I started a new Civ 5 game last night. Playing as Egypt, Settler difficulty (the easiest,) Tiny map (4 civs, 8 city-states,) Archipelago style, and with the advanced options "One-City Challenge" and "Disable Start Bias."
I was kind of amused in my second game when i got to the Persians on the other side of the continent and found their land covered with Silk resources. I figured it was just a funny coincidence, but i guess not, since "Disable Start Bias" is there to turn off the apparently default behaviour of matching civilization starting positions to "map conditions." I'm not sure what all conditions are considered, but i'm guessing available resources are part of it. I'm not sure what resources are particular to Egypt. I really wanted Marble, and it's certainly possible that is an Egypt appropriate resource, but i didn't want to gamble so i just turned the option off.
I got a good map on just my second try. There was a lot of desert around, but some of it had a river along it, which was fine, it was right on the coast (not hard on Archipelago setting =) and there was a marble resource two spaces away. Given how early Quarrying is in the tech tree i decided to found my city right where i was rather than wasting time moving on top of the marble. I then built one scout and one worker and moved on to pumping out Wonders. So far i've gotten every single one, without even needing to reload after another civ got one first :)
It's currently 1909 AD in the game. With my city on production focus i'm getting 145 science, 37 gold, 56 happiness and 206 culture every turn. The next set of Wonders for me to work on are the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Pentagon, and i'm researching the Telegraph (yay culture boost!)
The next policy level is at 2015 points, and i've picked up 27 levels already (if you include the picks necessary to open each branch to begin with.) My choices have been rather scattered, i started out with Tradition and got everything in that except the "buy new hexes cheaply" one. By the time it was available i'd already expanded past all the hexes i could buy. I got two out of Commerce when that became available, but moved on to Freedom and Liberty when they opened up, and have completely bought out those two trees. I backtracked to Patronage at some point and grabbed the two left options in there (influence decreases slowly and city states give you science) and then grabbed the middle three of Order for the production bonus. So i'd be three policy levels away from winning a culture victory if i'd been more focused, but that's okay since i want to get all the wonders before i win :)
was kind of boned on strategic resources aside from Marble. No Iron, no Coal, no Oil. I did end up with an Aluminum, but it's beneath my only square of jungle, so i haven't developed it yet. (Why doesn't the Civilopedia provide you with a list of what units and buildings use a particular resource under that resource's entry???) However when i got my first great artist i positioned him next to some silver just outside my borders. I wasn't desperate to get it since i already had two silver inside my borders, but it seemed better than nothing. I was just waiting for culture to expand my border one more space in that direction so it would be in range for a Culture Bomb when i got the tech that revealed Oil, and found that although there was none in my territory there was one two spaces outside of my northwestern border. So i moved the Great Artist over there, did a Culture Bomb, and had oil! Then i noticed that continuing over in the same direction about six spaces away was some Coal! So i built the Louvre to get two more Great Artists, and then coincidentally a turn or two later generated another Great Artist. Then i discovered the rule about only one Culture Bomb every ten turns. So i lined up my Great Artists across the ocean and onto the island with the Coal and waited, then waited some more, and then a little more. As i was waiting for the last Culture Bomb England tried to send a settler up to that area, but luckily i already had units there to block its progress without starting a war. Finally about 30 turns after starting the whole project i had my Coal and could build a Factory in my city, yay!
Relations have been going fairly well with the other Civs. The Japanese and the Ottomans have been relatively friendly and keep making Research Pacts with me. England has been a little pissy. They once commented about the small size of my army, and on _several_ occasions have made snide comments about how my borders haven't been expanding. On that second item, what they actually mean is that i haven't built more than one city. I'm not sure if it makes sense for the AI to keep hassling me about that when i've got One-City Challenge mode turned on. What's really funny though is that my actual borders have expanded to quite a degree, to the point that the crossed the channel over to their island and i've now claimed several hexes of their territory :) The derision of my military i dealt with by upgrading a Pikeman and an Archer to Infantry, and a Caravel to a Destroyer. My "pointy stick" score jumped from 400-500 (i think) to over 1000, and i haven't heard any snide comments from England since then :)
Speaking of One-City Challenge mode and military though, i just realized i need to figure out what happens if you capture a Capital or City-State while playing a OCC game. I know that if you capture a regular city it forces you to Raze it, but i also know that according to the basic rules you aren't allowed to Raze Capitals or City-States. So what happens in OCC mode in that case? Do you get to have a semi-legal puppet state? Or does the game just self-destruct? *very curious*
And re: the specific comments from the last entry...
"Another alternative to going coastal and getting the +3 Commerce is to use Great Scientists to slingshot into the Industrial Age very, very early by skipping most of the tech tree (the total lack of interconnections between parts of the tree make this disappointingly easy) and take Communism for the +5."
I hadn't realized that big a jump was actually possible. I skipped Horseback riding (i believe) for a little while because i didn't need it, but eventually i had a big enough backlog of Wonders to build that i went and backfilled my tech tree. I'm not sure i could have done any more extensive skipping though since i needed to unlock all the Wonders possible. I'll have to investigate that for later games though. I've definitely been under-utilizing Great People so far though. In my first game i just used them to build tile improvements, but i had noticed that the improvement over the basic tile improvements wasn't as great as i would have liked, especially since it often removed food from the city. Once i filled up all the accessible deserts tiles in my current game i'd been letting the GP just kind of sit around. I also hadn't been building the the "improve GP spawn rate" buildings at all. I corrected the building part once i realized how useful the Great Artists could be, but i still need to figure out how to best utilize the rest of them.
Oh, and in regards to making sure i founded my city next to water so i could get the Commerce bonus, i'd entirely forgotten about the fact that i needed to do that _anyways_ so i'd be able to build the coast-city exclusive wonders =P