So in 1857AD, when I had captured Antium, Rome had no metal either (at least as far as I could tell without satellites), so I made peace with him again. Next up on my list: Cathy.
Yay, riflemen again! *yawn* It was surreal: I had only one(!) city producing military units the whole time during the war, all other cities had been on infrastructure, and yet I was steamrolling over my opponents. Delhi had built some wonders in the meantime: Broadway, Rock'n'Roll, Eiffel Tower, Globe Theatre... From Cathy I did not only capture those islands that had metal, but also an island with dyes on it so I would have my own source from now on. Peace was declared again in 1873AD, and my fleet moved on.
The war against Cyrus was a little bit different, as he had destroyers by now. I was impressed...not. He had more than enough ships to sink my invasion fleet, but he never attacked it. Instead, he sent half his fleet out to pillage my sea resources, and the other half he left rotting in his cities, soon destroyed by me capturing those cities. And regarding the sea resources, I actually let him pillage them and replaced them after the war, because the odds of sinking a destroyer with a battleship aren't so hot, so just building some work boats was easier. Sure, I could have built some bombers to bombard the ships first, but I didn't bother. I wish there were some kind of rock-paper-scissors combat system for naval combat as well, like there is for ground combat!
Apart from his destroyers, Cyrus too never bothered to even try to counter-attack. Man, I had lots of cities defended by archers! Instead, he decided to go on my nerves by using his units to patrol his small islands. Oh, and... he declared war on Mao. Yeah right, I just had captured his core in only a couple of turns, and he responds by declaring war on Mao...I guess his units had been sent towards him before I had declared on him, and once an AI is set on declaring war, it seems nothing can stop it. Not even losing the capital and the first three cities he ever founded.
Note the scores in the screenshot... Oh, and of course I not only removed his capital, but also made sure to acquire more precious silver!
I waged war against Mao, then against Rome and Persia again, then Cathy and Toku, all to get all silver and gold resources, and to get some additional islands for scenario points. But after that I didn't dare to capture even more cities, because I feared the AIs wouldn't have anything left to trade for my gems afterwards! I wanted to get those extra points for having all rivals as customers, you know?
Inbetween, Julius asked me to switch to Representation.
He was a customer of mine, so of course I complied - but my income dropped by nearly a 100 gold per turn, so I switched back after five turns immediately. Then, another customer of mine asked me to change civics.
No way, Mao! A proper gem trader won't ever leave free markets! What I later did though was to switch to Universal Suffrage to rush-buy some ICBMs - I had irrigated Delhi's forests in the end to bring the city up to size 25, so it was no longer able to build them on its own.
I also decided to go for a higher score, and kept playing until the year 2036AD to settle more islands before I voted myself to a diplomatic victory. That was a half-hearted attempt though, because I kept only Bombay on producing settlers because I didn't want to handle all the fleet movement, so in the end there were a lot of small islands left I could have settled if I had more patience. I also researched up to something like Future Tech 13 or so, for what it's worth. Of course every city at a gem resource got a research lab, and four of my cities founded before 1500AD managed to get to size 25 (again, I could have had six if I had used my great merchants properly...).
The scenario idea itself, and the competition against the other human players, had been a lot of fun! Thanks Sirian. A lot of conflicting decisions had to be made, and I think I did not make always the right ones. I had clearly overestimated the AI's ability to compete on this map, so instead of playing safe in the beginning, I should have played more determined towards the scenario goals of connecting gems as fast as possible. Additionally, any player who has more patience moving settlers around the map will have scored more points for owning islands (I had 59 in the end). I won't get any points for fastest finish either, but that was never planned anyway.
But while the competition against the humans had been great fun for me, the competition against the AIs was a real letdown. I have expressed my high opinion of the game's AI before, but now I have to say that this is only valid for pangea and continent maps. I don't think I will ever play an archipelago map with few land tiles again, as the AI is completely unable to handle these. It has no cottages to spam, its navy AI is simply awful, and its general combat AI doesn't seem to work there either. But even without cottages, I have no idea how they managed to fall behind that far. That is ridiculous! This was my first game with the new patch, and I seemed to notice they value techs even higher now than before. Maybe that leads to less trading between them? I don't know, but even without trading they should be able to research faster on their own than they did in this game. Instead, they decided to build huge fleets and only used half of it, letting the other half rot in town. They also decided to declare war on me without doing anything. When I attacked them, they completely failed to respond in any way, and they still seem to be way too peaceful overall against each other. But maybe this had just been a single occurence, and other players can report a better AI performance? We'll see.
Anyway, thanks for reading! What follows is the scorecard for this Epic.
RBCiv Epic Two Scoresheet - Kylearan
Dates to record:
_______500AD connected second Gems.
_______755AD connected third Gems.
______1172AD connected fourth Gems.
______1172AD connected fifth Gems.
______1877AD connected all Gems AND have all six rival civs as Gems Customers.
______1908AD connected and controlled all Gold sources in the world.
______1931AD connected and controlled all Silver sources in the world.
Items to score in 1500AD:
___________5 Gems sources controlled and connected.
__________13 Seafood resources (Fish/Clam/Crab/Whale) controlled and connected.
Items to score at game's end:
___________y Did I remember to follow all the variant rules? (No religions founded, adopt Free Market, etc?)
___________y Did I win?
__________UN Victory type
________2036 Finish date
___________y Did I capture or raze a city to acquire Gems, Gold or Silver?
___________y Did I capture or raze a (non-Barbarian) city for any other purpose?
___________6 Gems controlled.
___________6 Gold controlled.
___________6 Silver controlled.
___________4 cities I founded by 1500AD that have reached size 25.
__________59 total number of islands that are COMPLETELY within my borders.
___________n Did I build the Oracle AND use it to discover Math or Currency?
___________y Did I build Taj Mahal?
___________y Did I earn Circumnavigation bonus?
___________y Did I build Great Lighthouse?
___________y Did I build Hanging Gardens?
___________y Did I build Strategic Missile Defense?
___________y Did I build Globe Theater in my capital?
___________n Did I build Globe Theater at some other city that has gems?
___________y Did I build a Laboratory at every Gems-controlling city on the planet?
___________5 Number of Future Techs discovered
__________10 Number of ICBMs that I control (not used) at game's end (max 10).