The Civilinic Books

Early Landing Games Update
by solo

Since this guide was originally posted, we have played seven comparison games. Needless to say, several improvements to early landing strategy have been made during this process.

The original guide advocated an early Republic strategy, building the minimum number of cities that were needed and only acquiring essential techs. Emphasis was put upon developing the SSC quickly. This system produced the best results in the first three comparison games, and was best exemplified by my own game in EL #3, when a landing of 615 AD was achieved.

However, even in the earliest games other players were experimenting with a more robust early Monarchy approach, by increasing the number of cities and making use of the additional wonders such as Marco Polo’s Embassy, the Hanging Gardens, and Michaelangelo’s Chapel. The strongest advocate for using MPE was Elephant, and when players realized its superiority in games without hut explorations, it became the first wonder chosen by all players in their games.

SG(2) was the first advocate of the robust early Monarchy approach, and it was used effectively afterwards by Cliff, and with even more impressive results by Slow Thinker and Zenon. Zenon proved that on many maps, this system was superior to a lean early Republic and has been posting the best results in the last few comparison games. Because of these achievements, I have become an advocate myself of this system, using it to good effect in EL #7. Zenon bettered my landing date in that game too, by borrowing the best features of my own early Republic strategy and blending them with a robust Monarchy start.

For those wishing to follow the evolution of these strategies, here are the links to the comparison games played so far, with the first 5 being played in this Strategy Forum and with #6 and #7 being played in the Civ II General Forum:

Game #
Game #1
Game #2
Game #3
Game #4
Game #5
Game #6
Game #7

To keep this guide complete and up to date, I thought it might be useful to include the log of my EL #7 game, which is a good example of the robust early Monarchy approach. Below is attached a zip file containing several saves of this game, so readers can actually see how the game progressed.

I am hoping that my log of this game can be followed by Zenon’s log EL #7 game, as an illustration of the best blend found so far of the EL strategies presented in this guide.

Finally, all EL players regret the passing of one of our favorite participants, Scouse Gits(2), who enlivened these comparison games with his sportsmanship, insights, and wit. We also regret that Bloody Monk’s health does not allow him to participate as a player, but we still value his comments and insights as he has been a keen observer of the last few games. The term “robust Monarchy” was first coined by Monk, who perhaps better than any of us, is able to express why we all play this game with so much enthusiasm.

Early Landing Comparison Game #7

This game illustrates the robust Monarchy system.
So many rivers and excellent city sites made this map almost ideal for early landing attempts. The SSC site was the best used so far in these games, too. Since most cities could be linked by rivers, there was usually no need to follow my newest practice of building a road on the way to founding each new city. On maps without so many rivers, I’ve found that clustering the first few cities near each other and putting roads down on the way to founding each new city actually speeds up the process of acquiring early techs and getting to Monarchy and Trade quickly. Using Zenon’s Venice-like map, cities could be added more quickly, speeding up the process of early expansion. Because of this, I believe the 500 AD barrier can not really be broken or a new “official” record set until these feats are accomplished on an unedited, randomly generated map.

Since converting from my early Republic system to the robust Monarchy strategy used so effectively by SG(2), Slow Thinker and Zenon, I’ve experimented with several variations of doing this and have found that by far, the most important consideration is the quantity of cities and the speed with which they are established. The early policy should be to just build settlers and found more cities. Even after Trade was discovered, my emphasis remained on adding more cities, at least for a while. Obviously there comes a point where this has to stop, so I decided on using 500 BC or 24 cities (whichever came first) as a rough deadline for accomplishing this. This meant researching Map Making right after Trade instead of waiting to trade for this tech after building MPE. Getting an earlier start on founding colonies was more important to me than the ability to build MPE a few turns earlier than I actually did.

The earlier the landing attempt, the earlier all cities need to reach size 3 to allow “we love” celebrations to commence. This is why I put a priority on founding colonies earlier and looked for food specials to help them grow quickly. The bananas and spice I discovered on the Spanish continent to the southeast became a prime colony location, where a total of six cities where established. Earlier, 5 others were founded on the small islands along the way to the Russians, who became the best AI trading partner because of their demand for silk. Even with this extra emphasis on early colonies, I felt that building the Pyramids was also another ingredient needed to get these cities up to size 3 in time. In future games, I’m thinking of going for Map Making much earlier, since another map as favorable as this for rapid growth is most unlikely.

The other deadline I established for this game was to get all cities up to full size by at least 1 AD or before the discovery of Railroad, whichever event came first. Since the HG expires, I felt that a lot of this wonder’s use is wasted, whenever those extra happy citizens in the SSC and other cities are no longer available to help “we love” celebrations. Since the SSC takes so many turns to celebrate to full size, I also decided that this must be started earlier, too, in order to meet this deadline. This meant another deadline of switching to Republic by about 500 BC, so that enough turns were available to accomplish full SSC growth. In general, I’ve found that setting up these deadlines in advance and working towards their achievement improves my play. While booming along in Monarchy, there is a great temptation to remain content and to delay the preparations needed to switch to Republic in time for rapid “we love” expansion.

A big difference between robust early Monarchy and a lean and mean early Republic, is the way in which happiness was controlled. With an early Republic, temples were an early priority in helpers, which were all kept perfectly content at size 3 until much later in the game when they grew further during Democracy. However, doing this wasted some luxuries that were needed for early SSC growth. I have learned from following Zenon’s games that the Hanging Gardens in combination with some luxuries is sufficient to keep helpers and colonies content until Michaelangelo’s Chapel is built to commence their “we love” growth. Resources I diverted towards building temples in early Republic were better used to add more cities and to produce more caravans for more early wonders and additional trade. The extra cities provided more than enough raw science to carry the extra techs of Pottery, Polytheism and Monotheism, which were required to build the HG and MC wonders. I have always appreciated the power of MC as the most efficient way to keep many cities content, but now have a new appreciation for the power of HG. Without this wonder, I do not think robust early Monarchy would work half as well as it actually does. I had never been a fan of wonders that expire, but now I make an exception as a firm advocate for this one, as well as for Marco Polo’s Embassy.

Later on, when all cities were full size, I ended up using colosseums for maintaining happiness. With so many cities, it might seem more efficient to continue with JSB and temples instead, or to even take a risk on the Oracle. However, one colosseum along with MC does the whole job adequately, and by the time colosseums are needed, almost enough income from trade was available to build and maintain them. Another goal I set was to accomplish happiness control without using any luxuries by the time The Corporation was discovered, so that science could be set at 100% to start and maintain two techs per turn. Since many wonders were needed at about the same time (Isaac Newton’s College, Darwin’s, and Leonardo’s) and income from trade had decreased, this part of the game was the hardest to manage. Here is where the little bit of extra income from the Colossus would have really been helpful, but hey, you can’t have everything go exactly as planned.

Now on to the log:

BC years

BC Years
In the beginning it’s simple, only settlers for new cities and warriors for martial law, while racing to discover Monarchy. Any small amounts of gold that are accumulated are used to help rush new settlers.
4000Beijing, Shanghai
3850 Alphabet
3750 Sha – warrior
The first warrior was sent off exploring and scouting for the best city sites, as well as checking out that promised land of gold and rubies. He went on to meet the Japanese, the only other civ on the home continent.
3600 Code of Laws
3500 Sha – warrior
3450 Bei – settlers
3400 Canton
3300 Bronze Working
3250 Bei – warrior
3050Sha – settlers
2950 Ceremonial Burial, Nanking
2850 Can – settlers
2800 Tsingtao
2700 Nan – warrior
2650 Bei – settlers, Monarchy, switch made to that government
This augured well getting into Monarchy 4 (or even 8) turns earlier than usual. Now science was set to 70%, and taxes to 30% to get to Trade and Map Making quickly. I expanded quickly towards the SSC site, already anticipating the possibility of 3 tech turns near the end of the game. Since the SSC provides almost one of these turns all by itself, you want it positioned very near the beginning or the end of the city list.
2550 Xinjian
2450 Sha – settlers, Nan – warrior
2400 Can – settlers, Currency, Bei – warrior
2300 Xin – warrior
2250 Tsi – settlers, Can – warrior, Japanese – peace, give tech
2200 Chengdu, Bei – warrior
Chengdu was the SSC and also the 7th city. Its job was to just grow.
2150 Trade
Trade came even earlier than I really needed it, so it might have been better to research Map Making sometime before learning Trade. In previous games, once Trade was discovered, most cities would switch from settlers to making caravans instead, to get MPE built quickly and to get going on early trade. This game, the focus remained mostly on expanding the number of cities instead, and on getting the first colonies started as early as possible.
2050 Hangchow
2000 Nan – settlers
1950 Sha – settlers, Che – warrior, Can – warrior
1900 Map Making, Han – warrior, Tientsin
Map Making was the final early tech that was urgently needed. This is the part of the game where the AI become most helpful in acquiring techs, and coincidentally the time when my own city science is at its weakest. In earlier games, when playing with a lean early Republic, I had always maximized research, but doing this had probably been a mistake. At this stage, city growth and development is the priority, and what is really needed most is more gold to help speed along this process until caravans deliveries take over the job of providing income. Since I could wait a bit for the next critical techs, I reduced science to 30% and maximized income with taxes at 70%, another good idea picked up from following Zenon’s successful games. As more cities were added during Monarchy, some of the 30% being used for science had to be shifted to luxuries to help control citizen anger. Slowing down my own research also provided the AI a bit more time to learn techs that could be traded for. Techs coming through trades do not cost any turns of research, so maximizing the chances of this is the best policy.
180Tatung, Bei – trireme, Sha – warrior
Tatung was the 10th city and filled in the last good empty spot north of the SSC, so the first trireme was loaded up with two settlers, heading for two small islands I had located by black clicking southwest of Chengdu, the SSC. Before sending off these settlers I had determined the likely commodities Chengdu would be trading and had black clicked around my home continent looking for potential colony sites, using map coordinates to check for useful wildcard commodities. The two islands to the southwest each had two promising colony sites, so each settler was assigned its own island to develop. The plan was for the first settler produced on each island to found a second city on the other promising site. A little further along was a third and smaller island, which became the target for a settler on a following trip. Since all of these islands were very close to the large continent (#5) to the west, I thought they would also be well positioned as a base for conducting trade with the AI civs in that area. The southwest portion of continent #5 was located in the part of the world having the strongest demand for silk, a commodity I knew the Chinese would be producing a lot of. The distance to that area was also just right for lucrative trade.
1800 Japanese – 25g tribute
All those warriors maintaining martial law now outnumber any AI armies on my home continent, so tribute can be used to tap another source of income. At this stage, every coin helps. I had also hung around Kyoto long enough with the warrior making contact with the Japanese to allow it to be teleported home.
1750 Tsi – settlers, Han – warriors
1700Can – warrior
1650 Tsi – warrior
1600 Tie – warrior, Macao
I wanted a few more cities just to the south of the SSC on the home continent. They could help rush caravans when needed to make SSC wonders and were needed as seaports for conducting trade with the colonies and AI later on.
1550 Che – dye, Tat – warrior
1500 Nan – food, Japanese – trade for Mysticism & Iron Working, give tech, share maps
I was just about to learn Writing, but was pretty sure it would be available later when MPE was built, so had to slow down my own research by making trades with the Japanese. I was very happy to see they had Iron Working, since all the rivers on the map had made Bridge Building more important than usual. Now this tech would be only more one step after learning Construction. Now that almost all the cities needed on the home continent had been established, it was time to shift more of them towards building caravans. On the previous turn the SSC produced some dye to be used for the first AI trade a bit later.
1450 Xin – food
1400 Sha – food, Bei – food, Tsi – warrior, Che – warrior
1350 Bei – Marco Polo’s Embassy, Han – trireme, Mac – warrior, Anyang, French – trade for Writing & Masonry, share maps
After several EL games, the MPE wonder has become a staple among all players. In games without huts, it is more efficient not to explore and to use this wonder instead for making quick contact with all of the AI. On average, careful use of this wonder provides 5 more techs than would usually be available through trades with the AI. This capability of MPE more than pays for its cost. During this stage of the game, taxes were maximized and techs came through AI trades or by beakers earned from making caravan deliveries. After some tech trades with the French, the beakers I had accumulated towards Writing could be shifted to Construction, which was the next tech I wanted. At this time the AI had the following techs I lacked: Horseback Riding, The Wheel, Warrior Code, Masonry, Writing, and Pottery. Two techs I didn’t have they were researching were Polytheism and Literacy.
The trireme built in Hangchow was going to be used to carry a settler to found the first colony beyond the southeast side of the home continent. The French occupied a small island to the south, and there was a larger island to the east of them I had noticed by black clicking. Further north and to the east was another large continent. I hoped to find some good colony sites on the larger island east of the French. A group of colonies there would become a good base for conducting trade to the southeast of the home continent. I also wanted two groups of colonies to provide more chances of profitable oil trades later on during the game.
The dye produced by the SSC was also going to accompany this settler, and since dye is universally in demand, I could wait to make contact with the other AI, until the trireme was near its destination. With MPE I like to contact the AI on separate turns if possible, to help avoid setting them up with the prerequisites to research techs already selected by others. It helps to see what one is going to research next, before deciding how to steer the research of the others.
Anyang was founded on this turn, a colony on the first island. On the following turn, colonist #2 started Shangtung on island #2.
1300 Can – settlers, Shantung, Indians – trade for Pottery, peace, share maps
The Indians were the key civ and were located on the continent to the east. At this time I hoped to use them as a research assistant, too, just as with the other AI. Gifting them all techs to lower research costs is more important later in the game when trying to stretch out the supply of beakers for a new advance. At this point, I actually want my research costs to be high, to increase the size of the 2/3 commodity payments I was expecting. I also wanted to accumulate a lot of techs now through trades in order to push my tech total over 20, so as to keep delivery payments from being capped at 200 gold.
1250 Construction, Bei – warrior, Han – warrior, Spanish – trade for The Wheel, peace, share maps
After Construction, Bridge Building was chosen as the next tech. Having many rivers is nice, but building bridges is the price paid for this extra source of trade arrows. Since roads on rivers take so long to build, Bridge Building was an early priority. Another minor disadvantage of this map was the relative lack of grassland in some areas, where many rivers were running through forests, instead. Forested rivers produce both trade arrows and shields, but more irrigation than usual was needed around helper cities to make sure they did not run short on food during Republic when they needed to grow. This meant that extra settlers which are often available to work on SSC tiles were not there. Later it became a race to get the SSC tiles irrigated in time to allow uninterrupted we love growth.
After trading maps, I saw that the Spanish were on the large island I hoped to share with some more colonies. By this time, my trireme was nearing Tatung, where a settler and the dye caravan were waiting. As expected, all three Spanish cities were demanding dye, to guarantee a good trade.
1200 Any – warrior, Shan – warrior
1150 Tie – dye, Bei – warrior, Che – hides
1100 English – give tech, share maps; Japanese – 50g tribute
The English were located on continent #5 to the west.
1050 Tat – silk, Xin – settlers, Any – warrior, Sha – warrior
1000 Mac – settlers, Tsi – settlers, Can – dye, Sha – settlers, Russians – peace, give tech, share maps
The Russians were located in the silk starved part of continent #5 and ended up as the best AI trading partner. Now that contact had been made with all AI, I knew that “my half” of the Spanish island was open for colonization. My trireme headed for the nearest tile there that would have spice as a supply wildcard. Spice would be the demand wildcard for the SSC later on in the game. There were several other potential spice producers nearby, making this a great location for colonies.
975 Nan – hides, French – trade for Literacy, share maps; Russians – give tech, share maps
The Russians were primed again to research something new.
925Han – settlers, Che – silk, dye(d) to Madrid, 208g
900 Che – Hanging Gardens, we love begins, Bridge Building, hides(d) to Hastings, 184g; Spanish – trade for Engineering, give tech, share maps
Now that there were 13 cities, angry citizens were making some cities almost untenable, so the Hanging Gardens was built in the SSC. Trade was starting up too, so there were times when the research rate was boosted to get advances a turn or two earlier, after which taxes would be reset at the maximum rate. The idea was to minimize city science until trades supplied most of the beakers needed for the next advance I was researching, and then to turn on as much science as was needed to finish learning the tech. After Bridge Building was picked up this way, The Republic became the next research priority.
The trireme delivering hides to Hastings gave the SSC its second trade route. It was also carrying another settler towards that third island near the Russians. The settler dropped off on the Spanish island revealed a banana special, which was ideal for rapid growth. A nearby sea tile also had a whale.
875 Bei – settlers, Chinan
Chinan was the first colony on the Spanish island. On the next turn, settlers were produced on the two smaller islands so that an extra colony could be added to both a little later.
850 Sha – settlers, Any – settlers, Tat – settlers, Che – silver, Can – settlers, Kaifeng
Kaifeng was another mainland helper due south of the SSC.
825 Tie – dye, Sha – dye, Japanese – 50g tribute
800 Chi – warrior, Japanese – 50g tribute
775Tsi – silk, Nan – dye, Ningpo, Mac – settlers, The Republic, Chi – warrior, Indians – trade for Seafaring & Mathematics, give tech, share maps; other AI – give The Republic, share maps
Ningpo was the colony founded on the small island nearest the Russians. It was paying off using the Indians now as researchers rather than as the key civ. In fact, they were keying off my tech lead instead of me keying off them, allowing them to learn Mathematics followed by Seafaring on my behalf. All AI that wanted Republic received it.
750 Han – dye, Che – gold, Xin – silk, Bei – gems
700 Nin – warrior, Japanese – trade for Warrior Code, give tech, 50g tribute; Russians – trade for Polytheism, give tech, share maps
By now one of the AI would usually be researching Feudalism, but the ones having Warrior Code were not cooperating, so I decided to trade for this tech and to give it to the other AI that lacked this prerequisite. It’s very useful to have the AI learning Feudalism, Chivalry and other military techs, while I go after more useful ones later on. I was hoping the Russians would research Monotheism after Polytheism, but they didn’t, so I decided I would have to incur the carrying costs of Polytheism, too, in order to make sure I could learn Monotheism in time for building MC.
At this time, the east coast trireme was almost back with another settler headed for another banana special revealed by a French trireme after trading maps in 775 BC. Even with bananas, I knew that if I was going to fill up my half of the Spanish island with colonies, I would not be able to get them all to size three in time for we love celebrations planned a few turns prior to 1 AD. So rather than build the Colossus now in the SSC, I decided on the Pyramids instead. Even thought this decision caused me to lose out on building the Colossus later, having the Pyramids probably helped even more. Granaries and bananas combine for rapid colony growth!
675 Xin – The Pyramids
650 Can – salt, Tat – trireme, Any – trireme, Indians – give tech, share maps
625 Chi – settlers, Tie – settlers, Paoting, Sha – trireme, Yangchow, Japanese – 50g tribute
Two more colonies were founded, one on a western islet and another on the eastern Spanish island. Now helpers and colonies could start shifting their main emphasis on getting trade going. Trireme and caravan production began in earnest, so that when the switch was made to Republic in 525 BC, there would be some helper caravans waiting to be delivered. With fewer shields to work with in Republic, city builds would have to be helped along by using gold earned through trade. As for trades, the plan was to trade an SSC caravan whenever a new commodity became available, and to try and establish one trade route for each of the other cities, before we love growth planned for about 200 BC. At this stage, most cities were producing caravans, so it took a bit of work to sort out which ones should be sent off for establishing these trade routes and which ones should be retained for building wonders. Cities having at least one trade route take fewer luxuries to celebrate and have the potential to grow larger even if they have corruption, so it’s worth making a special effort to try and ensure this happens.
600 Kai – settlers, Che – trireme, Nin – warrior, French – trade for Banking, share maps
575 Sha – silk, Che – size 4, Spanish – give tech, share maps, dye(d) to Orleans, 200g
550 Che – marketplace, silk(d) to Minsk, 500g, revolution
525 The French build the Colossus, Che – temple, Nan – silk, government to Republic, Naples
Considering how well Zenon did in this game by shifting to Republic earlier, it might have also been a better idea for me to do this in my own game. Perhaps a blend of robust early Monarchy and a leaner Republic quickly afterwards is the best way to an early landing. However, this game was planned on the promise of having several 3 tech turns near the end. Naples was a colony sharing the island with Shangtung. After shifting to Republic, I did not disband warriors as much as usual to free up shields for production. Instead, I shuttled as many as possible into the SSC, so that one could be disbanded there each turn to start of the SSC’s next rush buy. I think doing this saved a lot of gold throughout the game.
500 Chi – settlers, Any – settlers, Mac – dye, Che – we love commences, Tsi – copper, Philosophy & Monotheism, Bei – gems, silver(d) to Kiev, 540g; salt(d) to Paris, 184g
475 Yan – settlers, Nin – settlers, Sha – dye, Tat – hides, Han – dye, Che – settlers, Tie – trireme, Issus, French – give tech, share maps
Development of SSC tiles was so far behind schedule, the SSC had to build and add another settler to help out with the irrigation. Issus was another colony, which was founded on the isthmus separating the Spanish side of their island from my own. It was used to block them off and to facilitate sea travel in that area later.
450 Pao – beads, Kai – dye, Che – harbor, size 5, Medicine, Xin – silk, Can – silk, English – give tech, share maps
425 Che – size 6, gold(d) to Cordoba, 578g, dye(d) to St. Petersburg, 392g, Cunaxa
Trade is picking up well. Cunaxa was the strongest colony having two spice specials and good commodities to work with. Later on it contributed about 150 beakers of science.
375 Nap – gems, Kai – salt, Any – beads, Mac – silk, Che – aqueduct, size 8, Tsi – gold, Nan – gold, Cremona
Cremona was founded southwest of the SSC to provide a port with access to the eastern colonies on the Spanish island.
350 Iss – gems, Chi – gems, Che – Shakespeare’s Theater, size 9, Bei – silk, English – give tech, share maps
The English were useless for research, every time picking known tech to learn next.
325 Yan – settlers, Nin – dye, Sha – beads, Tat – copper, Han – salt, Che – bank, size 10
300 Tie – silver, Can – hides, Che – size 11, Cannae, silk(d) to St. Petersburg, 599g
Cannae was yet another colony near the Spanish. Both Zenon and myself sent a lot of silk to St. Petersburg!
275 Astronomy, Pao – cloth, Kai – copper, Che – library, size 12, Tsi – copper, Nan – silk, Indians – give tech, share maps; Spanish – trade for Democracy, give tech, share maps; gems(d) to Delhi, 348g; dye(d) to Moskau, 304g
One of the AI learned Astronomy on the same turn I did. This happened again later with Conscription. With a little more favorable timing about this, I might have saved a few more turns of research by trading for these rather than having to learn them myself. However, the Spanish had learned Invention and Democracy, so I had no reason to complain. At this stage, I was devoting more to science than taxes since there was a lot of income coming in from trades, because the AI were nearing the end of their usefulness as research assistants.
250 Mac – silk, Che – sewer system, size 13, Xin – copper, Sha – hides, University, copper(d) to Chengdu, 88g, dye(d) to Toledo, 272g
225 Cre – beads, Cun – spice, Any – silk, Che – gold, size 14, Tsi – food, Nan – food, Pao – trireme, dye(d) to Madras, 232g, Capua
Capua was the 11th and final colony. In retrospect, I might have overdone it with my emphasis on this, but this brought my city total to 24, which I feel is the optimal number. There were enough cities to allow 3 tech turns near the end and 24 is the number of parts needed for a 15-3-3-1-1-1 ship, allowing it to be built in one turn. Not all cities were size 3, but it was time to build MC and start helper and colony celebrations, so that they could reach their maximum sizes before the target date of 1 AD.
200 Yan – settlers, Chi – settlers, Che – dye, size 15, Nan – Michaelangelo’s Chapel, Economics, gems(d) to Chengdu, 408g; gems(d) to Chengdu, 396g; French – give tech, share maps; Japanese – give tech, share maps
Two gems in a row to Chengdu were made possible because they came from colonies, where all workers were made into entertainers just before delivery. This cut the payments a bit, but allowed gems to remain in demand by the SSC. After trading maps with the Japanese, I noticed that they had founded Edo close enough to Chengdu to permit the railroad trade route bonus. Earlier I had been dismayed that Kyoto was just a bit too far away for doing this, so this was a very happy development. So I decided on establishing two more cities, one as a station outside the SSC and the other as a station close to Edo, in order to get the rail bonus later on in both directions.
175Cap – spice, Can – spice, Cun – gems, Iss – dye, Yan – spice, Nin – beads, Tat – gems, Che – stock exchange, size 16, Theory of Gravity, Bei – silk, Pao – warrior, Any – warrior, Cre – warrior, Tsi – warrior, Sha – warrior, Tat – gems, English – give tech, share maps, we love begins everywhere
I was making a lot of warriors for two reasons: one, to demand tribute from the Japanese and Spanish during the transition to Democracy; and two, to obtain a lot of musketeers later when Leonardo’s built. Most musketeers would be shipped to the SSC to help it start off each build for the remainder of the game.
150 Nap – silk, Mac – hides, Han – silk, Che – size 17, Nan – warrior, Chi – warrior
125 Kai – silk, Mac – hides, Tie – silk, Xin – coal, Can – dye, Che – warrior, size 18, Nin – warrior, Any – warrior, Pao – warrior, Tsi – warrior, Yan – warrior, Cun – warrior, Iss – warrior, dye(d) to Delhi, 320g, Turin
Turin became the SSC station city. It also became a another port leading to the eastern colonies.
100 Han – beads, Che – university, size 19, Chemistry, Nan – silk, Bei – harbor, Cun – warrior, Cap – warrior, Chi warrior, Sha – warrior, Nap – warrior, Tat – warrior, Can – warrior, Chi – warrior, Cap – warrior, spice(d) to Chengdu, 342g; spice(d) to Chengdu, 300g; gems(d) to Chengdu, 342g; Spanish – trade for Invention, give tech, share maps; Indians – trade for Navigation, give tech, share maps
Again, the trades to Chengdu were from colonies and demand was preserved by using entertainers.
75 Cre – gold, Gunpowder, Pao – spice, Mac – silver, Che – Copernicus’s Observatory, size 20, Xin – colosseum, Tsi – coal, Can – harbor, Sha – coal, Bei – Leonardo’s Workshop, Nin, Any, Kau, Tur, Yan, Cun, Iss, & Tie – musketeers, gold(d) to St. Petersburg, 516g; silk(d) to Kiev, 408g
This was another El first for me, since two wonders were built on the same turn. All warriors were converted to musketeers, providing a good pool of units to start builds with 15 shields. On following turns I noticed that cities that did not change their build orders from warriors were able to keep building them, so I kept doing this for awhile. Producing cheap warriors and using Leonardo’s to triple their value on subsequent turns is something I wish I could manage in the stock market. On this turn the first colosseum was built in Xinjian, to begin getting ready for 0% luxuries later. Cities that were not able to build quality commodities started working on their own colosseums, too. It would be a daunting task to get all cities content by the time The Corporation was discovered.
50 Iss – colosseum, Nap – colosseum, Chi – spice, Sha – colosseum, Any – dye, Tat – coal, Che – food, Tsi – silver, Explosives, Tsi – silver, Can – musketeer, silk(d) to Moskau, 414g
25 cun – colosseum, Nin – spice, Kai – gold, Chi – colosseum, Tie – silk, Che – food, size 21, Mac – colosseum, Xin – dye, Genoa, dye(d) to Minsk, 444g
Genoa was built by Chengdu’s warrior so it could grow further. It was the station next to Edo. I could have built Isaac’s this turn, but decided to send out more caravans for trades, instead. This might have been another reason my landing was a little later than Zenon’s.

So far almost everything had been accomplished as planned by the time the AD years began. An exception would be the Colossus, which the AI had built first, but this could not be helped.
AD Years
1Tur – food, Cre – food, Yan – engineers, Che – food, Physics, Cun – caravel, Can – musketeer, spice(d) to Chengdu, 204g; spice(d) to Chengdu, 231g
20 Nin – temple, Che – food, size 22, gold(d) to Moskau, 800g
40 Magnetism, Tur – spice, Cap – coal, cun – coal, Yan – gems, Kai – silk, Mac – gold, Tat – colosseum, Che – silk, size 23, Xin – copper, Nan – colosseum, Can – warrior, Bei – silk, spice(d) to Chengdu, 234g, revolution, Japanese – no tribute; Spanish – 100g tribute, Indians – give tech, share maps
Now that triremes and caravels were converted to galleons, it was time for Democracy. Chengdu reached its final size of 23 on this turn and it was finally time to load up the Indians with tech and to use them as the key civ to reduce research costs.
60 Tie – colosseum, Che – food, Can – gems, government to Monarchy, Spanish – 100g tribute, Japanese – no tribute, government to Democracy, spice(d) to Chengdu, 258g
80 Steam Engine, Han – colosseum, Che – Sir Isaac Newton’s College, Tsi – colosseum, Sha – colosseum, silk(d) to Toledo, 336g; copper(d) to St.Petersburg, 392g
100 Cre – temple, Nap – dye, Pao – colosseum, Nin – spice, Kai – colosseum, Chi – silver, Sha – coal, Any – colosseum, Mac – food, Che – food, Railroad, Bei – colosseum
120 Tat – coal, Tie – gems, Che – Darwin’s Voyage, Metallurgy & Industrialization, Nan – gold, Sha – temple, English – give tech, share maps; spice(d) to Chengdu, 312g; cloth(d) to Bahore, 204g
140 Gen – engineers, The Corporation, Cun – library, Kai – library, Che – oil, Xin – dye, Can – colosseum, Electricity, Any – transport
From here on out it was two techs per turn or better and it became a race to build libraries, universities and superhighways. Many caravans had been standing by AI cities in preparation for these two techs turns. Now they were freights and it was time to start making some real cash from trade to finance further development
160 Refining, Tur – diplomat, Cap – oil, Can – colosseum, Iss – beads, Nap – salt, Yan – colosseum, Pao – silk, Sha – oil, Tat – silk, Tie – oil, Han – wine, Che – silk, Tsi – oil, Sha – oil, Steel, Nin – transport, oil to Edo, 242g; silk(d) to Cordoba, 288g; silver(d) to Delhi, 330g; beads(d) to Madras, 184g; silk(d) to Minsk, 846g; gems(d) to Kiev, 366g; coal(d) to Issus, 225g
The oil delivery from the SSC to Edo set up the first rail route bonus. A lot of gold was needed, so many freights were finally cashed in
180 Gen – diplomat, Combustion, Can – engineers, Cre – engineers, Yan – library, Kai – university, Chi – gold, Any – silk, Che – silk, Xin – library, Nan – temple, Can – oil, Electronics, Bei – silk, dye(d) to Madrid, 94g; silk(d) to Madrid, 318g; dye(d) to Seville, 264g; dye(d) to Hastings, 176g; silk(d) to Kiev, 378g; gems(d) to Chengdu, 284g
200 Tur – engineers, Cap – dye, Cun – oil, Automobile, Iss – oil, Nap – library, Nin – library, Kai – temple, Sha – library, Tat – library, Tie – library, Han – oil, Che – superhighways, Mass Production, Tsi – oil, Sha – library, silk(d) to Minsk, 954g; Russians – trade for Chivalry; silk(d) to Smolensk, 504g; silver(d) to Smolensk, 245g; coal(d) to Smolensk, 290g; dye(d) to Chinan, 88g; coal(d) to Bombay, 390g
Samson’s “zoom to home city” trick was used on this turn to build superhighways in the SSC on the turn Automobile was discovered
220 Atomic Theory, Cun – oil, Cre – spice, Yan – university, Pao – library, Chi – spice, Any – oil, Mac – library, Che – gold, Conscription, Xin – university, Nan – oil, Can – hides, Bei – oil, beads(d) to London, 256g; gems(d) to Canterbury, 360g; gold(d) to St. Petersburg, 420g; oil(d) to Edo, 1045g; Japanese – trade for Horseback Riding, give tech, share maps; spice(d) to Edo, 136g; oil(d) to Chengdu, 707g; oil(d) to Chengdu, 800g; oil(d) to Chengdu, 612g; Indians – give tech, share maps
About 4336 gold on that turn, plus the second rail bonus route was established to Edo. Not bad.
240 Leadership, Tur – coal, Cun – superhighways, Iss – superhighways, Nap – oil, Nin – university, Kai – oil, Chi – superhighways, Sha – university, Mac – superhighways, Tat – university, Tie – university, Han – library, Che – silk, Tactics, Tsi – silk, Sha – university; oil(d) to Smolensk, 588g; oil(d) to Smolensk, 399g; French – give tech, share maps; wine(d) to Paris, 330g; copper(d) to Orleans, 204g; gold(d) to Orleans, 300g; oil(d) to Smolensk, 480g; silk(d) to Minsk, 1016g; dye(d) to Moskau, 342g; oil(d) to Chengdu, 789g
4446 gold this turn, even better. It was all being spent as fast as it was coming in, though
260 Gen – dye, Nuclear Fission, Cap – temple, Cun – silver, Cre – library, Iss – library, Yan – superhighways, Pao – university, Any – superhighways, Tie – superhighways, Han – superhighways, Che – gems, Machine Tools, Xin – wool, Tsi – library, Nan – library, Can – superhighways, Bei – gold; silk(d) to Moskau, 612g; oil(d) to Smolensk, 702g; coal(d) to St. Petersburg, 215g; English – give tech, share maps; hides(d) to York, 252g; oil(d) to Chengdu, 777g; silk(d) to Cunaxa, 396g; silk(d) to Cunaxa, 528g; silk(d) to Cunaxa, 390g; oil(d) to Issus, 705g; oil(d) to Chengdu, 1098g; gems(d) to Chinan, 976g
This was the best trading turn, which brought in 6651 gold!
280 Nuclear Power, Cap – library, Can – library, Cun – spice, Iss – university, Nap – university, Pao – spice, Nin – superhighways, Kai – superhighways, Chi – library, Sha – superhighways, Any – library, Mac – university, Tat – silk, Tie – silk, Han – university, Che – silk, Miniaturization, Tsi – oil, Nan – university, Sha – superhighways, Tur – transport, Indians – give tech, share maps; oil(d) to Tientsin, 607g; coal(d) to Moskau, 170g; oil(d) to York, 462g, oil(d) to York, 450g; oil(d) to York, 483g; silk(d) to Minsk, 1092g; spice(d) to Chengdu, 858g
Now most cities of consequence that were founded after the SSC had a library, university and superhighways and when calculating how much science they would produce when SETI was built at the beginning of the next turn, I found that the total was a bit shy of what was needed for the second advance. The SSC and the cities founded before it had more than enough science for the third advance, so for this turn the SSC workers on two of its specials were made into scientists and these specials were used by the two cities south of Chengdu to augment their own science. Doing this increased the science to a level needed for the second advance without taking away too much from the SSC and earlier cities, so that they could still manage the third advance. Needless to say, preparation for the following turn took a lot of planning, checking and double checking. Another key was to get SETI built by a station city, Turin, so that it would boost the science of the 24 cities that were processed afterwards. The other station, last city founded and first to be processed was needed to trigger the discovery of Computers and to use the “zoom to home city” trick to build SETI in Turin. Every city I had needed to contribute in order to make this first 3 tech turn work.
300 Gen – library, Computers, Tur – SETI Program, Cap – university, Can – university, Cre – dye, Cun – oil, Yan – beads, Pao – superhighways, Chi – university, Any – university, Tat – superhighways, Tie – oil, Flight, Che – silk, Xin – food, Radio, Can – hides, Bei – hides; Indians – give tech, share maps; wool(d) to Moskau, 195g; silk(d) to Moskau, 594g, silk(d) to Smolensk, 1134g; silk(d) to St. Petersburg, 414g; silver(d) to St. Petersburg, 177g; oil(d) to Issus, 489g; oil(d) to Shanghai, 467g; spice(d) to Chengdu, 440g
320 Laser, Cun – spice, Iss – oil, Nap – food, Nin – salt, Kai – food, Sha – salt, Mac – food, Han – food, Advanced Flight, Che – gems, Xin – temple, Tsi – gold, Nan – oil, Sha – oil, Rocketry, oil(d) to Tatung, 398g; gems(d) to Anyang, 595g; spice(d) to Chengdu, 488g; spice(d) to Chengdu, 579g; dye to Chengdu, 133g; Indians – give tech
340Gen – engineers, Space Flight, Tur – Apollo Program, Cap – food, Can – food, Cre – food, Cun – oil, Yan – food, Pao – silk, Any – silk, Tat – food, Tie – gold, Plastics, Che – silk, Nan – silver, Fundamentalism, Bei – hides; silk(d) to Chinan, 299g; silk(d) to Cunaxa, 347g; oil(d) to Chinan, 420g; oil(d) to Shanghai, 480g; silk(d) Minsk, 1110g; silver(d) to Smolensk, 214g; oil(d) to Anyang, 294g; oil(d) to Paoting, 252g
This was the last of the 3 tech turns and they had made it a bit of a struggle to get enough freights ready in time to build a space ship on the following turn. It turns out about 800 gold had to be raised by auctioning off a few superhighways.
360 Gen – C#1, Superconductor, Tur – S#1, Can – S#2, Cre – S#3, Cun – S#4, Iss – S#5, Nap – S#6, Yan – S#7, Nin – S#8, Kai – S#9, Chi – S#10, Sha – S#11, Any – S#12, Mac – S#13, Tat – C#2, Tie – C#3, Han – S#14, Che – C#4, Xin – S#15, Tsi – M#1, Can – M#2, Nan – C#5, Fusion Power, Sha – M#3, Bei – C#6, launch 15-3-3-1-1-1
Again, “zoom to home city” was needed in order to build the modules on this turn. It was fun to see the end of the game go as planned so long beforehand
375 arrival on Alpha Centauri