So, unexpectedly, I'm rather uncertain of victory right now. A spaceship would be quite a bit harder than usual to build; I lack my own rubber and aluminum, and can't research faster than about 10 turns per tech. And there's also the looming menace of Greece's national culture. They're up to about 60,000 total (from looking at the graph and comparing with mine), and are well ahead of double anyone else; it'd be a close call as to whether I could research all the techs in time. I'd have to go for The Laser first and hope the others can do some researching for me as well.
Not that going for the UN doesn't pose its own set of problems. With six civs in the game (an even number), I need four votes to win. Greece will certainly be my election opponent; and they've been friendly with India and Persia all game; those votes would be enough to block a UN win. Plus there's the fact that Rome might not be around long enough to vote for me. Well, onward we go...
But then Greece rapidly changes all that.
I dial up Egypt and Persia and give them each Flight for alliances. Rome, who's getting beaten around badly by Greece already, takes an alliance straight-up. So, as long as those three alliances hold, I should be guaranteed a diplomatic victory.
I capture Eretria on the first turn of the war, since tanks and artillery can reach it in one turn. That gets Persia to Gracious.
I didn't think it'd be worthwhile to sign puny India to an alliance, especially since Greek air power would probably quickly disconnect India's luxuries and iron that they were trading to me. But Greece is a bit more shrewd than I gave him credit for:
And then I realized I might be getting a bit more than I bargained for in this war. A Deity AI almost twice the size of a human player can really crank out the units. My cities aren't really in danger, but I have to fend off about six tanks every turn (mostly trying to recapture Eretria), and Greek bombers are tearing apart my irreplaceable railroads even though I'm producing about five fighters per turn to run air superiority. They've got at least fifteen bombers pounding my land...
I considered mobilization, but decided against it. It would cost me my UN prebuild (I was swapping between the Palace and something else to keep shields in the box, and you can't swap to the palace under mobilization), and I couldn't remember for sure if you can build the UN (although you'd think so.) Also, if the UN vote doesn't go my way, I'll have to race frantically for space, and will need the Research Labs sooner than waiting for the 20-turn alliances to run out.
But, as the AIs are wont to do, the stream of units slows eventually, and also Alex starts sending some of his tanks against Egyptian cities.
Fission eventually finishes researching, in 1320 AD, and Ur swaps from its Palace to the UN, due in five. But I'd like to get this over sooner, of course, before either of my alliance partners reneges. Also, war weariness has kicked in, so my research pace will be even slower if I do have to go for space..
So I set up camp at Lisht, a Greek city two squares away from my borders. I move in my artillery and elite tanks, but AVOID capturing the city. Every turn, Greece helpfully drafts a bunch of infantry for me. My elite tanks tear them apart every time... and after about twenty-five tries, a Great Leader finally pops.
I rename the unit Winston Churchill, and the leader rushes the UN three turns ahead of Ur building it. Persia and Egypt are Gracious with me; Rome is polite, but goes to Gracious after a gift of Combustion (he's that far behind.)
I hit End Turn, hoping that my partners won't renege on the alliances, and also that Greece hasn't lost/drafted too much population to not be my opponent...
and this thing is OVAH! Diplomatic Win in 1335 AD. Honorable all the way.
Here's what Alex had to say about that:
After the fact, I loaded Apollo, to see when Greece would have gotten the cultural victory... 1670 AD. That's 67 turns from when I won, and his Research Labs would have speeded it. Without war, that would have been very, very, VERY close to when I could've launched a spaceship. I would've had to run the Laser branch first, and hope that I could still pull enough cash from tech sales to the others to buy techs from Greece as they researched.
With war, researching that far that fast would've been impossible, especially in Monarchy that I'd have to use after about another ten turns. I would have had to capture (and hold without starving to remain honorable) quite a number of Greek cities to slow them enough, and probably eliminate them entirely to ensure they didn't win culturally. And that's if they didn't get Computers until I could deny them the resources for Mech Infantry.
Good thing the Diplomatic victory condition is so easily manipulable. :)
Egypt's Thebes was also on pace for a 20k cultural victory in 2011, but that wasn't an issue. :)
Fun game yet again, and it really did keep me in suspense for a while. I was never quite sure that Greece wouldn't roll over me until late in the industrial age, and even at the end a lot of things could have gone wrong allowing Greece to pull it off. But they didn't, and I retain my perfect record in post-1.29 Deity games (discounting The Gauntlet.) :)
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