There were only three of us online and in the Google hangout last week. Mattman either decided to enjoy his vacation or he read last week’s post and took it the wrong way. Hrmm…
But for those of us online, the game started getting more interesting. After much laying of groundwork last time, all of us seemed ready to get stuck into things.
Potshot and I left off wondering where our first expeditionary force ought to land. As we started off, Potshot declared for “Operation Torch,” a reference to the 1942 allied landings in North Africa, which included Casablanca amongst its rather dispersed objectives. In the game, Morocco was to the southwest of us and I had already started forming up the beginnings of a landing force with Casablanca as a target.
I actually had to fight my way against yet more barbarian hordes in order to grab a foothold on the island that Morocco occupied, so in initially I was probably helping Morocco out. Then I planted a city on his island to act as a forward redoubt in case things did not go well.
More after the cut.
With my foothold planted, the conquest was under way.
Morocco didn’t even complain about my planting a city on his island. But then again, he had already denounced me for just being a warmonger and was openly hostile to me, so I would guess that he felt there wasn’t much point in pestering me about that.
At the same time, Potshot was also moving units towards the beaches of Morocco’s island. While involved with that, he also stumbled upon a Spanish Trireme.
Potshot announced the unit and declared war on Spain in hopes of finishing off Isabella. I rushed to the reported location, but Potshot already had the vessel cornered. Trireme’s must stay in coastal water and may not venture onto the high seas, represented by the dark water in the picture above. So Spain’s last unit was quickly done in. It turned out to be the final Spanish unit and Spain was removed from the scoreboard. One down!
Then it was time to take on Morocco. Potshot was still landing units on the island when I declared war and pounced on Casablanca. I managed to knock it down and take it in two turns, attacking from both land and sea, while a small blocking force kept immediate enemy reinforcements at bay. A mountain between Casablanca and Fes, the next of his cities, channeled traffic into two narrow paths north and south. However, my blocking force did not last long.
Morocco rushed everything he had, which seemed to be knights and lancers, at Casablanca. Holding the city became a close run thing. But in drawing all of Morocco’s local troops into a bloody fight around Casablanca, I managed to clear the field for Potshot to march on Fes, approaching it from both north and south.
So Fes was quickly subdued while, with some help from Potshot’s frigates I was able to hold out in Casablanca, though the AI took the opportunity to pillage as much of the land around the city as it could before it died off.
Then it was time for a push on the Moroccan capital of Marrakech. I moved through Potshot’s newly acquired territory to bring myself to bear. Potshot asked if he could make peace with Morocco, since he was able to get their city of Rabat as part of the deal and I agreed. That would weaken Morocco all the more so. Plus, it gave me the momentary advantage of being at war with Morocco but sitting on the territory of Brazil, thus safe from attack.
Potshot transferred a few units over to me to help with the assault, and to lower his post-war budget, and I moved forward. However, I only had one good siege piece, a triple upgraded cannon unit, which the AI went after vigorously, destroying it before I could reduce his city. With that gone I decided to opt for peace as well, leaving Morocco in control of its capital for the time being.
The war had not been without cost. Potshot needed to get out in part because of happiness issues on the home front. He had rebellions springing up on his own territory to suppress. I had the same problem, and even after I got happiness under control and the rebels put down, the lands around my capital were a mess.
And then there was Belgrade, a city state nestled in the midst of of my lands. At one point Morocco managed to persuade Belgrade to declare was on Potshot and I. That was all fine and good, as Belgrade had no military to speak of, but it also did not remain an ally of Morocco so peace with Morocco did not come with Belgrade as part of the mix. And then Belgrade actually built a knight unit and started pillaging my territory.
So I had to pull units from all over to deal with that. Belgrade was eventually subdued, branding me further as a warmonger in the eyes of the AI civs I am sure, and adding to my unhappiness issues.
It was a good thing I brought troops up there in any case. Potshot’s happiness problem was getting out of hand, with rebels spilling over into my lands, so I had to get stuck into his little civil war as well, making me the Hassan Rouhani to his Bashar al-Assad or some such metaphor.
I also happened to hit the point… I think it comes when you have three cities with factories or some such… where I had to pick an ideology. The choices are Freedom, Order, and Autocracy. I chose Order because it seemed like it might be the best aligned with my own expansionist approach, plus it looked like the tenets of Order might help with some of my current happiness issues.
And then there was Loghound. Since I do not share any borders with him, it was hard to actually see what he was up to. But the game kept informing us of his gains. He was in an on-again, off-again war with the Russians, taking a city, suing for peace, regrouping, and then declaring war again.
I am sure that his constant breaking of peace treaties and conquest of Russian cities helped keep the rest of the world from denouncing me as a warmonger again en masse.
But as a Civ V sessions have gone, this was a very good one. There was lots of action. Spain was eliminated. Morocco was left on the ropes. Russia was beaten down. Territory was conquered. And as we rolled up to our stopping point at turn 520, which put us at the year 1930, the scoreboard looked like:
In addition to Spain being removed, Morocco and Russia clearly suffered at the expense of the rise of Potshot and Loghound. The human players are all grouped together for the moment. On the other hand, the AI doesn’t seem to be doing Mattman any favors, with China down at the bottom of the list. Granted, score isn’t a good measure of who may win at this point… in fact winning at a given turn based on score was turned off for this match… but it is something of an indicator as to how well a given civ is expanding and progressing.
And then there are the demographics.
The Dutch empire is clearly doing pretty well. It ranks number one in five categories now, and is a very close second place in the land area category. Approval though… ninth place isn’t good. But Potshot is in the most dire straights by far. I took that screen shot when his approval rating was 3%… and then it dropped to 0%. I have to wonder is some of his cities might try to defect at this point. I am not sure my cultural influence is sufficient to cause that yet.
Moroccos is otherwise at the bottom of the list, having been pummeled this round, with only Russia falling behind it in land and population. It seems that Loghound might nearly be done with the Russians.
Clearly though Potshot and I have some work to do on the happiness front. I have been trying to stem the tide by consuming great people for golden ages or technology or speeding up wonders. So I am not sure that the next round will see similar conquests on our part. But when the time comes… after I clean up Morocco… it might be time to turn on the Aztecs. The are just off of our western shore.
Or maybe we should turn eastward.
But thus ended our 7th week of the game. Past updates are here: