All the World's a Stage: Part 1
I picked the normal speed save mostly so the game would be shorter - with only 3 weeks to play and report. And I still only finished it just before the due date (and I'm writing the report on the Monday it's due, awfully convenient that I've got a day's holiday ). Of course one of the problems with writing it up after I've finished rather than as I go is that my thoughts about the beginning are coloured by my knowledge of how it all ends.
We're English - Philosophical & Financial, one of which gives us more potential Great Artists, one of which should go some way to make up for the lack of libraries hampering our research rate. My plans are to go for a cultural victory, and also to emphasise culture more generally as it seems in keeping with the variant. I don't think I can pull off a cultural victory on Monarch anyway, let alone with these restrictions, so I'm just going to have some fun, and generate a lot of Great Artists
I settle in place:
I decided to aim to get the Parthenon (one of the allowed Wonders and a Great Artist producer), so set research to Mysticism. Which decided my first build as a Warrior, nothing for a Worker to do.
And good hut luck initially:
Which didn't last:
London built 2 Warriors before starting on a worker just before Polytheism was discovered. There clearly aren't that many spiritual civs in this game:
I'd not really expected to get Hinduism, and it's not that useful either - no temples, and thus no cathedrals. My research path was now to pick up some worker techs: Agriculture -> Animal Husbandry -> The Wheel -> Pottery, followed by Hunting -> Archery (for better defenses, I don't know anything about the metals yet) and Sailing (there seems a fair bit of water, and there are points for being first to meet all the other civs). London finished up the Worker, then built a Settler & escort (Warrior), before embarking on The Parthenon.
I figured I'd settle in the SE first as I think there's more production available initally (there's one hammer on the wheat tile, and the cows will give hammers once there's a pasture). The plan for York is to get some archers built, then another Settler (and escort) then a boat to find the other civs. At this point I'm thinking I'm alone on this landmass as there's been no signs of anyone else.
As York is founded before Archery is discovered I put a turn into a Barracks, then switch over to Archers. Judaism falls to another civ in 1520BC so I figure I'm not going to get the Pyramids built (but I'd rather have the Parthenon, anyway). Once I discover Sailing I start a beeline to Drama (Writing -> Alphabet -> Drama). And in the midst of that, I meet Napolean and discover I stopped exploring a little early
He's Jewish, too, so I figured he probably has the Pyramids built (somewhere along the line I missed the message about them being built) - and later on I found them in Paris:
Still, I got the wonder I actually wanted, even though my neighbour is Industrious:
I found my first hints of Napolean's borders in the same turn - I was just off discovering them earlier:
I'm now planning an expansion rush to block off Napolean from my bit of the continent - though I've given him open borders so I can't actually stop him if he's desperate to settle in my land:
So my next city is Nottingham:
Which isn't that great now, but once its borders have expanded it'll be a better city. I start it building a lighthouse so it has some hopes of growing! Hastings follows shortly afterwards:
The first of my Great Artists is born. I don't think I've generated one pre-Music before:
He gets merged into Nottingham. My plans for the initial Great Artists are to merge them into three cities. The Voice of Hindsight (which of course is always right ) tells me that I should've picked different cities. I chose London (as it has that Palace-induced head start) and Nottingham and Hastings as they're most at risk from France's culture and are best positioned to bring my culture to the rest of the world (as the variant suggests). Now, I think that York would've been better as one of the three, and maybe the corn/stone/fish city that I hadn't settled at this point. Ah well.
And that has to be the earliest I've ever got Drama, that's for sure.
Onward to Part 2