I'll talk a little more about how I developed this city. I did NOT prioritize food. The city actually worked with just +1 food surplus for a long while, on the cows/horse/gold, until it took the sheep tile. Also I have never whipped. What I'm doing is getting the most productivity possible out of each citizen, and doing pretty well. Why grow bigger on inefficient farms or just to work coast? Uruk would settle in perfectly at +0 food with both the health and happy caps at 12. Why mess with perfection? The happy cap is a constraint, since I'm running Rep instead of HR. Uruk is keeping up with temples.
It always amazes me how powerful a single city can be for deep into the game. I'll have Education by 250 AD.
I also slipped in the National Epic, ramping up the flow of Great People. #4 was a scientist, obvAcademy. And I got a decent break when Gandhi bulbed Philosophy, then got dogpiled in wars - that will discourage competition for Liberalism.
Boudica wiped out Babylon, but it won't do her any good - Babylon is doomed to flip over to Byzantium.
Wow, and she knows it! When did the AI learn that?
And Ms. all-chest-no-brains did it again with Paris! Okay, liberating was the right choice... but if you're going to give away the cities, why are you conquering them in the first place?!
Got it. Neat, it came with a Moai Statues, first time I ever flipped a national wonder.
Best way to develop this city? Pop a Golden Age, go to Universal Suffrage for 7 turns, and use my 1000 gold to CASH RUSH things. That was GP #5 Prophet. #6 Engineer settled in Seoul, need hammers in that city. #7 Scientist, second academy.
More good breaks kept coming.
Sitting Bull traded me copper for horse! Did not expect that! Copper goes for Buddhist cathedrals, and the Statue of Liberty if I hang onto it that long. Definitely.
And Justinian got to Friendly, which was a big help, trading me monopolies on Feudalism, Drama, and Guilds. Gandhi also got to Friendly (good thing I hadn't canceled deals when his warring neighbors asked!) and traded me his monopoly on Philosophy. So with Liberalism locked down, I continued research elsewhere: Printing Press, Optics for circumnav, Astronomy for observatories.
And I got Moscow too, even coming with Taoism and Hinduism. Trickily, I had to make sure to get a monastery for each built before Sci Method. I disbanded the two free flip longbows rather than upgrade my four archers.
GP #8 was an Engineer, saved to settle in Moscow after it flipped. GP #9 artist settled in Moscow. Economics Merchant saved for Sushi. #10 a Scientist, would have done a third academy but Moscow already had one when it flipped, so settled in Uruk. #11 Engineer settled in Moscow. #12 artist settled. #13 artist and it's time to save for Great Works.
In 1270 AD, a ton of stuff happened on the same turn. Liberalism to Medicine. Found Sid's Sushi. Whip those two neglected Ziggurats ahead of the corp costs while still in Org Rel just before revolting. Complete the Taj Mahal, using the Golden Age to go to UniSuff / Caste / Free Market / Pacifism. Go to 100% cash slider, and for the second time this game, cash rush infrastructure in a newly flipped city. Hire max artists in Uruk to leverage the Golden Age GPP. Keep Bureaucracy for the moment to build executives, then at the end of Golden Age go to Free Speech.
That's 56 culture from Sushi, which got up as high as 80 with trades and culture push claiming more. Plus 20 food from Sushi means 7-10 extra artists per city.
I now had a culture majority in Constantinople, with all three cities pushing on it. Acquiring a fourth city would be big, to qualify for Wall Street and a second of each cathedral.
There it is.
And since this game didn't need Galleons, now I finally got to play with my Privateers. I tried to blockade contact between the continents, but that wasn't doable. The AIs build way too many caravels. Privateers easily kill them 1:1 or even 1:2, but then the pirate needs time to heal while more caravels slip by. But I did pop a Great General off of them just for kicks.
Isabella declared war on me, with maces. Without Slavery or US or Nationhood, I had no way of rushing defenders. Solution: build one warrior in each city and upgrade them together to maces. I had avoided Hunting on purpose for this eventuality. Also Monty bought in against Isabella for an old tech. Later, Monty also declared war, easily fought off by trading for Rifling and upgrading muskets.
Not much else happened. Madrid would have flipped to me, then an AP resolution speeded it up by assigning it. My culture slider went up, but never hit 100% thanks to corp expenses, it was only around 40% most of the time. No slider for research, but as usual Rep specialists kept researching things anyway.
After bombing five Great Works, Culture Victory in 1635 AD. Wow, that's my fastest non-worldbuildered culture victory yet!
In fact, now I'm wondering if this might be a better approach to fast culture wins in general. Just stick with one city early, where you can clean up on wonders and religions and research quickly to Music and Bureaucracy and Liberalism. Let the AIs develop cities for you (including growing cottages) and collect them with flips. I also really liked my move of temporary Uni Suffrage switches to buy basic buildings in the new cities. That was inspired by Olodune's amazing 1535 AD culture win also thanks to US. With cash rushing, culture cities can work and grow all cottages all the time, they don't need to develop for hammers.
Anyway, I think that was much more tidy than any of those bloody conquering games here.