In an Alternate Timeline

I was still quite disappointed at having failed in the original plan. When I attacked Egypt, the graph showed Incans gaining on them in culture pretty rapidly - but that turned out to be misleading. The Egyptian war was from 1200 to 1400 AD. My Golden Age had been 200-400 AD, during which a lot of cultural buildings were built. I was seeing the effects of 1000-year cultural doubling, not the effects of Egypt producing less culture. After 440 AD, I revolted to get into Democracy, so there were no doublings forthcoming for the 14 turns following 1440 AD.

So I reloaded the 1355 AD save, and played the war with Egypt much more intelligently. I never left a single tank not defended by a Mech Infantry, and whenever a tank got damaged I sat it on a mountain fortress under a Mech until it healed. I really had to learn how to use tanks - this was the first time I invaded with them against a non-trivial opponent. At only 8 defense, tanks are very vulnerable to infantry and even cavalry attacks. Tanks are NOT blitz units, as I had tried to use them originally. When used properly with support, they are a slow, but inexorable, force.

The going was much slower this time, but much more solid. By 1420 AD, I had razed about six cities, and still had two-thirds of the tanks left, plus another dozen reinforcements that had just landed on the island. I didn't bother taking the time to irrigate for population, but didn't send over any more tanks after this (to simulate having low shield production.) This was about the first time I had watched the effects of large-scale war weariness in Civ 3, and it seems I had been fearing it more than necessary. War weariness, I now remembered, is triggered primarily by lost battles (including failed bombardment) - by taking careful care of the tanks and not bombarding anything it didn't amount to much.

In 1420, Modern Armors became available. I settled a city on Egypt's continent, to build a barracks and an airport to upgrade all the tanks. The moment I settled, Egypt moved thirty-five infantry right up next to it. That was the break I needed. Fortunately, the reinforcement tanks had just landed. I killed every single one of them on my next turn (this was before upgrading the tanks), getting several elite promotions (Firaxis has confirmed that two victories in one turn is an automatic promotion). Egypt's back was now broken. They had about two Infantry per city remaining, which are barely a speed-bump to Modern Armors. I did get a GL to form an army.

In 1455 AD, war weariness did hit about 60%, and it would take another couple turns to go over the mountains to raze any more cities. So we made peace, with Egypt ceding a few island cities.

The cultural win came on schedule this time, in 1705 AD.

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