I started playing this one a week ago. As I'm a slow player, I thought I should pursue a quicker peaceful VC, so I could finish before the submission deadline...which I just did.
I should have done as everyone else and settled the PH, but for some reason I did not want the southernmost tiles to be left unused forever, so I settled in place.
That probably hurt my expansion and overall progress. At 1AD I had 9 cities (40 pop), most northbound by the river and then hugging the coast up to the wheat, copper, 2x horses site. But that expansion hurt my economy, techwise I got only up to Alpha, Calendar, Monarchy(trade) by 1AD.
Luckily, Ramesses was diligent to spread his hindu religion to almost everybody, except for Zara who was buddhist, then Taoist and started to run his favorte civic (theocracy). After Ramesses built the AP, I couldn't resist the call to a religious victory.
Unfortunately Shaka won the first resident vote (against Ramesses, the AP owner) and sat there for centuries proposing (unsuccessfully) to stop trading with Zara. When finally the 2nd resident vote came, I was elected (everyone but Zara was friendly with me), then I gave Zara a jungle size 1 city with hinduism, and won a late AP victory on the first available vote.
Funny thing, I teched until I was 1t away from Mass Media in 1360AD (got Electricity from Lib in 1210AD, Radio in 1330AD) but refrained from completing it (to avoid obsoleting the AP) as Shaka had finally DoW'ed Zara in 1360AD, and I was afraid he would overtake Zara as 2nd in pop and therefore become my rival in the UN vote, complicating things unnecessarily. I even got 2 GE's in the 1400's which could have been used to rush the UN, but they were left unused, as 3 other Gpersons.
Thanks for the game! Now waiting for BOTM250 to be announced