I’m playing this game a level up from the previous and a map size larger. I’ve been randomly placed as Japan. Here’s a save of the starting position if you’d like to play along. (keekerdc 2-Warlord-Japan.zip)

Digging a bit into the ‘advanced settings’ for game parameters, I’ve noticed that ‘max turns’ is disabled by default. This I found interesting, as presumably games will continue until a player completes a victory condition - in all iterations of the game prior, games had a hard turn-cap by default, making a sprint for the highest score a good backup option for most games. I think it’s a good step forward.

Anyway, here’s my starting position. Some marble to the south, as well as plenty of food. Taking a step across the river would eat the movement on my settler for the first turn, so I think I’d better just plunk down where I currently sit.

[caption id=”attachment_334” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”Starting position”][/caption]

I choose Mining > Masonry as my first two tech selections so I can begin using that marble ASAP. For what I’m not exactly certain yet, it is only my second game.

In Kyoto I’ve set to building a Scout followed by a Monument.

Some early scouting turns up a couple of gold deposits to the southwest, as well as a ruins. I think I’ve found my second city site, unless there’s another food-rich area I happen across once my scout is up. The turn after this screenshot, a Greek unit moved into the southernmost visible tile with the Gold. Sup Alexander.

[caption id=”attachment_339” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”There's gold in them hills!”][/caption]

I also adopt Tradition as my first policy in order to spur growth in Kyoto. I figure I might try winning this game in a manner other than conquest. I'm also curious whether it's still necessary to expand, expand, expand in the opening of a game in order to be successful, as it has been in past titles, or whether a small group of well developed, well guarded cities can be just as formidable in the later stages.

6: My initial Warrior unit finds another ruins and gets promoted to Spearmen; word. I continue pushing south with it, as I’d like to find where Alex has started.

7: My scout is finished and I set off north with it. I think I’ve run into Alex’s northern border; that didn’t take too long. I add a Warrior and a Settler to the queue in Kyoto; the Monument there finishes in 15 turns.

[caption id=”attachment_341” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”Athens”][/caption]

10: I’ve run into Oslo (CS - Maritime) about 9 tiles to the north.

12: Scouted out another ruins, pops Pottery. Also found a source of Gems in between Kyoto and Oslo, to the west.

13: Athens is pretty well scoped out now, pulling my Spearman around the perimeter. Lots of gold down there. I suspect that his first expansion might be right where I’d like to put mine…

17: Took out barbarian camp that popped up in between Kyoto and Athens, took two turns, no sweat.

20: Realized I have no workers, derp. Tossed one into the queue at Kyoto and bumped it to the top.

21: Find Kula Lapur (CS - Cultured) to the SE of Kyoto. Here’s a strategic map grab of what I know currently:

[caption id=”attachment_344” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”Two CS and Alex”][/caption]

26: Meet Bucharest (CS - Cultured) to the NE. Kyoto has been set to emphasize food and is now at 4 citizens.

30: Ran into a unit of Ramkham's (Siam) way up by Oslo.

35: Meet Seoul (CS - Cultured) and Copenhagen (CS - Maritime) to the W, and France to the far N.

46: Everyone seems to be aligning against France. I've made two secrecy pacts against them.

52: Hit first golden age.

56: Entered research agreement with Siam.

57: Plunked down my second city. Well within reach of the second gold mine if I want to try and purchase it, although that might piss off Alex, and I'm a bit low on cash at the moment.

[caption id=”attachment_346” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”Osaka”][/caption]

60: Kyoto has reached 5 citizens. I decide to start building the Pyramids there; it should take 10 turns. The Greeks have built their second city on the coast to the SE of Athens.

62: I find Old Faithful. Apparently Seoul was looking for it, and that pushed me into Ally status with them: +4 culture/turn.

77: I finally construct the Pyramids due to some new farms being built and my neglect of changing the city’s emphasis off of food; took 17 turns instead of 10. Derp. I reach the Classical age after researching Construction. I set Kyoto to work on the Great Wall, but leave it on Food as it would only save 2 turns if switched to Production. Great Wall should finish in 24 turns.

86: Receive word that India had been conquered. India didn’t seem to be on my continent. All the more reason to get armed early, even if I don’t plan on doing much conquering myself.

100: Great Wall complete, right on time. Defense of the motherland should get a whole lot easier now if whoever’s rampaging on the other continent comes rolling over here…or if Alex loses his cool, whichever comes first.

106: Golden Age #2

109: Completed Tradition tree.

111: Alex decided it’s time to kick my ass. This could be trouble.

[caption id=”attachment_348” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”Wut-oh.”][/caption]

116: Full-on retreat. I was able to beat back Alex’s army. I lost my most experienced unit and another warrior in the process, though.

[caption id=”attachment_349” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”Wrong move, Alex”][/caption]

120: Alex has had it; I’m about to march in on Athens. He offers quite a bit to end the affair and I take it. I’ve also placed my third city down. Tokyo lies to the NW of Kyoto.

127: Looks like Siam and France are coming to blows shortly. France just tried to drag me into a war against what’s been my best ally thus far.

128: Yup, there they go - war declared.

139: No idea how the war is going up north. I popped an Engineer in Kyoto, so I decided to hurry Chichen Itza there.

143: Time for a new policy tree. I take up patronage as there’s plenty of cultured city-states in the immediate area, I could easily ride that wave to victory, if Alex can be kept in his corner.

166: I plunk down my fourth city on the west coast of the continent, and quickly buy up the two iron tiles located there. Should have done that a while ago.

175: Apparently I have the largest army in the game right now. Pathetic, considering France is HUGE at this point, 6 or 7 cities I think. His army must have taken a few dings fighting Cape Town (which ultimately succumbed) and Siam.

177: Golden age #3 dawns.

202: Popped another Engineer from Kyoto, used it to hurry Sistine Chapel in Osaka. Also put down my fifth city a few turns ago, on the east coast.

209: Siam is getting steamrolled; I think the fight up there might have reached a tipping point. Considering gifting a unit or two, as it’d be best to keep that thorn in France’s side for the rest of the game, I think.

217: Couldn’t find a way to give Siam assistance without dragging a unit all the way into their territory. Kinda strange since you can drop units onto city-states at their request from any point on the map within three turns. Oh well. Time to start beefing up the military to be prepared for France’s swing to the south at me; I know it’s coming sooner or later.

225: Welp, apparently it’s Bismark that I should be more afraid of than France. If France attacks I should have it well under hand. Bismark meanwhile has been bulldozing his continent to suit. Greece is also getting pissy about not having any room to expand - should have dragged a bigger army up earlier, buddy.

[caption id=”attachment_350” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”hmm.”][/caption]

252: Gotta give it up for the evening. I’ve established a city on Bismark’s continent where there’s a few iron deposits. Most of the city-states around me are under my protection and giving some solid culture buffs. Greece seems up to something as there’s a lot of military activity on my border, but I think he knows that he just doesn’t have enough at this point. France’s borders are now starting to butt up against my northernmost territory, so I’ve got another settler on the way to shore that area up before Napoleon grabs it all.

[caption id=”attachment_351” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”Quittin time.”][/caption]