Since my last turn, war has come, gone, and come again. You can read all about it in the posts linked here. The people of England also found religion. You would think this might temper our warmongering instincts, at least a little. Especially because said religion is Buddhism. But no… Had I the collected military might at hand… I’d certainly be rather openly sharing my displeasure with Pedro for daring to declare war on us. Again.

I also wouldn’t have thought twice about paying the gold price to Carthage to raise their levy in our name to do the need. But at a 605 gold… That is significantly above our… *squints* …er, 53 gold.

I suspect the state of our coffers reflects the recent military unit upgrades we’ve had — lifting Warriors to Swordsmen and whatnot.

In any case! *cracks knuckles* Let’s see what we can do with 10 turns.

War and Peace

Turn 161

First things first — I move as much of our army as I dare towards Leeds to use as a staging ground. I think I’m unlikely to gather the necessary force to actually make an attack within my reign — but by golly, I’m going to give it a go. If my forces muster quickly enough — they will head up north and knock at the doors of Curitiba. Loudly. There is a battering ram en route too.

However… When the construction of the Aqueduct completes in Stoke-Upon-Trent, I’m presented with the option of building a Library in only 5 turns. Given we are just barely ahead on the path to a Science victory at the moment but still not the top researcher per turn… This is appealing despite my otherwise militaristic aims. So I go for it.

The other option I was considering was an Armory in 11 turns — I’ll almost certainly start that next.

Turn 162

I decide to offer a mutual Open Borders deal with Cleopatra — a somewhat long-term friend of ours by this point. Of all the players in our game — our goals can most closely align. Cleopatra as we’ve known for a while appreciates empires capable of fielding impressive military might. The other agenda item, until recently hidden, is that she also likes empires who put a focus on production.

While I wouldn’t say we’re ‘focusing’ production… I think we can keep her happy.

The deal I thought was going to fall through at first. An even trade of Open Borders both ways was not deemed equitable. I think I hid my exasperation well though while asking what would make it fair — and I’m glad I did. As I think Cleopatra was just messing with us, as the only additional ask was a one-time offer of two gold. With a smirk at the jest — and perhaps a bit of a power display for the sake of her people — deal struck. Now our spearmen up near her territory can take a much more direct route to the staging grounds.

Turn 163 – Nothing of Note

Turn 164

Pedro offers peace.. And gold.. for 30 turns. Only a single piece of gold, but… Given we’re not yet in a position to offer the punishment so richly deserved I am inclined to be magnanimous. He can have his peace. But England is not inclined to forget this. We know who our friends are. And our enemies.

Perhaps more interestingly, immediately after our audience with Pedro is over, Catherine De Medici of France comes offering a trade proposal. 24 gold immediately and 2 more gold a turn for 30 turns plus opening her borders to us (without a reciprocal demand!), for 30 turns use of one of our excess sugar resources.

Now… I know Catherine also once declared war on us. But nothing came of it. And now we have Bristol in a rather precarious position perched on her borders. Friendly relations between our people might not be the worst thing ever. Accepted.

Turn 165 – Nothing of Note

Turn 166

We finish researching the Divine Right civic, opening up the Monarchy governance style. There really isn’t any question here — we’re England. Still — giving up the innate melee unit strength of Oligarchy is a tad painful. Making up for it somewhat though are the two extra military policy slots granted.

Switching government and policies also seems to have granted a Euraka! moment for Castles.

I choose Naval Tradition for our next Civic.

Leeds needs a new production goal. It is behind on Housing at the moment, so the University providing +1 housing AND a good amount of Science becomes my target.

Stoke-Upon Trent finishes the Library. I could do a University here also. It was my plan to do the Armory here, but since then peace has been restored. The Armory does have a bonus to Production as well though — something Cleopatra values in her allies.

Looking at the World Rankings, we are now leading the way in research per turn. We earn 52.7 research / turn, with the next closest being Gilgamesh at 49.8. It’s nice to be ahead — but it’s still closer than I would like, so University it is in Stoke.

The other thing I notice this turn — is that we have enough Faith stored up to purchase a Missionary and an Apostle — so I do. We are quite far behind in the religious stakes — and while I don’t see it likely we will win by this avenue, we certainly don’t want to let anyone else win by this way!

Unfortunately, I notice after these purchases that the Wat — for what it does (+2 Science, +3 Faith, +1 Citizen slot) was very cheap too at 380 faith. I should be able to pick this up though before my turns are done.

Turn 167

Gilgamesh of Sumeria seems to be sending missionaries my way. It seems we bought our own religious units not a moment too soon. As much as I want to buy the Wat, I might have to take more religious units to beat back this effort at converting us. We’ll see.

We are offered the opportunity to recruit a great person too — in this case, a Great Scientist — Galileo Galilei.

Passing is an option, but it makes this person cheaper to obtain for everyone else. Plus there doesn’t appear to be anything else we’re particularly close to picking up.

So we welcome Galileo to the empire, and gain an Inspiration toward ‘The Enlightenment’ civic. His power is to provide us with 250 research for every adjacent mountain when the power is activated. There is a spot nearby, just north of London which will allow us to earn 500 science this way.

There is a spot much further to the East which would grant 750 — but that seems a perilous road and I opt not to be greedy.

Turn 168

Sumeria’s missions head past Birmingham without attempt to convert us. Possibly they’re heading to Valletta the city state instead?

I’ll keep an eye on them — but in the mean time, we do have cities of our own to bring to our own faith.

Galileo reaches his spot amongst the mountains and gives us a boost in science — completing Gunpowder, with enough left over to finish Castles in just 1 more turn.

Turn 169

Catherine De Medici decides to send us a trade delegation. I realise she is a spy-master supreme, but nonetheless… Our capital location and our goals are likely no secret at this point. In the interests of a potential friendship — or at least a continued truce until we deal with the troublesome Brazil — I welcome them in.

Castles finishes researching of course, and then I’m faced with a slightly more difficult decision. Ultimately I go with Banking — more gold income is never a bad thing.

My missionary reaches Birmingham and I use one of his ‘Spreads’ (similar to Builder’s charges) to convert 3 population to Buddhism. It isn’t quite the majority religion, so I’ll need to use another charge next turn. Getting a majority here will be useful though, as it should shift the spread pressure from the surrounding cities from being pulling in a bunch of undesirable beliefs — to pushing out our state sanctioned religion.

I also promote the Apostle with the ability to reduce that inward pressure after they have a chance to spread religion.

Turn 170

Here we are — my final turn. This most certainly didn’t play out the way I expected when I picked up the reigns, at war with Brazil. Now we’re at peace again (ostensibly) and instead I’m spreading the word of Buddhism. At this stage– just to our own people. But I guess we’ll have to see how that goes.

With Gilgamesh taking his missionaries elsewhere though, I pick-up the Wat with Faith in London.

It takes a charge from both my Apostles and the Missionaries — but they successfully convert Birmingham’s dominant religion to Buddhism, and remove the desire for anyone to practice Catholicism in the process.

Their next target is Bradford — down south on the shore. But given they have used charges this turn — they won’t be moving under my control.

Next up? Rakuno! :D The save game is here.

Strategic Map View with Religious Unit Selected at the end of my turn-set.
Strategic Map View at the end of my turn-set.