Civ5 AAR: Empires of the Smoky Skies, Part I

Going back to the Civ5 well again ~

By Brant Guillory, GrogDude

Click images to enlarge

For this scenario, I’m headed off to an ahistorical scenario. The Empires of the Smoky Skies is the ‘steampunk’ scenario with the Civilization 5 Gods + Kings expansion. There are five nations, all suitably decked out in their best Victorian-industrial chic. The military units are also tweaked to bring in airships and landships, although destroyers and battleships are not renamed.

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Empires of the Smoky Skies
As noted, this is one of the built-in scenarios that comes with the Gods + Kings expansion pack.

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Empires of the Smoky Skies
There’s some background on the scenario.

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Luther Griggs
I’m going to pick Luther as my leader.  He’s the least bad-ass looking of the options, but I like the production boost you get for buildings already in the capital (shades of Rome), and he’s got the Torus Dynamo as his unique building that boosts your science, and provides some gold.

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Scenario Settings
Unlike the Scramble for Africa, or Conquest of the New World, this one has variable maps, so I’m setting for continents and prince-level difficulty.

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Let’s Play!
Here’s the opening briefing.

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The Starting Lineup
You open up with 3 settlers, a pair each of scouts, land ironclads, and workers, as well as 3 spies.  Guard them well, dear leader…

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First things first…
You gotta start poking around for some terrain before you move your first settler or park a single city.  Use both the scouts and the land ironclads to look around.

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El Dorado!
And hey, check out what our meanderings have netted us – 500g from being the first to find El Dorado.

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And a barbarian encampment? 
We’re playing an alt-history steampunk game and we’ve still got Canadians running around?!

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Time to start settling
Let’s get the settlers moving.  I need one right here where we get production started up.  I need another one handed south to that coastline where both rivers converge.  The third settler I’m going to slowly shift Northwest and look for another coastline.

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Headed West
We’ll start out toward the West and then follow the coastline.

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Spies Like Us!
We’ve got 3 spies.  And nowhere to send them since we have yet to meet anyone else.

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Hey look!  I found a city!
Yeah, that was old 3 years ago.

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No Settling
See how many turns it takes to build a settler?  Yeah, I know – You don’t really get to build more settlers, so you’re going to have 3 cities for this game, and that’s it.  What that means is that you have to very carefully guard your settlers and be judicious about where to plop your cities.

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Instant City, Just Add Settler
Check out how many buildings are already built!  My production here is going to initially focus on quick builds so I can get those buildings even faster in my other cities.  Then I’ll add a few defensive units for garrisons.

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That Wacky Research Queue
I’m going to start with Analog Computing, and not just because it lets me build the Difference Engine.

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Searching again?  Must be re-search!
Working towards the Gospel of Wealth and Galvanomagnetism.  Civil Defense and Subterranean Exploration wait ’til the end because they don’t lead to anything and are both kind of lame in the buildings/units they grant.

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Social Policies!
United Front lets me kick off my next 2 cities with extra population.  That’s a no-brainer.

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Socialism is next
Cutting back on maintenance for all those pop-up buildings is a huge gold multiplier.

Come back next week to meet the neighbors, say ‘hi’, and then kill them!


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