Even without cavalry now, I start thinking of war against the Aztecs. Veii is defended only by spears, and another cheap investigation shows it dozens of turns from building a musket. And I'd like to push through and capture Rome and Cumae for the resources.
However, I can't get Monty to declare war - he doesn't have any units in my territory to demand to withdraw. But then -
I easily capture Veii. I decide to keep it, because a city is a city, and it's a bit of a buffer to absorb attacks in front of my important city. In this area, I now have about five impi, four archers, and three knights.
Zimbabwe, we have a problem. I had expected to have to fend off a few knights at a time, but that's TWELVE approaching already. I abandon Veii, and pull everything back into Mpondo. Unfortunately, Mpondo doesn't have a musket yet - I don't have the cash to rush one anywhere nearby. Mpondo has been building a courthouse for awhile, and in any normal game I could swap that to a musket. Also in any normal game I'd upgrade those four archers to longbows, which match up much better against knights.
Also, another horrible realization dawns on me. I'm trading Wines to the Iroquois! All the Aztecs have to do is pillage that eastern wines tile, and my chances of winning are all but over.
But even that doesn't matter, since the Aztecs overrun Mpondo easily, and on the SAME TURN, take undefended Neapolis.
Zimbabwe and its single Impi fall three turns later, and that's all she wrote. I have no desire to stick this out any further. Maybe I could make peace by conceding some cities, but this game is lost.
Check out that tribute screenshot again - I lived up to exactly Monty's words. "Stand and fight in a heroic but doomed last stand". Heh.
Damn that Gauntlet.