Monday, March 10, 2014

Between A Rock and A Hard Place

I started the game with the idea that I would be a small nation with a powerful navy, much like England during the 1800s. Maybe go for a diplomatic victory or a cultural one. Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men.

Things started fine, founded a second city to my south and north of the City state Valletta there. Met the Poles right to my north east. Walked west and... holy shit, ran into the Indonesians. I'm surrounded already and its only turn 60.

From later on, but you can see my Ottoman capital and Polish and Indonesian cities around it.
With no place to expand I put a third city on a nearby island but knew I was in trouble with my capital getting crunched for space early on and no where else to easily expand. To make matters worse, the Poles also were tight on space and had their eyes on me.

Fast forward centuries. I've held off the Poles in a couple wars due to a good defensive position but the Indonesians are running away with the game culturally, technologically, and militarily (see above screenshot for a sample of a portion of their fleet) while the Poles were no slouches in any department. Meanwhile the Celts and English were also powerful. Only the Assyrians who had the unfortunate luck to spawn next to the leading Indonesians were doing worse than me. With no religion to boost and falling behind technologically, I needed to do something or I was going to lose this one bad.

During a period of friendliness with the Poles, they asked for open borders and I gave it to them to appease Casmir and keep the peace. I watched as a red wave walked through my territory and attacked the Indonesians (who recently kicked the Assyrians off the contintent). Casmir must have felt they were a big threat as well and decided to deal with it. feeling like this was my chance I decided to attack as well sending a force to the south of our landline collection over the small sea to attack the old Assyrian capital now under Indonesian control.

The gamble paid off and I took Asyr and made it my new outpost. Then I swung north and took Surabaya as well, solidifying my empire nicely. With a more solid core I worked to rectify the tech gap with lots of research buildings and research agreements. Slowly I made ground but was worried that Indonesia, still strong culturally would win anyways. Meanwhile, Poland was preparing for another war... with me.

Poland attacked soon after I reached peace with Indonesia and I braced for it as I knew he was classified as having the biggest military and good tech. I weathered the initial wave ok but was startled to see the secod wave not appear. It turns out the Casmir sent the bulk of his military against my city state ally Vancouver to his south! This fortunate turn of luck allowed me to launch an assault on Lodz and take it. Then, just before Vancouver was about to fall Casmir sued for peace as I started bombing and pillaging around Warsaw! Glorious victory!

Now I entered another rebuilding and solidifying period as I worked to integrate my new gains into my greater empire. I watched with concern as Casmir and Indonesia build up armies on my borders.

I thought for sure Casmir would be the one to pull the trigger... but in one turn Casmir asked for some trades and then Indonesia launched an attack. Thus began the Indonesian purge.

I weathered the initial attacks barely in Asyra with the bulk of my army stationed on the Polish border and rushing back, but my navy proved superior and I slowly pushed the enemy back. Then reinforcements arrived and my artillery legions opened up, decimating the enemy lines. I took Medina, razed Ninveh, and sieged Jakarta. I sent in my ironclads and privateers to die to the city's guns but it helped and I put the Indonesians out my my misery. With the West won, I turned to the east.

By now my tech had caught up with the Poles and was only behind the English and powerful Celts, but they were fighting each other a lot. Casmir must have decided to pitch in and try to take some English territory as he went to war with them, so I figured now was the best time and launched an all out war with Poland. Our land forces were equal but my new battleship and submarine navy were too much for his aircraft carriers and ironclad and I bomed the ever-living shit out of anything red. He sued for peace but I was out for blood and took his last city at Krakow. The continent was now mine.

At this point I had allied almost all the city states and was working on the last handful so I decided to go for diplomatic victory. I missed it in the year 2000 by one vote, but the extra delegatesI got for being the leader in the vote assured me I would pass in 2020 which I did. I was concerned for a bit about the Celts making a technological win as they built the Apollo program, but another war with England distracted them from that goal so I could win.

This was NOT an easy victory, trailing the entire game in tech and facing some powerful enemies. I look forward to the next round.

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