frustrating that neither city has a harbor (meaning the galleys will be only regulars with three hit points instead of veterans), but I donít want to take the time to build them when I donít intend to work sea squares with those cities until they build aqueducts. Persepolis, being inland, continues to produce the few spearmen I need to have one defensive unit in every city. Many players will leave their cities undefended on an island like this, especially when units are not needed for military defense. But as I related in the first part of the Rise of Rome, Iím a rather conservative player. In addition, I fully intended these spearmen to be upgraded as my technology advanced. Since I wouldnít have to build any units later (when they might really be needed), I didnít see this as much of a burden. My treasury can also support them. With research cancelled, my finances consist of a health 1285 gold in reserves, and I have a surplus of 65 gold per turn.

With that much gold, I decide to take the plunge, and purchase courthouses in low production cities. Government wealth finishes these structures in Tarsus, Neapolis, Pasargarde, Cumae, Susa, Antioch, and Gordium. This reduces my reserves to 22 gold. Iím not entirely certain if Iíll make up the difference in extra productivity provided before courthouses would have been built by hand, or even taking into account quicker production of structures after building the courthouses. Iím not crazy enough to actually do the math.

New Goals at Home, Old Enemy Abroad

The war reparations disappear, and my surplus drops to 27 gold per turn. The timing means I canít easily see how much more money the courthouses are immediately making me. In any case, Gordium, Neapolis, and Susa start to build harbors. Pasargarde, Tarsus, and Cumae (which either have a harbor or productive land) begin temples.

The next turn, my first galley builds in Rome, and is promptly transferred to Antium. Antium itself begins to produce a harbor after finishing a courthouse on its own. Surrounded almost entirely by desert, I can immediately justify the harbor and then begin to produce veteran galleys in the city. I decide my army will move out when I have four galleys (and can thus carry eight Legions in the first wave). The general plan is to keep producing galleys at home, keeping up the flow of reinforcements while allowing those galleys which are no longer transports to initiate naval battles.

I also begin to collect my workers on a central mountain, as thereís nothing else for them to do. I decide not to join my native workers (which count as a military unit for upkeep, unlike slaves) to my cities, saving them for when I have aqueducts and can quickly grow productive cities.

I have a few minor problems with riots in Arbela and Pasaragarde as the cities grow, but entertainers deal with these. Itís not long before my fourth and fifth galleys arrive in Antium at the same time. In 770 AD my fleet leaves Antium, carrying ten veteran and elite Legions.

The Fourth Persian War

Four official wars with Persia. Thatís quite a few for a single civilization, even if this last one will be just a formality. I pay Xerxes a little respect. Meanwhile, a newly produced galley is sent north, rather than to Antium. Iím exploring again, on the off chance thereís something out there in the blackness to the northwest. Usually you can trust AI maps, but thereís always the chance the Persians missed something.

The first turn my galleys are at sea, Antium and Gordium complete harbors. Antium begins to work on galleys, while Gordium starts a temple. Iím feeling a bit bloodthirsty, and I'm confident in my fleet production capabilities, so Veii once again begins equipping Legions. My spearmen garrison program is also complete, and further spearmen from Persepolis are sent to Antium to garrison cities overseas. A setter from Iron City also heads to Antium, preparing to head out and reclaim the abandoned island Sidon once graced.

The next turn (sorry, I just canít say 800 AD and imply it took my galleys over thirty years to reach Bactra) my armada enters Persian seas. To my dismay, a Persian veteran galley is loitering outside Bactra. Mentally, I cringe. Thereís a good chance itíll kill one of my galleys and two Legions next turn. There is some good news, however, as my exploring galley spies a small island north of Bactra, not very far from Rome.

As expected, I am forced to declare war on Persia after Xerxes demands my fleet remove itself from Persian seas. Unexpectedly, the veteran galley does not attack, instead retreating into Bactra. The next turn, several former Persian cities riot. This includes Cumae, which apparently acquired a Persian citizen during its brief occupation. Annoyed, I set my luxury commitment to 30%, anticipating a short war duration.

I figure the war will be over quick, as I unload ten legions outside of Bactra. I just hope that Persia doesnít have a setter in a galley somewhere Iím unaware of. Two of my galleys attack a Persian galley along the coast of Bactraís island, but they both die with no enemy casualties. I suppose the Persians are good sailors on this world.

A settler leaves Antium, heading north for the newly discovered island. It consists of only one desert area and one forest on plains, but I figure Iíll take it for kicks. I also have the spare settlers due to not being careful to make sure Iron City doesnít replace the population she loses.

The Persians force me to admit theyíre really good sailors as three galleys sail out of Bactra and attack my fleet. They sink two more of my ships before finally suffering a defeat. To add to their final defense, one regular Immortal manages to kill the elite Legion leading my army. Iím not amused.

I lose three more Legions in the assault on Bactra, killing the Immortal, four regular spearmen, and sinking three Persian galleys taking refuge in the harbor. My friendly military advisor pops up with the familiar message telling me we have captured Bactra and looted... whatís that. Right about here my writing gets really dark and the page in my notebook is indented. ĎHoly Mother of Godí is the phrase I write. I loot 2431 gold from the Persian treasury, more than six times as much as any previous looting I can remember. Iím stunned for a second by the windfall.

Whenever one loots a city, you get a portion of that civilizationís gold (depending on how important that city was, and if it was the capitol). Since the Persians were destroyed with the sack of Bactra, I took all of their remaining treasury. But itís near unheard of for a near dead civilization to have anywhere near that amount of gold, especially this early in the game, and especially on one dinky little island. I was flabbergasted. Looking back now, I assume that the Persians must have recently entered the Middle Ages, gotten their free technology due to being scientific, and proceeded to rip off the rest of the world selling it to them. So much for assuming Iíd bankrupted them!

Another Short Peace

Cumae and Arbela produce temples in the haze of the next few turns, switching production to libraries. Again Iím producing libraries for the culture an so I donít have to produce them later, not for research.

I also decide not to found a city in the middle of my main island for a new palace. It seems like more trouble that itís worth. Plus I have a sentimental attachment to Rome. Pompeii is founded on the newly discovered desert island. Iím glad itís out in the middle of nowhere. I donít actually lose Pompeii more than other cities, but the name does have a bit of a cursed feel to it.

In 860 AD I meet an Iroquois galley on the far side of the island Sidon once sat on. Hiawatha wants to trade me furs for my wines, the lush. I refuse. I continue to prepare to Ďdealí with Hiawatha, sending three more galleys and six Legions sailing west out of Antium. Interesting note: ask for suggestions for Hiawatha with my spell checker and it comes up with Ďhotheadí. Not the Iroquois leaderís reputation, but funny all the same.

Pasargardae soon completes a temple, and begins a library of its own. It strikes me how often I capture the Great Lighthouse in an early military campaign and mutter about its uselessness, wishing for Colossus or Pyramids. I even thought such ungrateful thoughts this game, but the Great Lighthouse makes this whole early offensive possible. And thatís one of the nice things about Civ3. Some games will seem like repeats of one another, but like any good game you can do something different for good reasons rather often. I very rarely conduct any sort of naval war or overseas military campaign at this level of technology, and itís only the unique circumstances of this game that give me the resources (Great Library easing technology pressure, early wars with many surviving Legions) and opportunity (Great Lighthouse enabling me to sail far, bad terrain keeping the AI from teching past the time period) to mount such an undertaking.

I found Pisae on the ruins of Sidon, happy that I got there before the Persians or the Iroquois, and start of a courthouse. The next turn, a few cities enter We Love The King Day, a celebration hat occurs when your people are very happy youíre the ruler. This rarely happens to me, so Iím immediately suspicious. It turns out Iíve left the luxury allocation at 30% since the rioting about the Fourth Persian War. The miser in me immediately turns the luxury allocation back down to 20% and regrets the lost revenue. We Love The King Day promptly disappears.

I lose my exploring galley investigating something on the open ocean. The ocean tileset for Civ3 is occasionally annoying because its slightly lighter along the edge of a tile than in the middle, causing me to constantly think I see the beginnings of land when thereís only storms and sea monsters ready to sink my galleys. Oh well, one more crew lost to the fanciful mirage. I reassign the galley that had delivered a settler and a worker to Pompeii to exploration duty.

A grand armada has been assembled, floating outside of Pisae. It consists of six galleys and twelve Legions. The same turn, rumors fly that the Iroquois have begun working on Sun Tzuís Art of War and the Sistine Chapel. This is both good news and bad news. It confirms that the Iroquois have the knowledge necessary to build pikeman formations. On the other hand, theyíve probably just learned Feudalism and Theology, putting them in the early middle ages and not unreasonably ahead of me in technology. In addition, I donít know if they have the capacity to deliver iron connected to their outlying colonies, which reduces the threat Iíll be facing pikemen.

Four spearmen leave Arbela in two galleys, headed to garrison Pompeii and Pisae. Due to transport problems caused by Persian naval victories, Iíve left a few Legions behind in Bactra. One is in the city, and one guards the rest of the land on the island. This creates an exploit-like defense, since itís not possible to land on occupied territory until marines are discovered (possibly only in the late Industrial Ages). It doesnít really matter much though, since I intend to be on the offensive.

The next turn I land six legions next to Gandestaigon. Whoops! Half of the armada is one turn behind. I resolve to pay a little more attention to my transport schedule. Hiawatha demands the removal of my army, and I declare war.

War with the Horse People

Historically, thereís no reason to call the Iroquois the horse people. None at all. But they represent the generic American Indian in Civ3, and their unique unit is the Mounted Warrior. This unit rivals the Immortal for the most useful unique unit in the game, and is the reason it makes sense to call the Iroquois the ĎHorse Peopleí. The Mounted Warrior has three attack, one defense, and two movement, one more attack than the horsemen unit itís based on. Itís more powerful than the Immortal early on because itís a cavalry unit, capable of retreating from a losing battle. This can lead to an astonishingly low casualty rate. In fact in the Ancient Age, I think the Mounted Warrior is better than the Immortal, especially on open ground. I only give the Immortal the overall edge due to itís longer period of usefulness. However, for the same reason it was unlikely Iíd see many pikemen (Mounted Warriors require horses rather than iron), I figured most of Mounted Warriors Iíd see would be shipped from the Iroquois mainland in small numbers. In addition, island warfare and the ability to land right next to a city and attack next turn lends itself to powerful infantry units like the Legin or the Immortal. Retreating isnít that useful if there isnít a city to heal in nearby.

In any case, my attack force consisted of twelve leading Legions and galleys, with fourteen reserve Legions ready to be transported when galleys were produced. A few more land units would also be produced in case this didnít prove to be enough of a force. For defense I have a spearmen unit in every home city, rough seas that would protect my homeland from any units transported by galley, and my own forward momentum and healing armies that would guard the lands I take from the Iroquois. In a very unusual situation for me, it appeared I would also be abl to maintain naval superiority. While I usually neglect this arm of the military, I have a standing army for once and can devote cities to producing fighting ships.

According to the hisotriograph, the Iroquois have about 2.5 times my amount of score, power, and culture. Their score advantage comes largely from their larger territory, and this kind of deficit is actually pretty standard for me in the Ancient Age. The power deficit, as with the Persians, likely comes largely from the Iroquoisí greater production capacity and technology lead. On paper, their military is probably only slightly better than mine. Given my armyís greater mobility, offensive power, and concentration, it will be a surprise if the war does not initially go well. The culture gap is the one real problem I spot. I could have problems with captured cities revolting and destroying my garrisons in the meantime. Still, in this early age and with outlying cities, I ought not suffer too many losses to the resistance.

In the screenshot you can see half of the first wave just before it assaults Gandestaigon. The other half will land next to Kente and raze it the next turn. Unlike in the Persian Wars, I intend to destroy these cities and replace them with one of my own settlers. There are three reasons for this. First, the Iroquois have a significantly more advanced culture than I do. This means there is a small chance captured cities will revert back to their original owners, killing the garrison guarding the city in the process. Second, I wasnít terribly fond of how the cities were placed, and I wanted to found a city on the spot just south of Kente. This wasnít for any particular strategic reason, but from that spot I could use all of the food producing land on the island as well as four mountains. I could then make that city a powerhouse with good food production and trade. I donít know exactly why, but I like to have at least one model city that uses most of the possible area in the city radius. Itís usually better in the end to pack in cities pretty tightly, but hey, Iím playing this game for fun. The third reason for razing and resettling was that, well, the settlers coming out of Iron City have to go somewhere.

Leaving a hefty garrison on the small island (in case of a counterattack), then plan was to proceed south, taking Caughnawaga and proceeding south until I dominated that long island. I wanted to go south instead of west to ease the demands on my fleet (important if the Iroquois made naval gains), because those cities were newer and thus probably less defended, and because a forbidden palace in the rough area of Caughnawaga could make most of those gains into a moderately productive (if inefficiently shaped) second core. The island to the west was more important to the Iroquois even if most of it was desert, but south seemed to balance military, expansion, and long-term goals the best.

Gandestaigonís defenders got lucky, managing to kill one of my Legions. Only two regular spearmen guarded the city, which was burnt to the ground. The inhabitants are carried off in the form of two slave workers, and I capture another Iroquois laborer south of the city.

The next turn I hear reports that the Iroquois have failed to finish Sun Tzuís Art of War, rumors circulate that the Egyptian capitol of Thebes has finished it. This is good news, as it increases the chances my Legions will be facing regular troops rather than hardened veterans. There is some bad news, in that I wasnít paying attention to how much movement my exploring galley had left, and that ship is lost in rough waters. Argh. To top it all off, the two spearmen defending Kente mirror the defense of Gandestaigon, destroying an attacking Legion. The surviving population of Kente is rounded up into a single work gang. One of my galleys also has some success on the west coast of this newly Roman island, sinking an approaching Iroquois galley. Unfortunately, there is no way of telling if it was transporting troops. Pompeii and Pisae also receive their spearmen defenders, and the galley delivering to Pompeii becomes my third assigned to exploration.

Development continues across the Republic. Neapolis produces its harbor, and celebrates by beginning work on a temple. Meanwhile, Ravenna is founded as my new model city on the recently cleared island. Two veteran Legions defend the citizens while a courthouse is begun. Five legions and another settler are dropped next to Caughnawaga.

In short order, the two spearmen defending Caughnawaga are destroyed along with the city, producing another slave. Two Legions were injured, but none perished in the assault. Eight more Legions leave Antium, preparing to join the war effort. Happy with my rapid progress, I decide to switch Rome and Veii (producing a galley and a Legion, respectively) over to production of harbors. I will want to eventually utilize the coastal areas next to these cities, and I wanted veteran galleys for naval combat. Iím not terribly surprised by the rapid advance of my forces. To be certain, Iíve been on the receiving end of a similarly unexpected attack on remote isles. Given the AIís (and playersí) natural tendency to be cheap providing for the defense of what are essentially unimportant outposts, such cities are a natural target for quick absorption by aggressive civilizations.

Tarsus produces a temple and starts a library, while Cumae completes her own temple and starts on a harbor. Hispalis is founded west of the ruins of Caughnawaga. Only one veteran Legion defends, as the elite Legions are kept on the front. A courthouse is begun. Two more spearmen sail west out of Antium on a newly produced veteran galley. I keep you appraised of these movements away from the front both for completeness, and because it provides a simple way to picture the overall effort and material I was devoting to the war.

Four more Legions are landed next to Gewauga, farther down the east coast of the southern isle. A fifth Legion slated for the city was dropped off earlier to intercept an Iroquois setter-spearmen combo that was headed north to reclaim the land that had belonged to Caughnawaga. I was being conservative with my loaded galleys, keeping them on the far side of the island from possible Iroquois naval reinforcements.

The settler retreated from my Legion, possibly because of the founding of Hispalis near the territory the settler was heading for. I consider this because the AI tends to trust its escorts and not retreat setters in the face of military opposition. The move was slightly irritating. Gewauga was captured regardless, and yielded up three slaves which had retreated to the city for safety from the surrounding countryside. One elite Legion rests in the city and protects it. I decided to keep the city this time, as no settlers were following up my army to quickly replace the city. One of my galleys continues to head south, as this part of the island had not been mapped by the Persians. Another left over galley attacks and kills an approaching Iroquois ship nearing the straits between the two isles being fought over. This particular breed of Iroquois certainly donít match the Persiansí abilities at sea. I would be surprised if that ship wasnít carrying reinforcements for the war. The victorious galley stays west of the newly claimed island to scout for more Iroquois forays.

On the home front, Rome has produced a harbor and once again begins to construct galleys. Susa has produced a temple and begins constructing a library. My society is becoming truly cultured, a sorely needed development.

The Iroquois Actually Fight Back

A galley that slipped past my scouts approaches Hispalis from the south, unloading a swordsman and a warrior next to my city. Unfortunately, my troops are too far to respond. One elite Legion does move next to the city, attempting to get the new arrivals to attack it rather than the city, but a major convoy is just short of reaching the threatened city. My galley guarding the straits does manage attack and sink the offending Iroquois vessel, but it will need to retreat for repairs.

The Iroquois take revenge for the rough treatment Iíve shown their citizens, burning Hispalis to the ground. Taking no losses in the attack, they also liberate one of their captured workers which was laboring nearby. Iím quite annoyed that my elite Legion failed to defend against the swordsman, given that it was virtually certain to successfully defend against a subsequent attack by the warrior. Itís also not to my interest for this war to degenerate into a chaotic battlefield of small taskforces chasing down random units and incursions. While that probably wouldnít increase my casualties, it would slow down my advance and ruin my transport schedules. Adding to this trend, I killed an Iroquois warrior near Gewauga, then moved Gewaugaís defender out of the city, taking the opportunity to advance while my attacking Legion would enter the city to heal and defend next turn. Of course, I still anticipated a steady advanced, and adding to the momentum were two pairs of spearmen and Legions sailing out of Antium.

Veii built her harbor, and begin producing Legions again. Despite the upkeep of the war and construction projects, the treasury had soared to 3000 gold. Itís quite a large sum for this technological period, made possible by the Persian windfall. I consider myself particularly lucky after recalling the amount spent on courthouses upon becoming a Republic. Still, the treasury wouldnít stay this way. Riots occurred in Ravenna, making me fear war weariness would soon cripple my Republic, but were only caused by that cityís growth and lack of happiness improvements or luxury access. One of the major potential benefits of the war would be the emergence of a great leader, which would allow me to quickly construct a Forbidden Palace, making all this new land actually worth something. Slowly building in the corrupt environment of faraway isles could keep this area from becoming productive until the late industrial or early modern age.

Regardless of my populationís sentiments, the war continues abroad. The Iroquois drop off a swordsman north of Ravenna, where I have no screening galleys. It is promptly killed by an elite Legion that had been healing in the city. Also at Ravenna, two defending spearmen are dropped off, two veteran Legions picked up for the front, and the elite Legion would remain there to heal again. I decide to assault the regular spearmen in Chondate with a pair of Legions and manage to take the city, while the elite Legion moving out of Gewauga kills another wandering Iroquois warrior. My galley exploring the southern tip of this elongated island finally reaches the western coast, sees a reinforcing Iroquois galley, and is suck trying to intercept it. Two more spearmen leave Antium to form new garrisons.

A third galley is lost to a storm trying to explore east of my main island. Iím angered by the mistake and mutter darkly about some sort of wacky Bermuda Triangle effect, but Iím soon mollified by an elite Legion killing the swordsman that had destroyed Hispalis. It had finally come down off a mountain in the area, and killing the unit also recovered the slave that had been liberated. An advance galley which was scouting for a new convoy on the west coast of the conflict isle spotted the galley which had destroyed my southern scout last turn. The Iroquois galley had sailed far enough north to be within attacking range, and revenge was mine when the purple-bannered ship was suck. The convoy under protection landed four Legions next to Gayagaahe, and I finally start wondering what the heck is up with these weird city names. I know Firaxis had to come up with something for the more obscure Iroquois city names, but couldnít they find anything better than something that looks like itís supposed to be the tortured gurgle of a drowning man? Gayagaahe is one of the four cities that consist of the southern portion of this elongated isle, which is made distinct by a mountain range and a change of terrain, and capturing this area is good news.

My advancing forces are discovering that the southern tip of this island actually has some decent land, including a supply of Horses. Taking this supply isnít that important, the Iroquois have three other wild herds in their lands, but I remember that I havenít faced any Mounted Warriors and the Iroquois had no opponent to engage in an early war. Thereís still a chance that a Mounted Warrior-induced Golden Age could help swing the balance of the conflict (assuming the Oracle didnít begin their Golden Age).

Millenial Tidings

The rumor mill brings word that the Greeks have construct Leonardoís Workshop. This means that the AI has had Invention for some time, and it is also unfortunate that the Greeks completed this Wonder. Both Leonardoís Workshop (half costs for unit upgrades) and Sun Tzuís Art of War (free barracks in all of your cities) are early middle ages military great wonders, but in this case Leonardoís Workshop would be more important. Since the continent in question was heavily populated, all the important cities would likely have barracks anyway. Meanwhile, with a limited number of units in play, a slightly more modern military could make all the difference in a war, especially on defense. Further complicating my future plans were riots in Arbela, Persepolis, and Antioch. A serious anti-war movement was developing, which could make the Iroquois war highly unprofitable. Setting my luxury allotment to 30% of commerce stopped the riots, but reduced my income to two gold per turn. Noting the date, 1000 AD, I decide itís time to give another rundown of Romeís current position.

Technology-wise, of course, things are about the same. Iím still in the Ancient Age, lacking Horseback Riding, Monarchy, Mysticism, Polytheism, Mathematics, Currency, and Construction. But, of course, I have the Great Library. Since the other civilizations are still mired somewhere in the Middle Ages, things are looking good. They wonít be too advanced when I catch up.

My commerce is now workable, with an income of 228 commerce from my cities. Unfortunately, Iím still not running much of a surplus. 50 goes to entertainment to keep my people happy, 62 commerce is simply lost to corruption, 48 goes to building maintenance. My military is the largest cost, sucking up 66 gold per turn. This all totals up for a total surplus of +2 gold per turn. Of course, I have a massive stockpile of 3000+ gold.

My military is quite robust, which accounts for the cost. It consists of 23 spearmen, 25 Legions, and 13 galleys. Iím pretty surprised at that last number. I donít think Iíve ever had that many galleys. Iím also maintaining 5 workers, and I control 18 slave workers. Speaking of which, I think slaves lasting for the whole game is one of the first changes I would make if I designed Civ3, right up there with making ironclads coastal-only ships like galleys.

Checking the map, I have sources of both iron and horses, the only strategic resources Iím aware of. This was a good thing, since I wasnít sure about having horses, which are very important with the advent of cavalry. I also have control over two luxury resources, wine and ivory. Unfortunately, none of the Iroquois territory Iím attacking has any resources other than a duplicate source of horses.

As far as my domestic strength goes, I have 18 total cities now. Six of them are overseas and highly corrupt. But twelve are on my home island and are either highly productive core cities or very decent producers and earners. My total population is now 77.

Looking over this update, I switch Antium to producing Legions. Arbela is also ordered to produce a settler after she completes her granary, to replace the destroyed city of Hispalis. My plan for the war is to keep storming cities and islands until my momentum slows and war weariness begins to cripple my economy. Then Iíll sue for peace (including Currency and Construction). Once my cities are upgraded with the improvements these technologies offer, I can contact the other civilizations and further develop. Of course, for that plan Iíll need Mathematics. So I start research on that technology. I can research it in eight turns, but my surplus will drop to a deficit of -30 gold a turn.

The Seas Become Dangerous

A settler and a spearmen leave Antium, and Gayagaahe is captured with no casualties despite the defensive advantage provided by the hill it sits on. Meanwhile, a galley traveling north along this new west coast kills one of two Iroquois galleys heading south in the area of Chondate. Now, I donít have any good screenshots for this area yet, but remember that galleys can only travel over coastal areas (although mine can travel in intermediate Ďseaí squares between the coast and the open ocean). So all Iroquois reinforcements have to come either across from Akewesane and St. Regis to the small isle that now hosts Ravena and then south to the island where the conflict rages or across from the Iroquois mainland to the island port of Tydenaga, and from there to the southern tip of the conflict isle. You can see these sea lanes in the screenshot of Iroquois territory earlier in the report.

Two more Legions depart Antium for the front, while four of their predecessors are dropped off south of Gayagaahe to hasten the capture of the remaining three cities the Iroquois hold in the south of the conflict isle. Two more galleys sailing north fail to sink the Iroquois galley I missed last turn. This is unfortunate, because that galley drops off a spearman and a swordsman on a hill next to Gayagaahe, a rogue Iroquois warrior (probably from Kiohero to the east) moving over land joins forces with them as well. Well, at least I know the galley I killed was probably filled with troops.

I decide to defend at Gayagaahe, rather than challenge the pikeman on the hill. Meanwhile two spearmen and a longbowman are killed when I take Kawauka. One of my elite Legions that didnít prove necessary in the assault moves up to help defend Gayagaahe. This completes my conquest of the west coast of this island, and the Iroquois have only two cities remaining slightly east of Gayagaahe. A galley heading back to Antium for reinforcements heading to the straits near Ravenna isle sees two approaching Iroquois galleys. The spotting galley and another passing in the area are both sunk trying to attack this convoy.

Two more Legions depart Antium, which finally empties it of waiting reinforcements ready to go. As a result I switch production again. Antium returns to producing spearmen, while Rome is set to create more Legions rather than galleys. The next turn, Iron City is finally abandoned, producing one last settler. The Iroquois must have seen my reinforcing Legion because there is no assault on Gayagaahe. The warrior separates from the Iroquois group, however, and is killed by an elite Legion. No great leader is produced, and Iím getting a bit worried about one appearing before the end of the war. Two legions are also dropped off on a mountain next to Kiohero. They wonít attempt an assault soon, but will hopefully be bait for the four Iroquois units in the mountains and near Gayagaahe.

Meanwhile, my attacking Legions in the south have used roads near Kawauka to approach Golgouen and they take that city with no losses. A longbowmen attacks my Legions near Kiohero, but dies in the assault. Two more spearmen leave Antium. A turn of maneuvering but no conflict passes as well.

Pasargarde builds a library and starts on a granary. In the war, the Iroquois units have finally moved onto open ground between Gayagaahe and Kiohero. Hiawathaís pikeman still manages to kill an attacking elite Legion, but that pikeman, a swordsman, and two spearmen are then overwhelmed with no further losses. More Legions have moved north from Golgouen, and I decide to attack Kiohero with the four Legions next to it so I can end this. Two spearmen put up no real defense, and I capture Kiohero. A slave worker is taken, and the last of the Iroquois resistance is killed on this island.

I decide that it might be a good idea to sue for peace. A twenty-turn respite could allow me to replace all the Legions guarding this southern isle with spearmen and this could be worth the end of hostilities if I gain Construction and Currency. If I donít get those technologies, however, I will certainly continue the war. This is in no small part because I want to leave open the opportunity for the generation of a leader. Unfortunately, Hiawatha barely agrees to see my envoy, and he emphatically rejects my offer. He might have given me Currency and some gold for a ceasefire, but I wonít take that little. With Mathematics researched, research is stopped again. Despite this, my treasury is running a deficit at -5 gold a turn.

Oh well. Hispalis is refounded with two spearmen for defense, and I rally spare Legions north to that city to form another army to continue the attack. Another settler and spearmen combo leave Antium for the last open spot east of Hispalis. This whole war has also emphasized that the latest patch makes Civ3 much better at auto-moving boats without galleys in rough seas. Unfortunately, I still manage to lose another galley in naval combat off the coast of Ravenna isle.

Antioch builds a temple and begins a library. Now, I havenít mentioned it, but there have been sporadic riots all throughout my island territories during the whole war. This is to be expected, since the corruption in the area means there is no appreciable commerce to be diverted to luxuries. In addition, my luxury resources generally arenít connected by harbor. I solve this problem by creating entertainers out of the local population, but this means all my cities are quite small. Even on my home isle, however, war weariness is starting to dramatically increase. Nevertheless, I decide to continue and try to take Akwasane and St. Regis, the Iroquoisí two best cities off of their mainland.

Gordium builds a temple and begins a library. I also decide to build a barracks and start Legion production in Arbela, largely because I hate to set a city to producing wealth this early in the game. Viroconium is founded next to Hispalis, and both are producing courthouses. I also finally manage to kill an elite Iroquois galley sailing along the southern isleís west coast. I think itís the same one that dropped off a pikeman and swordsman near Gayagaahe.

The Final Stages of the War

It turns out that resisters did still exists on the southern isle. Golgouen, on the southest tip, revolts. This kills two of my Legions guarding the city and returns it to Iroquois rule. One legion from each of the other three southern area cities are dispatched to retake the city, and two spearmen are sent south from Hispalis. A galley scouting ahead of my fleet gathering in the straits between Ravenna and Hispalis is killed by an Iroquois galley. Rome is ordered to build galleys again, so that I can replace losses.

Iím certain the war will not last much longer, as rumors announce that the Iroquois have begun to build Copernicusí Observatory. Since this is a wonder available with Astronomy, theyíll soon enter the late Middle Ages. However effective my Legions have been, they wonít be able to assault musketmen. Nevertheless, my last great effort for the war has been assembled. Eight galleys sail from the straits, carrying one spearman and fifteen Legions. Golgouen is also retaken, with one Legion lost in the attack. A longbowman it produced is still at large, however.

That longbowman counterattacks and kills a Legion. The Iroquois also manage to land a swordsman and spearman combo next to Golgouen. I send two more Legions and a spearman from the north of the isle, meaning several cities in the area are making do with only one defender.

In the main action, however, most of the troops in my massive convoy lands near Akwesane. Six Legions, however, are diverted in an attempt to take the island fortress of Tydenaga. Two more spearmen also leave Antium to replace the two Legions guarding Bactra. Iím not sure if Iím actually advancing my own civilizationís cause here. It might be better for my development to make peace, gain technologies, and build up my core areas. But the Iroquois are still my main rival, and I want to damage their cities with the highest potential.

A Mounted Warrior is finally spotted. It attacks out of Akwesane, wounding a Legion before retreating back into the city. Another Iroquois attack fails on the south isle, with a successful defense of Golgouen costing the Iroquois their attacking swordsman and longbowman. Injury is added to insult when my army takes Akwesane. I lose two Legions attacking the large city. Killed are a defending pikeman, two spearmen, a longbowman, and a Mounted Warrior. I decide to take the city, rather than raze it. This might not be the best decision, since itís virtually guaranteed that Akwesane will revolt in the future. But I was thinking something like retaking the city could provide a leader generation opportunity. In any case, I only left my one spearman to guard the city. The thinking behind that meager defense was that any garrison was likely to be murdered when the city revolted.

Several Legions are injured, so my force rests before advancing on St. Regis. South of this action, six Legions are landed next to Tydenaga, and my ships sink a galley near the city. Below you can see a picture of the current situation. You can see how valuable the Tydenaga-Akwesane-St. Regis triangle is. Also notable is the Iroquois spearman destroying land improvements in the southern conflict area, and the Iroquois galleys penetrating my territory.

Iím waiting on an elite Legion to be fully healed before killing the spearman destroying improvements to the south. I want to maximize leader opportunities, of course. At home war weariness is getting bad. I have to hire even more entertainers, even leading to some starvation in Persepolis. You can see in the screenshot that my treasury is running a deficit. Persepolis builds a granary, and begins rebuilding its barracks.

Particularly observant readers will also have noted that the Zulu have pissed people off on the more populated continent, as expected. Maps always show correct city and land ownership, so we can see that the Babylonians have taken Bapedi and Ulundi, and are probably advancing on Zimbabwe. Texcoco has been taken by the Greeks. On an outlying isle, Ashur was taken by the Zulu, and the neighboring colony of Hlobane was taken by the Greeks. This could be the formation of the Babylonian or Babylonian-Egyptian power needed to balance Greek power. One can hope.

The next turn, Tydenaga is razed to the ground. Two spearmen and a longbowmen were destroyed attempting to defend the city. No Legions were lost. Readers may notice that the Iroquois seem to be defending with a lot of longbowmen. The reason this occurs is that when my massive force lands right next to a city, the AI naturally thinks Ďoh crapí, and pays to rush the military unit being produced. Since Iím landing right next to cities, these longbowmen rarely get to attack before they are set upon. An slight exception to this pattern can be seen in Golgouen, where we saw a longbowmen escape the city as I approached by land and kill one of my Legions.

The surviving population of Tydenaga is converted into three slave groups. Since this leaves Tydenaga island outside the zone of Iroquois control, I plan to leave three Legions guarding the area to prevent an Iroquois landing and thus prevent resettlement. I donít want to spend resources taking the area myself, since it would never produce much of anything for me. This will cost me three gold per turn to support the Legions, but thatís cheap to deny a fine expansion spot to the Iroquois.

Two Iroquois galleys have sailed as far as Pisae. Iím guessing the spearmen-Legion switch in Bactra fooled them into thinking they could land there. Unfortunately I have no spare ships to attack the probably loaded galleys.

My deficit keeps growing, and it canít be just due to entertainers. Checking my military, Iím paying for 30 Legions, 36 spearmen, 12 galleys, and 4 workers. I guess itís a good thing that Iím producing units faster than the Iroquois can kill them, but sheesh, itís expensive.

Tarsus produces a library, then starts a granary. Six legions outside of Akwesane get back on galleys, hoping to save a turn sailing down to St. Regis rather than walking there. It also turns out that those Iroquois galleys were loaded with troops. They turn around and drop off a pikeman, spearman, swordsman, and warrior. To ensure defense of the city and the local slave gangs, the Legions from Bactra heading to the front are dropped off on Ravenna isle. The galley then picks up spare Legions in Hispalis.

Success! Not only did I successfully defend Ravenna from attacks by the swordsman and the warrior landed nearby, but a Legion promotes to elite and generates Hadrian, my second great leader. Iím so happy I donít even care when Akwesane revolts, killing the spearman guarding the city. Using the busy transport in the area, I unload the Legions inside it, move Hadrian down to the galley, and move the galley into Hispalis. Ravenna will be a better city, but Hispalis will allow a few more cities to the south to become productive. I switch Hispalis to producing a harbor, and pay a few hundred gold to hurry the structure.

On Ravenna isle, I lose a Legion attacking the pikemen chasing after my workers, but another Legion and the successful elite finish off that unit and kill the spearman as well. Two slightly injured elites from the battle at Tydenaga land next to Akwesane, hoping against hope Iíll be able to retake it next turn. A regular musketman defends the city. My six Legion attack force also lands next to St. Regis. Next turn I will try to raze both. Regardless of the result, Iíll sue for peace after the assault. The Iroquois also attack and kill one of my galleys after they unload my Legions near St. Regis.

The next turn (1210 AD) is a banner turn. I begin with the attack on St. Regis. Two regular musketmen defend the city, but I manage to take it while losing only two Legions. The city is destroyed, and I capture seven slave workers. Some of the workers had retreated to the city from the area, two were from a settler in the city, and the rest were collected from the evicted population. I also succeed in taking Akwesane. Extreme random number generator luck helps me reverse my earlier mistake in not razing the city, and my three injured Legions in the area manage to kill the two musketmen defending the city (one of which was not fortifed). Two workers are recruited from the rubble of Akwesane. I donít feel too bad destroying the cities. There would have been no point for me to have tried to hold them. My galleys in the area will retreat my gathered slaves and Legions.

With the dirty deeds done, I go to Hiawatha for peace. Unfortunately, he must be psychic. He wonít give me both Currency and Construction, nor any of the small cities on the same island as the ruins of Akwesane and St. Regis. He probably knows that my main attack force has finally been blunted, his musketmen will be nightmarish to attack, and that war weariness is tearing apart my Republic. Transit times from my homeland are also too long to continue an attack. Not getting Currency and Construction, I take technology off the table. Itís simply time to play my Great Library card. Hiawatha doesnít want to risk war, however. He pays me quite a lot of gold for peace. The final agreement consists of his maps, contact with the Aztecs, and 51 gold per turn. I donít get contact with the rest of the civilizations in order to up the gold per turn amount heís willing to pay. With peace, I can also reassign my entertainers to work the land and reduce my commitment to luxuries to 20%.

Diplomats, Embassies, and Sightseeing Tours

Thus begins (finally) my first major diplomatic round this game. I contact the Aztecs, who are indeed an incredibly worthless civilization. I give them Literature and Code of Laws for contact with the Egyptians and an exchange of maps. Sure, they had four technologies I didnít, but not having any technologies I did is just sad.

I give Cleopatra 90 gold for contact with the Zulu, and we exchange maps. Like the Aztecs before her, sheís furious with me right off the bad. I wonder if they had been technically allied with the Iroquois against the Zulu or something.

Zimbabwe has now been taken by the Babylonians, so I contact Shaka in the remote tundra settlement of Ashur, his certainly doomed capitol. He hates me too, so I have to pay 110 gold for contact with the Babylonians and an exchange of maps. If the Zulu also hate me, itís probably not because of alliances with the Iroquois. Apparently, Iíve burned enough cities to the ground to obtain something of a nasty reputation. To be sure, I normally raze very few cities in any of my games. This game was simply somewhat unique, as Iíve mentioned before, and Iím paying the price for my rough treatment of the Iroquois. Iím a little bit worried that the hit to my reputation is so bad for burning those rather large cities, but perhaps it wonít be permanent. Everyone hating me could really hurt efforts to buy technologies from the AI, but I suppose I could always carefully steal them from weak civilizations through embassies. I usually donít steal techs until the Intelligence Agency allows me to continue to do so during war time, but it might become necessary.

Yes, the Babylonians are furious with me too. Perhaps the frequency of my destructive rampages and the size of the cities involved increased the negative effect on my reputation. In any case, I give 115 gold to the Babylonians for contact with the Greeks and an exchange of maps.

I manage to exchange maps with Greece without paying Alexander anything, ending my diplomatic round. Hispalis produces the harbor I paid for last turn, and I start the Forbidden Palace. Hadrian is used to hurry the Forbidden Palace, meaning it will be quickly produced the following turn. On an archipelago map like this one, that is probably the most useful thing a great leader will ever do.

With the new turn, emissaries from all of the worldís civilizations meet in my Great Library and teach me everything they know. I gain Mysticism, Horseback Riding, Polytheism, Currency, Construction, Monarchy, Monotheism, Feudalism, Engineering, Theology, Chivalry, Invention, Education, Gunpowder, and Astronomy. Despite the long list that shows the power of the Great Library, only Astronomy, Gunpowder and possibly Chivalry were technologies I was unlikely to get without utilizing my little isolation trick. The AI, due to their small land area and a slight military distraction on the part of the Iroquois, simply didnít research as fast as Iíd expected. That was a little disappointing, but it meant I was in great shape.

With the new luxury rate, end of war weariness, and extortion payments from the Iroquois, my income climbs out of the red all the way to +58 gold per turn. The completion of the new Forbidden Palace almost immediately increases this amount to +76 gold per turn. This while still supporting 38 spearmen, 29 Legions, 13 galleys, and 4 workers. An empire-wide change in production is implemented, and a new military reorganization is begun as well.

My few surviving elite Legions would be gathered in Hispalis, along with the three (give or take one) galleys that would be necessary to move all of them. My veteran Legions and extra galleys would be sent to the southern part of the south isle, outside the effective range of the Forbidden Palace, and disbanded there to hurry production of courthouses. Except, of course, for the three veteran Legions guarding Tydenaga island. Spearmen would be distributed one to a city, except around Pisae, Bactra, and Pompeii, where they could cover all the land on those small islands and prevent landings. Any spare spearmen would be sent as military police to guard the southern part of the south isle until I felt that area would be unlikely to revolt, then they too would be disbanded. This plan required the elimination of most of my effective fighting force, but it would dramatically reduce spending on upkeep of these units as well as eliminate most of the units that couldnít be upgraded in future ages (which were the Legions). Captures slaves would be spread around my empire, but most would go to the southern isle, which was large and with few improvements.

In my cities, I switched production in Gordium, Susa, and Antioch from libraries to marketplaces. Money was more important than culture to me. Aqueducts to permit growth past size six were started in Rome, Veii, Antium, Tarsus, Arbela, Pasargarde, and Cumae. Persepolis was my only city with its own plentiful source of fresh water. The importance of this improvement is one of the reasons the AI is so reluctant to give up Construction in negotiations. Persepolis would build a colosseum because its size was creating happiness problems. Neapolis continued building a temple, and would switch to marketplace when it was finished. Viroconium and Ravenna, both very close to Hispalis and the new Forbidden Palace, switched production from courthouse to harbor. Hispalis itself began a marketplace. Pisae, Bactra, Pompeii, and the six captured Iroquois cities continued laboring on courthouses. An image of Romeís core territory follows:

Now I had to decide what I wanted to do with respect to technology. A common practice in Deity games is to keep research commitment at 0% and use one scientists to undertake minimal advancement. The gold acquired would then generally be used to buy and sometimes steal technologies from the AI (with its many advantages). In my case, I had the problem of bad relations with all the other civilizations. I also wanted banking badly, which would increase my income as banks were constructed in major cities. I decided to increase science commitment to 40% of commerce, which lowered my income to +11 gold per turn but would research Banking in 22 turns. I assumed one of the AI civilizations would get there first, and I would buy it off them for a discounted rate depending on how close I was to finishing research. This wouldnít be as economical as just buying Banking, but gave me the assurance I would at least get it the technology without having to wait for 40-turns as I would with only one scientist working.

And that completed my domestic reorganization. I would still have to carry out the details of the military conversion over the next several turns, but I knew the overall plan. This is also, my fine readers, a fine place to pause in the story of these intrepid Romans. But before I ended my playing session, I decided to establish embassies in all of the opposing civilizations. This was done both in a failed attempt to improve relations and so I could provide a quick look at all of the opposing capitols. As a reference point, my capitol of Rome is size six, and my best production and commerce city, producing 15 shields and 21 commerce a turn. In addition, Iíll provide a screenshot of the rich continent I was quite jealous of. This is all current information, so note the lack of improvements around former Zulu territory caused by the war. Ashur, the current Zulu capitol, is just northeast of Argos, barely out of the picture.

Athens was impressive. She was a powerhouse, sitting on a river near flood plains with wheat and with mountains to be worked. Size twelve, she had every possible city improvement (none of the AI civs had banking) in addition to the Pyramids (granary in every city on continent) and the Sistine Chapel (doubles the happiness produced by cathedrals). Three musketmen and four hoplites, all veteran, were defending the city. Very hard to crack. Athens was also producing 23 shields a turn and 57 commerce. Greece also possessed Leonardoís Workshop (halves unit upgrade costs) in Delphi and had two luxuries (four local incense and one source of spices from Egypt).

Thebes, incredibly, was even better. Also sitting on a river with nearby flood plains, much of the land was plains with cattle, spice, and river bonuses. A few hill regions also added to the production capacity, and a few lakes were also present. Like Athens, Thebes also had all available improvements in addition to the Hanging Gardens (three happy citizens in the city and one in other cities), Sun Tzuís Art of War (barracks in every city), and the Great Wall (doubles city defense bonus in every city). Six musketmen, all veterans, defended the city. Egypt also had two luxuries. One native spices remained after trading for a single source of incense from Greece. Production and commerce were astonishing, as Thebes produced 24 shields a turn and 74 commerce. Those kind of numbers are a decent city in the modern age.

Babylon was still a disappointment. It had several ocean tiles, a few lake tiles, and some lackluster grassland surrounding it. Most of the grassland was even irrigated, further reducing the production capacity. It was size 11, but even with the Colossus it was only producing 41 commerce a turn, while turning out an anemic 7 shields. Aside from its single wonder, it had most of the possible improvements but lacked a university. Surprisingly, it was only defended by seven Bowmen (Babylonian unique unit). It probably didnít have access to iron or saltpeter for better defensive units. This did not bode well if Greece declared war. Several sources of dyes were in its territory, but Hammurabi wasnít trading for any more luxuries.

Salamanca was working two forest areas with game bonuses, five coastal areas, and a hill (size 10). More sea areas, a few hills, and lots of forested tundra made up the rest of the land. It had all the improvements available, plus the Oracle (doubles effects of temples). With Theology researched, the Oracle is already obsolete. The city is producing 9 sheilds and 43 commerce. This is decent, given its cold location. Defending the remote city are four veteran musketmen, three regular musketmen, and a Mounted Warrior. It is producing Copernicusí Observatory (in competition with Sparta). The Observatory will take a projected 17 turns to finish, and Iím curious who will complete it first. The Iroquois Nation also has access to multiple sources of gems and furs. The screenshot below shows Iroquois territory, except for two cities in the desert north of Oka. You can also see the reduction in their territory caused by my forces. Theyíll probably resettle Akwesane and St. Regis soon.

Tenochititlan is as sorry as expected. It is only size four, with lackluster grassland, plains, and sea surrounding it. One rich fishery is his only bonus area. Montezuma is still stuck producing horsemen (he only has access to horses and dyes), and even that isnít happening fast with Tenochititlan only putting out 4 shields and 10 commerce a turn. Three veteran spearmen, a horseman, and a catapult defend the city. City improvements include only marketplace, walls, aqueduct, colosseum, and a barracks.

I didnít even bother to look at Ashur, since the Zulu would be destroyed whenever Babylon decided to send a few units Shakaís way. I knew the Greeks wouldnít do the job, since the embassies allowed me to see the diplomatic situation. Several right of passage agreements were in effect, but only the Babylonians were currently at war with the Zulu. The Greeks were also currently at war with the Aztecs. For my sake (a smaller Greece without access to dyes), I hoped Montezuma sued for peace soon. This made me curious whether or not Greece had been at war with the Zulu. For all I know, they took Hlobane in a culture flip while Montezuma regained Texcoco the same way, and Alexander could have taken Texcoco in a war against the Aztecs. It probably didnít happen that way, but there was no way to tell for sure.

What happens next? Who knows. Iíll probably play more of the game in a few days. But before I go, Iíll leave you with a series of screenshots. The first is the only major unoccupied area available on the map. Persian explorers mapped the area long ago, but no one else (but myself) can sail there. It could become a refuge for a civilization whose homeland is overrun, it could become an important source of key resources for colonizers, and it could remain unimportant. The other three screenshots are the score, power, and culture historiographs, in that order. The scores on the right side indicate total score over time (each turn your score for that turn is added to your total).

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