As mentioned in my last post, I tried a “cultural victory” with only three cities while being India in order to get the “Bollywood” achievement. I decided to try to one-up myself after that and see if I could so the “1-city challenge” I saw in the “Advanced Setup” options for the game. I chose the “duel” sized map so I’d only have to worry about 1 NPC player, and took Siam as my nation since they get a bonus from being allied with city-states, and I figured I’d need those allies vs the other civ. I chose the “Lakes” map in order to maximize landmass, though in looking back at it, that might have actually made it a little harder. I also put it on level 3 to see what difference that made in the AI.
My opponent ended up being the “warlike” Songhai civ. I tried to do a couple of treaties with it, but was rejected each time. So I ignored it, it ignored me, and I focused on getting enough gold to buy favor with the city-states. I actually got to the point where I was allied with all 4 of them, though that took a while and it was partially from doing missions for them, not simply buying them off. 2 were militaristic, 1 was maritime, and the final one was cultured. The maritime ally gave me food to help my city grow faster, the cultured one I didn’t really need so it was the last one I allied with and it was more of a “why not?” thing. The 2 militaristic ones I also didn’t “need” but they were sitting on good strategic resources, and since I only had 1 city and couldn’t buy or build a settler to throw down on resources like in other playthroughs, that was pretty much my only option to get them. It was also nice because they were my military suppliers. Sure the unit they’d give me every so often was random, but it was often at whatever my highest tech level was, while the Songhai started to fall behind. Odd that, since they had 5 cities to my 1 so I felt really gimped on my science buildup. Guess the “warlike” civs just don’t focus on tech so much.
Anyway, what ended up happening was that the Songhai declared war on 2 of my city-states and while I’d gotten the tech level high enough that it couldn’t hurt the cities themselves, it was pillaging the resource centers, and thus harming me as well, so…. off to war I went, using units provided by the city-states, no less. My own city was sitting there putting up buildings and wonders. The war didn’t last long. It was kinda funny though, becuz when I started attacking the other civ’s 1st city after clearing out the units it had atacking the city-states, the other civ came to me with a peace offer, but I had to give him a lot of gold, tribute each turn, 2 luxury resources, and 3 strategic resources. It was patently ridiculous how much it was demanding. I had a lot of gold at the time, so I changed the deal to a 1-time buyoff, but with no tribute or resources and it said I’d insulted it.
A few turns later I took the 1st city, and due to not being allowed to have more than one, it instapopped. Normally if you raze a city it still takes a few turns to go away, but not this time. . . .
But anyway, I now had the other civ at the negotiating table and offering me all his money, all his resources, and a per-turn gold tribute as well. I accepted, and in other games declaring peace has always made my city-state allies declare peace too, but it didn’t do it this time. I thought that was kinda weird, but let it go for a few turns. After watching the other civ continue to attack my cultured city-state, though, I went to their leader to demand he offer peace, but the peace thing was greyed out and had a little pop up that said that that civ was in perpetual war with all city-states anymore due to too frequent attacks on them. Made sense, since I was in a state like that in one of my other games where I’d been simply conquering them rather than buying them off, so they were all against me, although there are only something like 3 of the original 16 left anymore in that game.
But back to this specific game: That perpetual war with the city-states ended up being how I “won” this game. As my tech got higher, the tech the city-states had got better as well, so they eventually wiped my opponent out, thus triggering victory for me.
I told it to keep playing after “victory” because I wanted to see just how big my borders could/would grow. Turns out I was already almost there. I’d figured out from prior games already that the cities themselves can use resources from a tile up to 3 hexes away, thus making them theoretically much larger than in prior version of the Civ game where you could only go out 2 spaces, but not the diagonal “last space” on each corner. Beyond that, my borders that the game auto-claims via culture production extended a full 2 rings farther out. This was good in that it let me get some oil and iron strategic resources for my civ, even though I couldn’t use the tiles from the city for production since they were “too far.” This knowledge will actually help me in future games on other maps, methinks.
I’ve also found that in this version as well as prior ones, that I really prefer to play without the barbarians. Sure, in the early game they can be a good source of xp to level up your units, but by the mid-game they’re simply an annoyance. And by the late game they’re annoying enough that I wish they simply weren’t there. For example… in the duel map, by being allied with all 4 city-states and having my own city to max size, there are exactly 7 hexes on the whole map that I can’t see. 4 on 1 side and 3 on the other. And barbarian camps spawn there and they send units into my empire to pillage my oil fields. Well, except I have a bomber that just kills them when I see them anymore, but it’s still annoying. I can see 99.5% of the map, but I still get barbarians? C’mon!
And I wanted to get into a rant about how bad the diplomacy in this game is (exacerbated by the idiocy in diplomacy in this duel sized map) but this is a long post again, so. . . . signing off for now. I hope you’re all having fun no matter what you’re playing!