Sigh. All three cultural cities are over 55K and we have less than forty turns to go. This war will have zero effect on anything -- except that it does give me a chance to promote an elite Navy SEAL. I hadn't planned to bother with that since it wouldn't prove anything and would just be busy-work. But if we're going to be stuck in war for a while anyway, may as well get the points.
So I fended off the initial wave, then attacked some Arabian cities, letting one particular Navy SEAL do most of the work. This war was unthreatening enough that I sometimes just suicided riflemen against fortified city defenders to weaken them for my green beret to kill. And one turn before the end, he made Elite with Combat V, and I immediately made peace with Saladin to make sure nothing happened to him.
For the last few turns I even turned every laborer in my capital into an Artist, letting the city starve but spawning that one last Great Work a few turns sooner. I got my last three Great Artists very close to each other (two from Ottawa, one from Montreal), so it actually worked out that I ended the game by firing a Great Work in each of the three cities at the same time.
Cultural Victory in 1848 AD. Here's the scenario score. In the game discussion thread, we realized that I'd violated the variant rules by gifting units to Egypt. Fair compensation would be to take off the 4 points for Egypt surviving, so we'll score it as if 8 AI civs survived.
25 points: Cultural Victory 32 points: rival civilizations still “alive” at the time of your victory 13 points: build the Great Lighthouse 7 points: build the Parthenon 3 points: build the Hagia Sophia 2 points: build Chichen Itza 2 points: build Versailles 1 point: build Eiffel Tower 1 point: build Hollywood 4 points: library built by 260AD 2 points: temples (any type) built by 260AD 9 points: universities built by 1500AD 10 points: cathedrals (any type) built by 1500AD 5 points: Have a Navy Seal reach Elite status (Combat V promotion) and survive to the end of the game 4 points: Second-fastest cultural victory (behind mostly_harmless's 1841 AD and discounting Sulla's 1800 AD shadow.) -- 120 points, which was the winning score in the Epic results.
Here's the (Lying) GNP graph. The big drop in the middle was the switch to Pacifism which cost me about 60/turn in military unit support. As always on the unfixed GNP graph, expenses are overstated and income is underreported. The real drop wasn't that much.
I never trailed in tech, but never opened up a lead of more than a couple techs either. Goosing the economy just wasn't necessary in this game. This next graph tells more of the story:
That's what a State Property beeline can do. For the cultural win, hammer production was more important than economy, to build all the wonders and temples and cathedrals, and then secure it with military defense. My Heroic Epic city (Vancouver) cranked military just about non-stop from the middle ages onward.
In the later game, I avoided any attacks by just cranking my power rating so that nobody would bother me. Only Genghis and Peter were ahead of me on the power graph, and they were busy in other wars the whole time. Genghis was in a war with Egypt that turned futile after I gave Hatty that cage, and Peter was bought into war against Monty twice by me.
Any surprises there?
Well, fun game, and I think I plowed through the latter part of it quickly enough that it didn't take a serious toll on Civ 4 burnout. Not much of a challenge, but it was nice to actually play a different kind of game, focusing on something else than the usual all-encompassing economic vector. Thanks to Sulla for the game, and to Sirian for the original concept from Civ 3.