I moved inland from the starting location and wandered around 4 turns before finally settling with cows, corn, and, as it turned out, copper. I felt like playing a relatively peaceful game and concentrated on development techs. I researched Hunting, Archery, and Animal Husbandry to start off while building a Worker and a Bowman. I established Akkad on the northeast coast with corn and seafood, in 2350 BC. In 1775 BC, Dur-Kurigalzu was built southwest of Babylon with Stone, Silk, Corn, Horses, and later on some Iron. Nice city that.
My plans at this point were to build the Pyramids in Akkad and to be peaceful with the Mayans and the just recently met Native Americans, so we could all trade techs with each other and be great pals. The Pyramids part of the plan went perfectly, they were finished in 440 BC and I promptly revolted to Representation. While that was going on I built a fourth city back at the original starting location to serve as my GPP. By this time Id more or less settled on attempting a Diplomatic win.
Being best buds with Huyana and Sitting Bull was tough though
because I was greedy. Huyana had all these nice cities, several of them with wonders in them. Theyd really come in handy. I decided to take some away, and while the Pyramids were underway I began assembling an army of Chariots, Axemen, and Swordsmen. Huyanas cultural defenses were pretty steep so I held off on attacking until I had some Catapults.
While I was perfecting my army I built a few more rather uninteresting cities. Sitting Bull had grabbed the corner of the landmass closest to him so I was left with locations that had little or no resources. But I wanted all the population I could get for my planned UN votes. I also built the Hanging Gardens, in 55 AD, to further boost my population and hopefully generate a Great Engineer.
Round about 150 AD I finally got around to sending a Work Boat off to scout, and met the Turks, French, and Aztecs in fairly short order. And here Id though the other civs were on the far side of an ocean. Itd be a little while yet before I met Mansa though, since the Turks and French both declared war on me shortly after I went on the offensive against Huyana in 190 AD.
Huyanas nearest city, Chichen Itza, fell almost immediately. Next up was Mutal itself. I had to pound away at its defenses with Catapults for a good 7 or 8 turns. By which time Huyana had some Crossbowmen. Wonderful
I sacrificed several of my Catapults to soften those up and then overwhelmed him with superior numbers. Well actually I crashed, restored from autosave, and then overwhelmed him. (Im sure that looks just great when they check for cheating. Sorry!)
Mutal brought with it the Great Lighthouse, Temple of Artemis, the Mausoleum, the Oracle, and the Hindu shrine (worlds largest religion). Having captured it, I made peace with Huyana. Once again this was because I am greedy. I wanted to extort techs from him, re-declare, capture another city, get some more techs, and then finally wipe him out. The second war went as planned, and brought with it the Colossus. Then my hubris caught up with me, because Huyana vassalized himself to Sitting Bull. I needed Sitting Bull as an ally, since I cant just vote myself the winner, and Id already annoyed sim somewhat by twice declaring war on his friend Huyana (another flaw in that attack over and over plan of mine). So I had to let Huyana live out the game, despite the happiness penalties and cultural encroachment that resulted.
That brings things all the way up to 1000 AD. The wars with France and the Turks were desultory, since neither of them could travel through Sitting Bulls territory. I built my first Caravel around this time and finally met Mansa, who was small and somewhat backwards on his little island, having lost some territory to Montezuma. I also quickly mapped out the heretofore isolated islands on the map. Now I could take full stock of the world and figure out how to achieve my Diplomatic win.
I was the largest civ. France was second to me in population and landmass, and there was every reason to expect hed stay there. De Gaulle was Sitting Bulls worst enemy already, so that wasnt a problem. Mansa didnt like him either, and hated Montezuma even more. France, the Turks, and the Aztecs were all Buddhists and thus friendly with each other, but the Turks were lukewarm about me and not disliked by anyone else, so I could trade with them and once religions started changing Id hopefully be friends with him too. The only problem was that I couldnt run the favorite civics of both Mansa (Free Trade) and Sitting Bull (Environmentalism), but that wouldnt be an issue for awhile yet. The Turks liked Hereditary Rule and I could certainly switch to that as needed.
From here on out it was pretty much just a matter of grinding things out. I got out ahead in technology before long. With courthouses everywhere I had enough espionage to see everyones research. If my friends were researching something I already had, that wasnt too crucial to share (like Astronomy), Id give it to them in the hopes theyd research something I actually needed next and then trade it with me. This worked reasonably well.
I discovered Liberalism in 1140 AD and used it to unlock Astronomy, build some Galleons, and begin colonizing the outer islands. I started with the island due west of start and the icy island with the Silver. I also filled in even the rather marginal territory along the southern and northern fringes of the home continent. Over time I cleared out the barbarians on the larger islands in the south and off the coast of Aztecland, and settled those too. By the end of the game I was building on the iceballs along the far north. Basically, if it had a food resource, or even just a few tiles of farmable land, I grabbed it to boost population. This did not exactly help my economy but I managed OK, in part by having these minor cities build gold once theyd constructed a few basic buildings.
While this was going on I beelined toward Mass Media. I joined several wars at the request of my various friends or hoped to be friends. None of them required me to actually fight any battles, except when I chose to send ships to raid the Aztec and French coastlines. They did get me mutual struggle relationship bonuses, though, which turned out to be key.
By the mid 1500s the Turks and I were very friendly, thanks to share civics, trade, and mutual struggles. Mansa was the same, but Sitting Bull was only around +7. I decided that I should research Medicine and switch to Environmentalism, his favorite civic. Mansa would be sad that I left the Free Market, but not enough to matter. I triggered my second Golden Age to speed up research etc., and allow me to switch to Environmentalism without anarchy just before it ended in 1615 AD. I gave Sitting Bull the tech and waited for him to switch. Nothing. I checked repeatedly to see if I could bribe him to switch. He didnt like me enough. Well of course you dont like me enough, Sitting Bull! You wont switch to your favorite civics and realize what a wonderful person I am! Get with the program, dude! At least Environmentalism improved my cities healthiness a great deal and allowed further growth.
Having completed that detour in the tech tree I pushed onward to Mass Media, and finished it in 1640 AD. I had a couple of Great Engineers ready but only used one when I saw that itd take Babylon all of four turns to finish it off. I used the other to help kick off my third Golden Age, and started building up my army to go after Montezuma if the voting didnt work out like I hoped. And I began researching Fission as an alternative to growing my own population
This proved unnecessary. I was easily elected UN Secretary in 1665 AD. The first vote I proposed was for a Diplomatic Victory, and it passed, giving me a victory in 1704 AD. I had everyones votes save for De Gaulle and Montezuma. Sitting Bull voted for me despite never adopting Environmentalism, perhaps because we had gained another point or two of mutual struggle bonus. In fact even poor old Huyana voted for me, our mutual struggles having outweighed any trifling disagreements we may have once had over the disposition of all of Huyanas nicest stuff.
Im troubled by the possibility that I might have won 15-20 turns earlier if Id gone straight to Mass Media rather than detouring for Environmentalism. I cast about 35% of the votes by myself. It wouldnt have been quite that high a percentage without the extra food from Biology and the bonus health from Environmentalism. But I probably still would have won if all of the same civs voted for me. Im not sure that they would have, but in hindsight I wish Id tried. I always could have gone after Medicine once the UN was finished, if I needed to. Refraining from wasting my second Great Engineer to finish the UN a few turns earlier was also silly.