Three of us, myself, Potshot, and Loghound, got into the game about on time on Friday. Mattman had something going on and expected to be late.
Just a couple of turns into this round, I got what I considered a bit of an ill omen. There on the edge of my lands was an Assyrian scout.
Just what I needed, the Assyrians nosing around. As was noted last week, the Assyrians are a bit of a power in our world, at least relative to me. My military advisor had dire warnings about the Assyrians.
While they were not close by and hadn’t dropped a city in my midst… a favored tactic of Civ AIs since forever… I did worry a bit about any interest in my goings on. Assyria had been sitting on Mattman pretty heavily since early in the game when Mattman declared war on Loghound over city placement. Loghound had to drop out for a bit just after that and when the AI took over it denounced Mattman and his Chinese empire (and the AIs take denunciations seriously) made common cause with Assyria who in turn took a city from him and has been growling menacingly at Mattman ever since.
More after the cut.
I clearly didn’t want any of that action with Assyria.
On the other hand, why should such peril find me? Having gained (and renamed) Cordoba as part of my peace negotiations with Spain, I was now sitting quietly, at war with nobody, trying to get a handle on the usual post-war bout of unhappiness.
For Potshot however, the war with Spain continued. While my separate peace carved off one of Spain’s three remaining cities, weakening our foe, that also took me out of the war. And I couldn’t come back in against Spain again without violating the peace treaty, which was slated to run 15 turns. If I broke that, I would be denounced by Spain and the AI civilizations would see me as a war monger and I would have few friend in the world. That would potentially put Assyria on my back, and I didn’t want that. So I let that clock run down.
Meanwhile, Potshot besieged Barcelona and, after a long fight that was complicated by an awkwardly placed (for him) mountain, took the city.
As Potshot turned his army to face Seville, the remaining Spanish city, Mattman showed up and logged in.
He got on coms with us and started sorting out his empire to see what the AI had left him. Coincidentally, shortly after Mattman joined, we had the first of a few client issues with the game.
What happens is that somebody’s client locks up or otherwise dies. At that point the game gets interrupted and everybody gets sent to the loading screen except the person whose client is acting up. On coms we have to ask around to find out who hasn’t hit the loading screen, as that person has to force quit the game, at which point everybody else loads back into the game. Then the person who got kicked has to launch Civ V, wait for it to load up, and then rejoin the game.
That takes a couple of turns, since we’re not a very patient crowd for the most part, during with the AI often screws up what you were planning.
For example, I have a social policy that reduces the cost of military unit maintenance by 50% if a unit is garrisoned in a city. Because of this, I try to keep as many units in cities as I can. It can be the difference between making gold and running a deficit at times. Of course, once the AI takes over, one of the first things it does is move every single unit out of whatever city in which it has been garrisoned, driving up spending for no obvious reason.
Anyway, the first to drop was Potshot, who was acting as host. The hosting role then landed on me. While Potshot was getting himself back in the game, the AI managed to mess up his unit deployment, slowing down his assault on Seville. Also, Morocco denounced him.
I am not sure what Morocco’s beef was with Potshot. Probably the usual warmongering thing. But there it was, Brazil was not to be trusted.
Once back with us, Potshot marshaled his forces again. The delay was enough that my peace treaty with Spain expired, so I pushed some units that way in order to join in the assault. Per the secret protocols of our pact, Seville was to fall within my sphere of influence, so after Potshot reduced the city defenses, my own troops marched in and took possession.
And the turn after I took possession of the city, my client locked up and I had to drop out of the game and rejoin.
While I was away I was told that every single AI civilization denounced me. Again, no doubt for being a warmonger and taking Spain’s last city. But now I was on the “bad guy” list for all of the AI civs. But at least Spain was defeated.
Only, once I got back in the game, I found Spain was not defeated. We had selected the option that no civilization is defeated until their last unit had been taken, so I was still at war with Spain even though there did not appear to even be a “Spain” left to be at war with. And Spain was not interested in negotiating peace with me. So I was at war with a couple of units that I couldn’t find.
And a religion. Spain had been quite promiscuous in spreading its brand of Iberian Confucianism. All of our cities now adhered to that religion now, so we figured we would just roll with that for now. Potshot, in addition to holding Mardrid, the holy city for Confucianism, also inherited a couple of missionaries, so was able to spread it even further. I am not sure what this means for him in the long term. If you own the holy city for a religion, do you get to found another one of your own? Can you just run with the one you captured?
Then my client died on me again, but this time instead of inciting every other AI to denounce me, the AI managed to patch things up with Spain and I was at peace again. Potshot and I then spent the balance of the session on growth, happiness, and general stabilization of our empires. Spain was the only empire to share our continent, so there were no more local conquests to be had in any case. The next war of conquest for our alliance would require an overseas expedition.
In the mean time, Loghound and Mattman were trying to pull together a similar alliance. Sometimes it was hard to tell what was going on in their part of the world, as we tend to be quiet while pondering our moves.
At on point, Loghound proposed that Mattman join him in a war against Russia, because invading Russia is always a great idea historically speaking. However, this Sino-Celtic proposal had barely been discussed when Mattman and Russia declared friendship with each other. And then Russia and Assyria announced friendship. And finally, Mattman and Assyrian announced friendship as well, thus cementing something of a triple alliance and getting Assyria off of Mattman’s back.
This will end up being trouble, and not just for Loghound who is suddenly sitting on the doorstep of three united powers. Mattman will be away for the next couple of Fridays, so the AI will be running his empire. And while there is always a chance it will run things into the ground or screw things up with its allies, we might also be seeing the formation of a military juggernaut which could look to go after people it doesn’t like… like those recently denounced. We shall see.
I heard no other news from the east as we wound down for the night, calling the save time at turn 430. The score, for all it does or does not represent, looked like this:
That put me out in front for the human players. Despite not having any empire that I could find, Isabella of Spain seemed to be holding on to score bigger than seemed likely. Yes, she is in last place, but still. After last week’s game I looked up what made up the score tally and ended up with this:
- Wonders constructed (25 points per)
- Future techs researched (10 points per)
- Normal techs researched (4 points per)
- Population (4 points per)
- Number of cities (8 points per)
- Number of tiles you control (1 points per)
I suppose she could be there mostly on techs researched, but I began to wonder if she didn’t get off a settler before she lost Seville to found a new city somewhere that we haven’t seen as yet. But the demographics show some more about Spain.
If she has zero for things like population, GNP, and what not, that seems to indicate that there is no hidden Spanish city. So I am not sure how she gets a score of 311. Either what I found about the scoring is incorrect… and it probably is… or how those points are applied and/or retained is not obvious to me. Do you get credit for building a wonder even if you lose it?
Meanwhile, I was at the top of the chart for population and crop yield. I have a growing empire. I was also in second place for GNP, which is production, just behind Babylon and second in land area behind Montezuma of the Aztecs. So I appear to have an empire to be reckoned with, though I could use a bit more military… and approval. Happiness is always an issue.
My own empire looked like this at the end of the night.
I have to figure out a better way to display maps as our empires grow larger. I had to switch to the hex view, take a couple of screen shots, and then paste them together to get a composite of my territory. And I still managed to clip some off at the southern end of things.
And the game moves on. As Loghound pointed out, there are aspects of the whole thing that are quite interesting. Keeping the game running from week to week and the changes that take place. On the flip side of that, like any Civilization game, and especially this one, since we’re set to an epic time scale so everything moves very slowly, there are often a whole bunch of turns where not much is happening.
We will have to see how it goes next week with Mattman being away. He is still planning to try to connect with his ancient ThinkPad laptop, but my bet is that the AI will be handling his empire. And, of course, the AIs all hate me.
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