Epic Three: Rise of the Incans

This is the story of my game of Epic Three from Realms Beyond Civilization. Here were the scenario goals:

Fastest Victory in each category of Space Ship, One-City Cultural, Civ-Wide Cultural, Conquest:
10 pts - First Place
7 pts - Second Place
5 pts - Third Place
3 pts - Fourth Place
1 pts - Fifth Place
Histogram Victory: 4 pts

For the categories of Largest Population in 10AD, Largest Population in 1500AD, and Fastest Your Civ Reaches Modern Age:
6 pts - First Place
4 pts - Second Place
3 pts - Third Place
2 pts - Fourth Place
1 pts - Fifth Place

I took several days longer than I expected to finish off Epic Two, and I'm still kicking myself over poor planning at the beginning of that game. While finishing that game, I had Epic Three percolating in the back of my mind. And so, with lots of time to think about Epic Three before starting, I formulated a plan.

I'm going to play the metagame.

I'll go for a civ-wide cultural victory, since I've never done that before. It will probably be a popular strategy given the game conditions - large map with gobs of land per civ. But I've got an unconventional plan. I'm going to take that 10 AD population score, and throw it to the winds. Instead, I'm going to focus on rapid settler expansion, and whip libraries and temples very early everywhere.

That ought to lock in the fastest civ-wide cultural win. Also, it'll speed science at a good clip. I'll run up the Education side of the Middle Ages tree, to get Universities built fast for both the science and the culture, and also into Democracy ASAP. That will lead to a strong showing in the Fastest Modern Age category. Also, there's a longshot possibility of building Longevity before 1500 AD, which would almost certainly win the second population benchmark.

To keep research speeding along fast, I'll keep the AIs up to date on tech until the latter half of the Industrial Age, to see if they can research anything for me. Then it'll be a matter of keeping them from finishing the spaceship until the cultural win finishes.

One more thing: On higher difficulties, we've gotten used to ignoring The Pyramids. But at Monarch difficulty, with only four civs competing, they should be very attainable. They won't come very long before 10 AD - another reason to skip that population goal. With the Pyramids in hand, whipping is spectacularly efficient. It turns 10 food into 20 shields totally free of corruption.

A crafty, neat, interlocking plan. This could get very interesting. Come along for the ride...

Once again, we have an Executive Summary, or the Full Report.

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