I now have fuel for the coming war. A 2008 bottle of Greek wine.
However, despite the alcohol, the game is not going well, and a steady stream of enemy ironclads drive down from the north east.
I have a bit of a dilemma: my entire army consists of two land ironclads and a piece of artillery and I desperately need more! But all three of my cities are close to constructing difference engines which, once operational, should give me a substantial production boost which is going to be vital if I intend to counter-attack. DO I switch production, or try and hold on? Two land ironclads and a single piece of artillery? It’s not much. On the plus side, I quickly find out latterly is really powerful. The woeful downside is that I find out from Ignace Curnow who promptly shells Dortmund back to the stone age, and then drives in. My two remaining cities complete their difference engines and switch to recruiting infantry Hopefully we hold fast.
Needless to say, Essen doesn’t last long. Things are looking bleak, and I’m coming to the conclusion that there’s a reason the Greeks aren’t famed for their wine making skills.
Things go from bad to worse. Octavious Cutler decides to jump on my while I’m down and Eruch’s fall is inevitable.
A humiliating defeat. Where did it go so wrong?
I’m not sure really. I played a warm-up game on Prince difficulty which I won without much effort, and the AI didn’t come close to declaring war. And if they had, I had the largest army anyway. My opening tactic was broadly the same in that game: build difference engines in all cities, which unlocks a national wonder which gives a good production boost to a city. High production seems really valuable in this game. One of the five titles goes to the owner of the highest production city in the game, and high production generally will directly help in constructing more wonders and a larger army than other players.
Anyway, a fun mod and I recommend CiV players give it a try. The only downside is that it doesn’t use any of the mechanics from Brave New World. I’d love to see Empire of the Smoky Skies v2.0 which uses the new trade route and united nation mechanics. They’d fit really well thematically!