Tue, 26 May 1998 00:52:44 -0700

% mail andym

Subject: The reason my grades suffer

Worthless Aztecs!

I think it was the English and Germans I destroyed first... The English were wimps. I started up in the corner of this long turd-shaped penninsula, in my capital city of Scum Puddle. What better cradle from which to launch the legacy of the civilization known as the 40ft Fritos? Under the munificent leadership of chief Cat Food, my cities expanded at Ludicrous Speed over the first bowl shaped section of land, over a short mountain range, and out into a broad plain. A narrow land bridge led south, and I sent exploratory chariots down and ran immediately into the fucking English. We traded knowledge and signed a peace treaty.


Couple turns later and they'd been ousted from their capital city. Cleaning up the remains was an ongoing process. At the same time demographics showed typical family size at 4.5 children. My happy little townsfolk were breeding like nobody's business. They probably couldn't read the instructions on the condoms or something, 'cause literacy rate was around %15. That's okay though, I breed 'em to build chariots, not do research!

So I beat the English into a corner and ran into the Germans. Filthy little bastards led by this jerk traveling around in a covered wagon. Apparently their capital city had been destroyed, and their official leader along with it. Same deal, we traded knowledge, signed an agreement, and I spackled their city walls with the blood of the condemned.

Pause here to build roads and infrastructure. Still breeding like nobody's business, except the Chinese decided to make it their business. Squinty-eyed maggot carrying a little red book around with him, flanked by his advisors dressed in ridiculous poofy Rennaisance outfits. Pretentious jerk. Threatened to smite me with his 'mighty armies' unless I revealed the secret of 'literacy'. Go learn to read your stupid book on your own, you bastard! I enjoyed capturing Peking. Odd though that I already had the Great Wall... It had been built by the English, in the city of Dover.

About this time I found the last stronghold of the English. A coastal city named Cantebury, full of frolicking little people with funny accents. They had city walls, and by this time everyone had discovered gunpowder, so I decided to leave them be. Which was just as well because they kept doing research. I'd built the Great Library back in the city of Creme De Yow, and every technology that two civilizations developed, I inherited too. Best investment I ever made. Set my tax rate to 0% research, and after a couple false starts I had a democratic government. Not a chief anymore was I! President Cat Food at the helm!

Still exploding to the coast. My citizens were digging irrigation all day and breeding all night. All was well until the cursed Mongols started showing up.

Now that short dude with the funny hat and the bad teeth, Genghis Khan, didn't fool around. He was using some of my own tactics. He'd slide a ship up along the coast and unload a musketeer, a cannon, and a diplomat, just out of my viewing range. The cannon and the musketeer would move as one, plodding their way up to one of my cities. The Creeping Grey Death.

Or at least they might have been except each time they actually reached my city walls they'd just get splattered all over each other by my own cannon. While they were doing this though the diplomat would be zipping around to the nearest road, and then he'd slip in the back door and make off with one of my technologies. This usually makes me angrier than it did this game; after all, most of the technology I had was inherited from elsewhere. Except each time Genghis made off with something, he'd come back swinging it. It was common to see him unload tanks and riflemen from a trireme, built in, say, 200 B.C. He's sort of an asshole when it comes to military service.

This asshole is still with me to this day, though I'm just about to burn down his capital city. I was blasting my way up to it in my back-loading heavy artillery when I ran into a fortified militia. A militia! It's the year 1933, and he's got a couple guys with rakes and pitchforks trying to stop an armored tank! Mr. Khan is a pitiless man. But I get ahead of myself.

Right about the time the Mongols were poking me in the ribs, I started to get deployments from the Babylonians and the Aztecs on the east coast, where I'd buried the Chinese. I was in trouble because they were dropping off riflemen, which meant they weren't too far away from making tanks. So I started churning out libraries and universities. In about 10 years my literacy rate was close to %100, and I swapped off my tax rate to 100% science every couple turns and learned how to make tanks-- just as they started appearing on my coast, painted Puke-Babylonian-Green and Piss-Aztec-Yellow. Cannons knocked holes in them until I could get railroad tracks laid, and pretty soon I had an infrastructure solid enough to defend myself, so I started making bombers.

Bombers are expensive to manufacture and to maintain. The Aztecs and I engaged in a long, costly war, in and over a huge stretch of ocean. I figure we each had just as many losses from our stupid planes crashing and running out of fuel as we did from actually blowing each other up. The Aztecs pummeled my coastal cities with battleships, and I kept plowing their land-deployments under with armored tanks rushed to the coast by train. Those goddamn Aztecs even dropped a nuclear bomb on Peking, cutting the population in half and spraying black pollution all over the place. I swore the nastiest of revenge on them. The Babylonians and the Mongols didn't let up either, of course. They each had their favorite spots to pick at.

Finally I sent a carrier with a single diplomat around the backside of the earth. It zig-zagged through Mongol territory and I bought an island city, where I manufactured another diplomat. Put him on the transport and kept going. Purchashed things in transit, including two cruisers, another transport (which was immediately sunk), and a bomber (fancy trick bribing a bomber in mid-flight from the deck of a moving transport ship, eh? Maybe the diplomat called him on the cell-phone or something). Finally I arrived at the Babylonian coast and, Hot Dog! The coast was clear!

Cha-Ching! The city of Nineveh cost waaay too much money. The capitol, Babylon, was right next door and ol' Lord Hammurabi wanted to chew me out. But of course the bastard couldn't, because I'd just built the United Nations back in the delightful city of Landlocked. He was forced to sign a treaty with me. He was also forced to sign a treaty with me after I bought the city of Oruk. And after I bought the city of Sumer. Heh heh heh. He was down to Babylon, which I couldn't purchase. Luckily he started pinging my settlers with his sea units, and congress ripped up our last treaty, giving me free reign to end his pitiful life. But I had bigger problems.

Ever since I'd started sparring with the Aztecs, they'd been putting crap in space. It was my own fault, because I'd built the Appolo Program in order to see all the cities on the map, which also allows any civilization with comparable technology to begin constructing a spaceship. I realized hell was about to break loose when the Aztecs were one component away from having all the neccessary elements to a successful launch. Once they launched, there was no stopping them from winning-- even if I destroyed their capital city, the ship would continue to Alpha Centauri long before my behemoth ship was even built. I'd saved the game, and had to restore four or five times at this point, trying to invade their capitol city and sabotage their spaceship before they could finish it. I exhausted every tactic I knew. Then I got Really Pissed Off.

So I manufactured a nuclear weapon in the ex-mongol city of Itzapalapa. I assume by the name that the Mongols had captured this city from the Aztecs long ago. Well now I'm using it as a launchpad. At the same time I built a transport in one turn in the ex-Babylonian city of Nineveh. Loaded it up with a mechanized infantry unit and got it halfway down the coast to Coatepec. Sucked all my bombers back to the city of Itzapalapa, and hit the Big Red Button. Ka-Plam, and Coatapec was knocked back half a century. Funny that the city walls were still standing. I deployed the mechanized infantry directly into the pollution-splattered streets and claimed the town for the 40ft Fritos. But my revenge wasn't over yet.

Their capital city, Tenochtitlan, was just down the road. I knew that in one turn they would manufacture that component in a fit of fear and launch me into the loser's circle. So I flailed wildly and the first thing I manufactured in Coatepec was a ... diplomat!! Next turn, instead of manufacturing anything, the Aztecs latched onto the diplomat and decided to make peace with me. Over the next couple turns it became apparent that they didn't care to work on their spaceship when they were not at war. Fancy the hell out of that! So I sent the diplomat to check out their capital city.

Utter insanity. No wonder I couldn't conquer it before. There were so many mechanized infantry and riflemen units fortified inside that they didn't fit in the units box. Scattered around also were almost a DOZEN nuclear weapons. The manufacturing box was completely black with shields, and only a tiny blue region covered their current project, a single space-station component. Apparently it should have been finished a very long time ago, but for some reason they weren't authorizing it.

I had to take this city. I had to stop that ship. I piled up every bomber I had in Coatepec. Then I built two nuclear weapons. Next turn I dropped them both on Tenochtitlan. A first in probably any game of Civilization: I nuked the same city twice in the same turn. The population went from 22 to 5. The foliage was black with pollution. The city walls were STILL standing. Then I sent out nine bombers. It took every single one of them to destroy the remaining military units in that city. But finally it was laid open and ready to claim. Aaah, now I'll just wheel in this ... uh ... OH SHIT! I don't have a ground unit to occupy the city with!!

Chagrined, I set Coatepec to manufacture one and waited for the next turn. The Aztecs ... sat on their asses. They didn't finish the component. Huh?! Oh well; works for me. So I wheeled in and claimed their city. Then I sent planes down to carpet-bomb Chapultepec, and drove in heavy artillery to claim that too. Next turn the Aztecs dropped a nuke on it. I can just see all those poor townsfolk going, "Hey, cool, we're 40ft Fritos now! Much better than slaving over nukes as Aztecs! Say, what's that noise?" BOOM. That's three cities surrounded by pollution, and between polishing off the Babylonians, slapping around the hapless Mongols, and gleefully raping the Aztecs, I couldn't get enough settler units out there to clean up the pollution before global warming occured. Damn.

So the terrain is a little washed out, but things are otherwise okay. The Babylonians have been crushed. The Aztecs have been booted off the mainland, and cling to life in one city somewhere in the uncharted northern regions. The Mongols have always been suckers for money, and I've been buying up their cities one by one and am just about to set fire to Samarkand. My ship is completed and awaiting launch. It's been a fine, 40-hour game as the 40ft Fritos. With proper management I may be able to push my slavering population to breed me into the 200 range on the High Score list. I'll probably get a better Civilization rating than Moses.

Yes, life is sweet for President Cat Food. No thanks to those goddamn Aztecs.