Civilization V: The Swedish Saga, part 5 (1951 A.D. to 1975 A.D.)

T.J. Hafer

My friends! Gather 'round the fire and prepare to hear an epic tale that spans the entirety of human history! I'm in the middle of chronicling my progress in Civ V's Gods & Kings expansion, with a new entry every Wednesday. Last week, my Modern Era armies ousted the corrupt Danish crown , bringing all of the Norse people under the glorious, socialist rule of the Norse Democratic Union. War has broken out between the NDU and Greece, scourge of the Western world, as we race against time to stop their bid for total global domination. Read on, as the action rises to nuclear proportions!

Need to get caught up? Here's Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , and Part 4 .

The life atomic

I'm the third to reach the Atomic Era (after Russia and Greece), breaking my three-era streak for being first. I still have the lead in overall technologies, though. And judging by the forces Greece is "invading" with, their armies are pretty technologically poor. I've started construction on the Stockholm (Manhattan) Project, which will let me build nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, I turn my tech path toward Radar to replace my hilariously outdated biplanes with up-to-date fighters and bombers to seize control of the air.

March, 1952 A.D.: NDU infantry take heavy losses at the Greek city of Elis, and the generals order a fallback to Norse soil. Operation Firestorm is a failure, but work has already begun on Operation Brightstar.

At sea, Norse submarines continue to blockade Mytilene, and the forces at Graz (Operation Justicar) are holding hold strong.

I could win this fight, but the losses I would take are unacceptable. You may recall that the infantry I've upgraded from my unique Caroleans retain their unique unit bonuses. If they die, however, any new infantry I build to replace them will not have those bonuses. The crippling of my artillery by Greek bombers simply didn't leave me with enough traction to make Firestorm a viable strategy. At this point, I'm counting on atomic weapons to turn the tide.

July, 1952 A.D.: Incredulous Norse National Guard at Kaupang are shocked to see knights with lances approaching their city. After a moment of stunned indecisiveness, they elect to shoot all of the invaders before they even reach the gas station on the outskirts of town. Shortly after, Greece approaches the NDU with a peace treaty that involves the ceding of nearly all of their cities. The Norsemen send back a shield of a Greek knight that has been riddled with bullet holes, and a note saying, “Please, do continue to overestimate your chances of winning this war.”

Greece is attacking me with an army half-comprised of late Renaissance era units, who are crumbling beneath my fully-modernized forces.

Back on the foreign front, Norse fighter pilots shoot down Greek bombers over the Tunsberg Fields and seize air superiority.

New horizons for NAPA

October, 1952 A.D.: The Norse Secret Service (NSS) deploys agents to Moscow. At sea, the Greek Coast Guard attacks the NDU blockade at Mytilene and forces them to retreat.

Greece's navy may suck, but their cities can still bombard my submarines and kill them in two hits. With no infantry currently at Mytilene to draw their fire, I have no choice but to pull back.

1953 A.D.: Danish arms manufacturers develop the DK-53 Heavy Machine Gun, putting Norse forces on-par with Greece in terms of high fire rate squad weapons.

A Great Engineer arises in Stockholm.

Adopting the Order policy tree lets me spend my excess Faith (which doesn't really do much else at this stage in the game) on great people. This guy has one job: get my atomic weapons done faster.

1954 A.D.: The New Allied Powers Administration treaties are reconvened, with Rome, the NDU, and the Celts all joining. With Spain wiped out, this leaves England as the only independent nation, as the NAPA allies battle it out against Greece and Russia's Southern Axis.

With only five major powers remaining, things are really coming down to the wire. I've secured the Celts as my likely permanent ally, mostly because they are so far behind everyone at everything that any other civ could crush them like a bug without my continued promise of protection. England seems to have actually carved out a sizable empire for itself on the Eastern continent, winning territory from both the great superpowers there, Rome and Russia. Who they choose to side with could very well determine the outcome of this world war.

Over land, sea, and air

1955 A.D.: The standing protocols of Operation Justicar, having defended Graz since the start of the war, continue to prove exceedingly effective. Not only do they hold the city, but they inflict crippling losses on every Greek force sent to take it.

On the Eastern front, the Norse army seizes control of Tunsberg Fields, forcing the Greeks to retreat West to Salzburg and leaving Mytilene and Elis open to attack. It is also discovered that Greece has constructed a small military base called Herakleia in the Austrian Alps.

Seems like one of Greece's favorite, annoying, total douche moves is to just plop cities down wherever there's room near your borders. The town might as well be named "trollface.jpg". It's irritating and inefficient and dumb and I hate it. Whatever, I'll deal with it later.

1956 A.D.: The Norse perfect radar, and begin constructing a more advanced air force.

Awww yeah. Greece is still using World War I-era biplanes and triplanes. Now that I have for real fighters and bombers, his little hobby shop toys don't stand a chance. Next stop: Nuclear Fission, the last piece of the puzzle needed to build atomic bombs and nuclear reactors.

Summer, 1957 A.D.: A great statue of the founder of the Awesomeness Religion is built in Sigtuna.

With Cristo Redentor, I now officially have more world wonders than anyone else on the map. It will help me earn policies faster, which is going to be crucial at this stage.

To the North, the Greek navy closes in on Helsinki, having sailed around the Southern horn of the continent for a surprise attack. With their Northern ports blockaded, Greece offers a peace treaty that would require the cession of all of Denmark, as well as the city of Graz. The Norsemen refuse.

Greece has actual, metal battleships now, and I don't have much of anything in that area to defend. I'll need to drop some gold to get some submarines out immediately, defeating the Greek navy the same way I did the Danish one.

The North Greece Demilitarized Zone is established

Winter, 1957 A.D.: The quick mobilization of Norse submarines sinks more than half of the Greek Northern fleet, breaking the blockade at Helsinki decisively. England announces to the world that it is denouncing Greece, indirectly supporting the NAPA nations.

1958 A.D.: Elis is besieged with the aid of fresh Norse artillery, beginning the smaller and more focused Operation Firebrand.

One of the reasons Operation Firestorm failed was that I tried to attack too many things at once. Firebrand will focus all of my strength on one city at a time, assuring quick victories.

Greece sends a bunch of outdated militiamen that can't really fit under the Norse definition of a "military" to relieve Elis.

Greece is still being considerate enough to provide the comic relief in this brutal war, repeatedly attacking my modern units with guys on horses and other outdated crap. They have more than enough money to be upgrading them, so I can only really chalk it up to arrogance.

Summer, 1959 A.D.: The Greek militias are dead almost to a man, but more reinforcements (now armed with assault rifles) approach the Norse lines from the Southwest.

We're now neck and neck in infantry tech, but my superior artillery and air power should more than make the difference.

Artillery fire keeps the fresh Greek infantry pinned down, and Elis is captured by Norse forces before they can arrive. All Greek government officials are ousted, and much of the town's infrastructure is dismantled. It is put in the hands of a local, Greek-born governor, and becomes the first territory to fall under the North Greece Demilitarized Zone (NGDMZ) designation.

Which is to say, I burnt it down. I don't really want these little cannon fodder cities on my border. They aren't worth many resources and will just weigh down my Happiness rating. So, poof they go. This being the modern era; and I being a just ruler, I'm rationalizing this in the fiction as me creating a demilitarized zone on the Greek border. Which is, essentially, the point of this entire campaign.

The times, they are a-changin'

Winter, 1959 A.D.: The Norse army turns East for Mytilene, where most of the Greek reinforcements are already entrenched.

As they approach Mytilene, the Norse army is surrounded by Greek forces storming out of the South and Southwest into the DMZ. Despite being attacked from all sides, the Norse troops including the legendary 1st Infantry dig in and weather the initial push, then drive the Greek forces back in an immediate counterattack. The Greek gambit has failed, and this battle is largely seen as a turning point where the NDU's momentum changed the course of the war.

1960 A.D.: Russia, hearing of the crushing Greek defeat at Mytilene, becomes a signatory NAPA nation. At their first meeting as a member, they reveal that they have launched the world's first manned space mission.

Uh-oh. That is a distressing little piece of historical accuracy there. Russia has completed the Apollo Program, which allows you to start building spaceship components. The first person to build all four of these wins a Science victory. Luckily, I'm still way ahead tech-wise, and you need to almost max out the tech tree to construct all of the required pieces. Plus, Greece is now alone. The Axis is broken, and the Scourge of the West is now nearly at my mercy.

Due to the overwhelming success of Operation Justicar and Operation Firebrand, a new plan is launched by the NDU's Great General at Graz: Operation Redeemer. Its goal is to reclaim the once-magnificent Austrian capital of Vienna from Greece, and bring it under Norse rule.

Summer, 1961 A.D.: Norse SB-61 bombers dodge outdated Greek triplanes and hit a Greek counterattack aimed at Tunsberg hard. To the East, Most of the Greek forces stationed around Vienna are wiped out in the initial wave of Operation Redeemer.

Back in the heart of the NDU, the Stockholm Project is completed. Once an effective, fissionable isotope is identified, the Norse will have nuclear arms.

I still need to wait two turns for Nuclear Fission to finish researching, and then I actually need to build the bomb. But at this rate, it's going to be the icing on my victory cake, not a key ingredient in baking it. Though it is likely to bake a lot of things. Mostly Greek cities.

The Heart of the West is redeemed

Winter, 1961 A.D.: A Greek Great General trying to lead a force past the Norse lines to capture Graz is killed in an air raid. Norse artillery and bombers begin weakening defensive positions at Vienna.

1962 A.D.: As Norse forces close in for the final push to capture Mytilene, Greece proposes another peace treaty. They ask for no cession of territory this time, only requesting that peace be made with their allied city-states. The Norse parliament considers this, and decides they have much more to gain by pressing the attack now, before Greece has time to recover.

Later in the year, Norse scientists finally perfect nuclear fission. Construction of Brightstar I and the SB-62 bomber that will carry it begins immediately.

And it's all over but the mushroom cloud. Next, I'm looking to grab Rocketry, which will give me better anti-aircraft guns and artillery, on the way to Satellites, which reveal the whole map and put me one step closer to winning the space race.

Summer, 1963 A.D.: The NDU captures Vienna, once called the Unbreakable City. Austria is reinstated as a member state of the NDU, along with Westerland, the Stormlands, Sweden, and Denmark. Many families who were separated by the Vienna-Graz divide over the years are reunited, and the Norse premier expresses his wishes for great Vienna to one day be restored to its former glory.

I had a unique opportunity here: I could have actually returned Austria's capital and brought them back into the game. Unfortunately for them, if I'm going to compete with the other superpowers, I can't afford to be that nice right now. I set it up as a puppet instead, and while being twice conquered has reduced it to only a shadow of the Heart of the West it once was, it's still a very valuable location to hold.

To bring about an end

Winter, 1963 A.D.: Mytilene is besieged. Greek mounted militiamen hilariously try to assist, and are shot.

Across the continent, NDU forces blitz Greek cities. In the space of three months, Norse artillery and bombers hit Salzburg, Syracuse, and Mytilene. Just before the year's end, Mytilene is captured and made part of the DMZ.

Summer, 1964 A.D.: Following the success of Redeemer, the NDU defense ministry enacts two new campaigns. Operation Mountain Thunder looks to capture and hold Salzburg and Herakleia, solidifying the Southern border. Meanwhile, Operation Kraken will target target Greece's coastal footholds along the Viennese coast as far south as Chios, wiping them off the map. The heavily-defended city of Hamburg, Greece (once belonging to now-defeated Germany) is singled out as the probable target for Operation Brightstar. In preparation, the equally-defensible city of Munich will have to be captured for use as an airbase.

Winter, 1964 A.D.: Rome asks for aid on the Eastern front as a coup in leadership has led to renewed hostilities with Russia. Remembering Rome's refusal to join the war against Greece all those years ago, the Norse politely decline.

Meanwhile, massive naval engagements off the continent's eastern coast result in Greece's entire Atlantic fleet becoming fish food. The NDU has effectively seized control of land, sea, and air. Yet, they now butt up against the rocky, stubborn core of Northern Greece, where victory is sure to come at steeper prices.

Greece continues to lose ground

Summer, 1965 A.D.: Norse forces are hit hard by machine gun fire storming Munich, while a Greek counter-attack to defend the coastal city of Syracuse is thwarted by NDU air support.

Rome and the NDU enter into a research agreement mostly focused on space exploration.

Winter, 1965 A.D.: Greek military installations at Syracuse are wiped out. Shortly after, Salzburg is captured and put under the dominion of the NDU's Austrian member state.

Rome announces the launch of its first manned space mission.

Crap, they both beat me to square one. I'm crossing my fingers that this tech lead will allow me to hit squares two, three, and four significantly faster.

1966 A.D.: The Norse begin bombing Sicyon, just as Munich is captured and put under the jurisdiction of the new NDU member state of Germania.

No tribute, no peace

Summer, 1967 A.D.: Greece proposes a third peace treaty with the same terms as the second. After much deliberation, the Norse parliament responds that they will agree, if Greece pays a large ransom and ongoing tribute. The Greeks prove they didn't want peace that badly after all, and the war continues.

Well, I gave peace a chance. With the way this is going, the survival of their entire empire is on the line. I have enough momentum to probably push them all the way back to their capital, and from there, into the sea. My conditions were generous, but I guess they're just too prideful to accept someone else's terms.

Winter, 1967 A.D.: Greece rolls out their own modern bombers, as well as the world's first rocket artillery. They hit Norse positions near Munich, taking out most of the NDU artillery stationed there. New SF-67 fighter jets are deployed to counter any future air raids.

On the Western front, combined air and sea assaults by the NDU wipe out Greece's foothold at Sicyon.

Summer, 1968 A.D.: The NDU perfects rocketry, and immediately retrofits their artillery to match that of Greece. On the other side of the same base, Firestar I, the world's first atomic bomb, is completed. It begins the long trek to Munich airfield. The science and engineering teams responsible for its construction turn their efforts immediately to getting the Norse space program off the ground.

To the South, the NSS relocates its spies from the soon-to-be-a-crater city of Hamburg to Athens and Sparta, in the heart of the ancient Greek homeland. The Norse fleet begins bombarding Chios.

Peace at last

Winter, 1968 A.D.: Greece sends forces down out of the mountains from Herakleia to attack Salzburg. Almost simultaneously, Firestar I is dropped on Hamburg. Half of the city's population is killed, and the Greek army is decimated. Word begins to spread quickly of the devastating Norse weapon.

The city isn't gone, but I have drastically reduced its ability to produce anything. In addition, everything for two tiles around it will be covered in fallout that prevents the building of land improvements (which were also destroyed) until Greece researches the technology to clean it up.

1969 A.D.: The Greek naval base at Chios is destroyed. Back at home, word of the bomb begins to turn popular opinion against the war--especially in Germania, as Hamburg was still home to many ethnic Germans when it was hit. The pro-peace Restoration Party gains power in the Norse parlaiment, and talks begin to bring an end to the conflict.

It's about time to call this war done. I've captured four Greek cities and destroyed four more, losing none of my own in the process. I hit a ninth hard enough to turn it from a metropolis to a backwater, and proved my point to the world that I'm just as much a military force to be reckoned with as anybody. I don't need to wipe Greece out completely to ensure that I'm the dominant superpower, and I don't plan to. They've lost more than enough to derail their progress toward victory.

1970 A.D.: A peace accord is finally reached with Greece. The DMZ between Hamburg and Tunsberg remains in effect, with the NDU-installed North Greece provisional government as its stewards. the Greek settlers at Herakleia are allowed to remain there, although travel outside and through Norse territory is heavily restricted.

Okay, Herakleia can't stay there. Almost as much for obsessive compulsive reasons as safety ones, I will not abide a little foreign dot in the middle of my empire. If I'd had more troops in the area, I would have captured it really quick before making peace, but it was going to be a pain as most of my forces were in the South and Southwest. So, at some point, I'm going to be at war with Greece again to deal with that. Hopefully briefly.

The new Norse premier gives a speech praising the overwhelming victory against what had been a dangerous and corrupt enemy, but also lamenting how far things went before peace could be made. The Norse Democratic Union is stronger than ever, now including most of what were once the sovereign nations of Austria and Germany. Greece's dominance in the West has been shattered, and the Norse people have proved that they can outfight a numerically-superior foe on every front. Her closing wish is that they can continue to be as brave and victorious in peacetime as they were in war.

Exit onto the information superhighway

1971 A.D.: Greece immediately begins sending what they are calling "defensive troops" to mass on the Norse border.

Really, guys? We made peace one turn ago. Really?

1974 A.D.: Greece has its own socialist revolution, inspired by the success of the NDU. The first act of this government, however, is to denounce their fellow socialists in the NDU.

In response, the NDU's Russian allies denounce the new Greek regime, and the NAPA treaties are renewed with the NDU, Russia, and Celtica as the core member nations.

1975 A.D.: Though late to the space race, the NDU shoots ahead of all competitors when they launch the world's first comprehensive satellite network, and enter the Information Age.

Woohoo! First one here by a stretch (right on Turn 600), meaning I've reclaimed my era progression lead, in addition to the core tech lead I've had for hundreds of turns. Satellites reveal the entire map (although fog of war is still in place where I don't have units or cities) and let me start building the Hubble Telescope wonder. This will speed my production of spaceship parts, and give me two (Count 'em: TWO) free Great Scientists which I will expend to further widen my tech lead.

We have entered the final era of the world. Lasers, robots, and microchips will rise to rule. So come back next week: The revolution will be televised.

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