4000BC     My Start (Not Sirian's)

With most of the Epics, I like to start out by discussing what the scenario rules and scoring involved, for the reference of those who may have stumbled across this page when searching the Internet. But Epic4 was a Deity game, and the only goal was to survive and win. Believe me, that's enough of a challenge for anyone in a Deity game.

The starting position:

It's a good starting location, with silks nearby and a river too. In fact, all of the land around the starting area was pretty nice, as I discovered. To me, it was obvious where the first city should go: one tile northeast, where it would be on the river and on the silks. This would mean no need to spend worker turns hooking up the luxury, the ability to grow to size 2 without needing military police or the luxury slider, and a few extra commerce each turn right from the start.

I started out by building two warriors for exploration, then began building a granary as I like to do. I had researched Pottery first at max science in order to get the granary option, using a barracks as a prebuild for it. In retrospect, I think that building the granary was a mistake, but at the time it looked like a good move. More on that in the next section.

The only thing that made this game a bit unusual was the option for any player to use Sirian's first 10 turns and play from there, stating in his own words: "Special Option: As the first ten turns are the most critical, I'm giving every player the option to "borrow" the first ten turns from my own game. You may download either the 4000BC start position, or the 3500BC savefile where I've played the first ten turns for you. Unless you have beaten the game on Deity before, I urge you to take the help and start in 3500BC. This option is open to all. However, you must choose in advance and then stick with your choice. One or the other, not both."

Since I had won on Deity before and wanted to play the whole game on my own, I opted not to take Sirian's start and struck out on my own path, however foolish that might be. After I finished my game, I downloaded the file and compared my start to the one that Sirian provided. Here are the pictures, with my game on the left and Sirian's 3500BC save on the right.

What's different between these starts? On first look, Sirian's city seems to be in a poor position, with tons of food but no shields. However, when the cultural radius of Rome expands, the city will have 4 bonus grasslands in range, easily enough production for the ancient age. My start, on the other hand, has less food but gets extra commerce from being on a river and sitting on a silks luxury. Neither of these locations is really "better" than the other, only offering different advantages. As it turns out though, Sirian's location does have a significant advantage over the one I used, something I never even considered when picking a city spot: it's partially sheltered from barbarians by sitting against a coast. Those barbs would be the focus of most of my early game...