Sunday, 17 May 2020

Long Live the Queen! Turns 131-140

In a piece of fortuitous timing, I got the ping in the discord channel letting me know that it was my turn in our communal succession game of Civ VI just as I was trying to work out what to do next this evening. If you're interested in the details of the last few millenia, check out Naithin's game page here

I then decided I'd better strike while the iron was hot when it came to drafting this, because with other people waiting just letting this post sit for weeks in the drafts folder like everything else I've written in the last fortnight seemed a little rude. 
Since I last laid eyes of realm (a couple of weeks ago for me, a decade short of two thousand years for the English), it's grown from two small cities hugging the Southern Ocean to a sprawling Empire on which the sun never sets, with six settlements spanning the continent. We've gone from being about to discover the secrets of Bronze Working to being on the brink of discovering Gunpowder (though we don't seem to have worked out how to mine Iron just yet). 
Unfortunately, some of these new cities are looking a little bleak. I've never been to the real-world Bradford, but looking at this little collection of hovels squatting in the ice doesn't make me particularly keen to check it out. Since both the growth and production in this sad little place are essentially nothing, I go ahead and purchase a builder to try and get a little industry going, and switch the production into building a Dockyard. This is not so much to service our Navy, which I've now disbanded since it turns our that we're landlocked and not likely to get a lot of use out of it, but to boost the production of our fleet of fishing boats a little. Maybe somewhere down the track Bradfordians can look forward to some more crab in their diet.
Stoke-Upon-Trent, on the other hand, is in such a good location that the Sumerians have decided to try and build a city right on the doorstep. Gilgamesh seems like a nice guy, but extending the hand of friendship doesn't extend to giving up the natural resources that are the birthright of the British people, so I spend all our gold planting the Union Jack on the wonder tile and trying to secure the incense before Ur grows too much. Unfortunately I'm a little too poor after investing in that builder last turn (another thing to lay at the feet of the poor beleaguered people of Bradford, I suppose), but hopefully I'll be able to scratch together the gold to finish the job somewhere in the next few turns. The campus here just finished, and I set the city to working building a military encampment, since Stoke is a bit of a frontier city and that seems like a good place to build up our military might in case anyone starts spoiling for a fight.
Growth has slowed to a crawl in both London and Birmingham. It looks like London just can't produce enough food, while Birmingham is producing a huge surplus, but has completely run out of room to house people. I'm going to bring that builder over from London to try and put down a few farms and plantations to put roofs over a few more heads in the hope that things start to pick up. Ideally I'd get a little more production here too, but we're going to need a lot of builders to get that done, and gold is kinda in short supply around here at the moment.
In the southeast, the skirmishing with the barbarian hordes has gone relatively well. We did lose a unit of archers that got caught out of position, but with three units down here now and the enemy trapped on poor terrain things are looking good for our ranged units to make short work of it. Unfortunately this leaves a good portion of our army well out of defensive range of our cities, but with the French and Brazilians cowed for now, good relationships with America and Babylonia, and quite a few military units wandering around without anything to do, I'm not terribly worried.
We've gotten a trade route, so to mend fences I decide to send a caravan to Curitiba. Hopefully this will make Pedro like us a little more and be a little less trigger happy, and it also brings in a nice little haul of science and culture. We're leading the world with our scientific nous at the moment, but our cultural game leaves a little to be desired.
To the west of Stoke,our valiant spearment holds to ford against the barbarian swordsmen (how did the barbarians work out how to mine iron when the greatest minds in Britain still haven't been able to put the theory into practice?), while our warriors try to capture that poor lost worker unit. We can always use more workers, after all. There's a lot to do around here!
Teddy wants access to our bountiful sugar plantations in exchange for open borders and a small pile of gold. I feel like he's less likely to attack us if he's happy to loosen tourist visas, so I'm keen to agree to this, especially since the French denounced us again last turn. Teddy won't agree to be my friend just yet, but if we can get an alliance with him somewhere down the track maybe he'll help dissuade people from going to war with us again. We really don't want any more wars, they're bad for business.
Bristol, the first of our new antipodean colonies, has just finished building city walls, which means we can now fire a few salvos from the battlements to scare off all these barbarian fleets that keep bothering us up here. I'm setting the city to build a granary in the hopes of keeping growth here high for a while, as it would be good to pump out a couple of settlers to expand our holdings in the north. That could be a little bit of a challenge given the limited prospects for production in this city, but it might be worth a shot.
Leeds has growth problems as well, and though I have the newly-produced builder on hand, there's no good tiles to develop to help with the  critical housing shortage. Since I still can't afford to buy any more agricultural land, I set the city to constructing a theater square; having a higher cultural output is apparently what helps push the borders out further in this game, which is what we'll need if Leeds is going to grow at all. There's not any fresh water anywhere around here, so we can't just build an aqueduct and be done with it. 
The Galloping Arrows and their new crossbowmen friends have made short work of the barbarians. Crossbowmen are really an order of magnitude better than anything else that we can field at the moment, so getting our experienced archers back to the homeland to get new equipment will result in a big power gain when we finally finish shooting all these scouts and warriors down here.
With the bounty from that barbarian camp I've finally got the resources to buy the incense from under Gilgamesh's nose. I'd like to be able to spend to money to get either the ivory or the horses here, since those tiles are both better to work than the incense, but securing the luxury resource that could be nabbed any moment is the priority, and hopefully that new builder we just stole will be able to work it pretty soon to provide amenities to produce happiness across the empire and help spur on a little more of a population boom.
Since we've reached halfway to Feudalism, I decide to switch it out in favour of investigating Civil Service, since I figure we can probably trigger the Eureka moment for it pretty soon anyway and save ourselves a few years of painstakingly puzzling out exactly how to get armour on our horses. Unfortunately we only have three farms instead of the six that we'll need to get that boost, but since farms are a big priority on the agenda at the moment anyway that doesn't feel like such an impossible task. In what has become a familiar story lately, growth has completely stalled in London, so I decide to pause what it was working on and focus on getting another settler to try and relieve a little pressure by encouraging some emigration.
Eeek! Sumeria has just founded a religion, which leaves just one available for us to grab and a three-way race to found it with us only slightly ahead against our fellow heathen nations. Since we've already got really strong faith generation it would be a real shame not to be able to spend it on anything, so I've set the people of London the task of concentrating their efforts on praying with all their might for the advent of a Great Prophet. Hopefully we prove to be better at praying than the French or the Egyptians. I guess that Settler will have to wait.

All too soon, my short reign comes to an end. I researched no technology, made no cultural advances and fought no wars, but a nation is built by the leaders that quietly contribute to industry and the economy as well, so I hope our people will look on me with kindness when it's time to write the history of the English Empire. Time to hand the reins to the Rambling Redshirt and sit back and enjoy the show.

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