The war with Egypt continues, but has started favoring our side. Thanks to a betrayal by Germany, declaring war on us while we were paying them GPT, we were able to re-trade that GPT for Metallurgy, giving us Cannons earlier than our best-case timeline. This lead to taking Heliopolis and Byblos, both of which have been razed.
Unfortunately, Germany would later manage to trash our reputation by destroying India, to whom we were exporting incense. Civ3 does not do the best job of figuring out when you should take a rep hit... but that meant we couldn't trade Babylon for Military Tradition on credit.
Germany would also make peace with Egypt and gradually switch to their side. First by exporting them Saltpeter, giving them Cavalry again. This was also interesting. I had destroyed all roads to Thebes, and while it had a Harbor on the inland sea, I had a Galley blocking its one coast tile. My belief was this should
have prevented Egypt from trading, but it did not. Don't blockades normally prevent trading? My guess is the fact that there were two
sea segments had something to do with this. Anyway, I had to destroy the roads by Alexandria, farther south, to sever the trade.
Germany didn't like this, and declared war on me, the Celts and Persians (both of whom are not consequential) also being brought in. Germany was a problem however, landing troops in the south where I no longer had a lot of troops, and taking, though we didn't know it at the time, the one source of Coal in all of our lands. Legions are currently rushing south to force Germany off our lands; five of seven Cavalry have already been destroyed, and Galleys are rushing to the area as well, having destroyed a German Galleon and a Persian Galley (but more German ships still exist).
Back in Egypt, in 1360, we finally took Thebes. About twenty Cannons, maybe more, bombarded it, and Medieval Infantry and Legions were then able to finish it off without much difficulty. This slingshotted us into the Industrial Era, giving us all required techs + Economics + Military Tradition, and Nationalism and Steam Power in the Industrial Age.
The current goal is to force Germany off the island and then make peace, while taking as much as we can from Egypt, preferably also forcing them off the island. That would also net us Leonardo's and Smith's (Thebes gave us Bach's in addition to the Library). Babylon is currently an ally as they also wound up at war with Germany and Egypt, not even through our doing! Byzantium is also an ally, we've been selling them tech for whatever they can pay for it to help them fight Egypt's invasion of their northern lands. No progress so far, but no additional losses.
After that, we need to fix our economy. Embarrassingly, we're still
a Despotism. But we aren't just a Despotism due to being bone-headed. As we suspected and CAII backs up, for much of the game Monarchy would have given us a weaker economy, due to unit support costs. True, production + irrigation-fueled growth would have eventually cancelled that out, but there's never been a good time to revolt when 8 turns of Anarchy looked inconsequential.
The current plan is to switch to Communism as soon as we research it. According to CAII, we'll make 30 GPT more
as a Communist state than as a Republic, due to 138 GPT in unit support costs as a Republic. Plus no war weariness and more high-production cities, and what's not to like? Of course we have to survive the Kaiser's invasions of our homeland long enough to actually get to that point...
The map of how Germany exported Saltpeter, from CAII:
This was before our pillaging was so thorough, but the coast by Thebes had a Roman galley in it.
Military Advisor map, blown up to 300%:
Germany is at something like 28% of land area, they're the clear strategic rival at this point, the only country ahead of us in score, and have 198% of our culture (though only 23K total). Though Egypt appears to still have the overall tech lead, and the tech pace has slowed considerably.