To recap from the first diary, as we begin the second 100 turns I have founded the empire of Japan under the rule of Oda Nobunaga. The initial intent was to spread through conquest, a goal that was derailed a bit by the lack of any other civilizations on the continent, aside from a single city-state: Tyre. Their heads being just as clunkable I left off at turn 100 having begun to mobilize my forces to attack. Let’s continue the journey…
250 BC, Turn 105:
Already I have seen my next foolish mistake – not realizing I was two tiles from acquiring fish for Osaka rather than one. It was either waste a newly built fishing boat or spend money to get there by buying up some land. We emptied our treasury to make the latter happen. I wonder what that mistake will cost us? I blame my city planners; incompetent boobs. I can’t be too angry, however. The Great Library they just built in Kyoto? It’s pretty damn great. As we were reviewing its inventory we found this marvelous guide to Compass building that brings us that much closer to building ships that can cross these cursed oceans.
Our army has traversed the great woods to the south of Kyoto and now marshals on Tyre’s border. Tyre has a pair of archer divisions to defend it, which they’ve split to the city’s flanks. That will not do the job. To war!
100 AD, Turn 119:
Tyre, seeing our forces on their borders, endeavored to mount a defense, but their unwillingness to make the first move has left their forces decimated. Before they could act my Pikes devastated their unit of archers north of the city, while Mr. Pointy’s spears took the forested high ground next to them. Why Tyre didn’t station their archers there or within the city walls, I do not know. This is not a point in favor of the AI.
The Tyre archers to the east were also hung out to dry, but although my two archer units shriveled their ranks they came back healed upon delivering their counterattack. Hopefully this was the result of using a promotion to instant-heal the unit and not the AI cheating. Mr. Pointy moved off the city walls and helped take these archers out. From there the campaign required a bit more effort than expected. City bombardments whittled away my most veteran archer unit as I brought in two relief Swordsmen units from Kyoto. Once they were in place it took but a handful of turns to ground the city’s defenses down. We foolishly lost an archer in the process, but the city is ours and their furs with it. Of course, the increased unhappiness Tyre brings counteracts that benefit for the time being, but it’s a start. I’ve elected to puppet this nuisance for now rather than annex it fully into our empire; hopefully I’ll be able to bring them to heel quickly and move forward.
275 AD, Turn 126:
Our gold and happiness problems continue to plague us. Our military units, however, have recovered and are now being re-distributed throughout our empire. As new Triremes from Tokyo and Osaka have confirmed, there is no land mass near enough to explore beyond our continent. Our lands are surrounded on all sides by oceans we cannot hope to navigate at this time. Though it would pain me to do so, we may end up disbanding units if our need for gold climbs any higher. In the meantime, our research into Construction has enabled us to begin building mighty Colloseums that should help our people cheer up a bit. We’ve also completed a grand Oracle that allowed us to explore our Social Policy range into the realm of Commerce. With no more heads to bash in, only improved research and wealth will help us now. On the bright side, Kyoto will surely one day be the envy of the world. People will flock to see their Pyramids, Great Library, and Oracle. Truly our capital has become the stuff of legend.
800 AD, Turn 150:
It took centuries, but we’ve completed a great road-building project, something we’ve avoided for some time over costs. Fortunately, the increased trade has more than made up the difference. Duh. I must be getting senile to think the trade bonus with my capital wasn’t worth the expense of road building at -1 gold per road tile. Thanks to our policy of Meritocracy our newfound interconnectedness has improved the mood of the people some. This Social Policy increases happiness for every city connected to the capital. Combined with our efforts at building colloseums (+4 happiness per build) we have finally managed to establish at least a small level of contentment among the populace. We probably should have done this much sooner. We’ve also researched the wonders of Commerce and with it have begun building markets (+25% commerce output) that have helped us to generate a decent profit with each passing decade. The funds are most welcome as this empire can no longer be run on the cheap.
As we approach the turn of the millennium our empire bustles with newfound productivity. Kyoto is a marvel of production, churning out new projects faster than I can dream them up. Osaka and Tokyo are now growing at rates we’ve not seen in centuries. Happiness will remain difficult to maintain, which is why I’ve continued to leave Tyre as a puppet. In every city we’ve had to change how we work the land to actually reduce our food output. We’ve even dismantled a pair of farms and put up trading posts in their stead to help balance our rate of growth, while improving commerce. As much as I yearn for the days of blood and battle with filthy barbarians, there is no glorious battle to be found in these times. Our glory now depends on our ability to improve ourselves through knowledge and discovery. To further that aim we now research more advanced methods of Education. I believe that with this new learning (and New Math!) we will open doors that will teach us about the stars and how to navigate by them. Such knowledge would finally let us explore beyond our great land and see what other wonders the world holds. Perhaps then we’ll find a new path to honor and glory through war. Until then, however, I’ll just munch popcorn and pen down ideas I have for this new warrior code I’ve been dreaming up.
1190 AD, Turn 179:
Kyoto has completed work on the great Hagia Sophia, which promises to draw men and women of reknown from all corners of the continent. (33% bonus to Great People production.) Indeed, one such Great Person has already appeared on our doorstep, a scientist by the name of Enrico Fermi. I have instructed him to build a grand scientific academy near Kyoto that will speed our research into Astronomy and all future projects (something like +5 research if the tile on which the academy is built is worked). Evidently this revelation has gotten around as yet another Great Scientist appeared soon after we put Enrico to work. I’m not familiar with this Niels Bohr’s work, but he’s possessed of the most profound intellect. I dispatched him to Osaka, where we’ve built yet another academy for higher learning. Two new science academies in the span of just a couple of turns should provide a nice long-term research boost, but maybe it would have been better to just discover a pair of free techs with the two scientists instead?
We also received a nice bonus to our production in coastal cities (a real issue for some time), by adopting a Merchant Navy policy. +3 production in all coastal cities doesn’t help Kyoto, but Osaka and Tokyo desperately need a production boost if I am to build powerful navies later in the game.
In a long overdue first, an envoy from another land arrived on our shores today, representing Lord Washington of America. I will not put trust in these Americans for any longer than I must, but for now I will play the diplomat and see what we can get out of them in the future. I had hoped for a trade of our excess dyes for some other luxury good, but the skinflint’s demands are much too high. Will I never find a way to sate this populace’s appetite? Our best hope now lies in completing the Circus Maximus, which draws and enthralls people throughout the empire. In the meantime, I am concerned that these Americans made their way to our shores. Are they that much more advanced than we? No matter. Very soon our work into Astronomy will be complete and we’ll discover where these hipsters come from.
1409 AD Turn 200:
With the discovery of Astronomy in hand, I have dispatched a unit of Pikes to explore the world beyond our lands. Based on where his scouts first appeared on our soil I had expected to find Washington’s American continent to our west, but instead I encountered Lord Montezuma of the Aztecs. He’s indecently clad, but in exchange for our excess dyes, he’s provided us with gold, which has boosted our happiness to the point that I could safely annex Tyre fully into our empire. For this benefit these feather toting heathens shall know Japan’s mercy. As part of our good faith we have mutually agreed to open borders and (later) a research agreement. I doubt these backwards people have the ability to cross the seas to our lands as it is, so the benefit -allowing our ships to freely explore their coast more- falls entirely to us.
Soon after meeting Monty, we built a pair of Caravels that can traverse the oceans with blinding speed. With them we established contact with Lord Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, Genghis Khan of Mongolia, and Napoleon of France, the latter of whom appears to have a defensive pact with Washington. I think all their heads would look good on the end of a pike. To that end, we have gained knowledge of how to work Steel, which, combined with this new warrior code that I’ve spent centuries devising, have unlocked the secrets of the Samurai. I will establish as many of these units as our Iron stores will allow. Which is to say, two. Sigh. The world must know their power. Before they go all obsolete and stuff. Finally, we discovered multiple of America’s coastal cities. Their decadence appalls me. If George truly shares an agreement with France, however, it wouldn’t be prudent to advance our military on that front. I believe I’ll look to send forces, including my new samurai, across to meet Neb. Nobody seems to like him much.
200 Turn Summary:
This was a fairly sedate set of turns, which was actually good fortune for me as I needed time to get some much-needed balance to my empire. How much my mismanagement over the first 100 turns has held me back in terms of having to constantly battle happiness, I’m not sure, but I expect I’m still right in the thick of it. (Being in the thick of it after 200 turns on Prince is not a compliment to my skills as a Civ player.)
I did finally got empire happiness under control, even after absorbing Tyre, and have enough of a cushion that I could found a fourth city so long as I maintain my current trade agreements (two of them). There’s a tile of iron up near the northern edge of my continent, I’ll need that if I really want to build enough samurai (and future unit types) to make a difference before they go obsolete. Given how long it takes to sale across the sea and conquer so much as a single city, I may already be too late to really take advantage. We’ll see. Sending the two samurai I have towards Nebuchadnezzar is probably folly, as it’s doubtful I’ll be able to do any lasting damage with them (plus the unit of pikes already sailing around up there), but if I can just get them in place and bring in some reinforcements later, maybe I can pull something off. (I’m also researching Physics, which unlocks the trebuchet. Too bad I don’t yet have the excess iron to build any of them. SIGH.)
On the bright side, my treasury is in better shape than any of the other civs I’ve encountered and I have plenty of room in the budget to build a larger fleet and army.
Over the next 100 turns I hope to get a better sense of what the AI can do. I’m not hopeful. Tyre was not going to hold up against the units (and reinforcements) I had coming at it, but they really hung their two archer units (their only two military units) out to dry by not moving to the hills or using the protection of city walls. I just don’t get that. Keeping a defensive unit within your city is just basic stuff isn’t it? (Or am I missing something?) If I had any stones, I’d pick on America or France (pretty sure they have a defensive pact with each other) just to see if they’d use their combined resources to come across the ocean and get me. Maybe later in the game I’ll try something like that, if all is going well. Hopefully this weekend I can knock out the next hundred turns and then get a new diary entry up by this time next week.