I reached Middle Ages at 150BC - the slowest time ever for me!
I reached it after my 3rd Galley finally crossed over and met the rest of the Civs. I was able to trade World Map and contacts to catch up to Middle Ages and get Feudalism as well.
I researched Monarchy and was a Monarchy by that time, and still couldn't get Republic.
How did I manage to stay alive on Deity while being so behind everyone? Here's my tale..
As I mentioned before, that was the craziest game I ever played.
I was plagued by Barbs who would steal my gold, but what's worse, they sabotaged my port cities production so I couldn't get a Galley out forever, and Galleys was my only ticket out of poverty and stagnation.
I researched Lit before some other Civs (Aztecs and Zulu I think) and was able to trade it for MM at about 1200BC. I switched port cities production to Galleys but the earliest Galley I was able to get out to sea was at ~250BC. Curse those Barbs!
I also traded Lit for IW and Mysticism with a view to get Poly and Monarchy as a fastest route out of Despotism. As you can see on the attached 270BC screenshot, I didn't even have Wheel at that point which in hindsight, was a strategic mistake. I went for IW as I had lots of Warriors sitting around and wanted to upgrade them. But I forgot about Conquistadors with HBR!
So, at 270BC I had about 4 Swords and some warriors sitting around, still being plagued by Barbs especially after Middle Ages came for all other Civs but me and I was SWAMPED with wave after wave of new Barbs while still having mostly Warriors.
I had one elite Warrior guarding a border town when I spotted a stack of Babylon archers and spearmen near that town, "This is the end", thought. "The game was a miserable wreck anyway, so I'll just play to see how fast I'll be destroyed".
But then my Elite Warrior survived the assault of 4 Bab Archers and generated a Great Leader! And I had 3 Swords close enough so they could join him and form an Army! And I decided to fight to the end and see how it goes.
Well, the Army helped to ward off Babs long enough for me to build Galleys and cross the sea, and I after I reached parity and got some cash in 150BC I was able to recruit some allies against Babs and beat them back. I lost some border cities to them which I soon recaptured, and even expanded my empire a bit.
Stay tuned for the rest of the story.
Attached is 270BC screenshots afetr the 1st Babylon attack. I accidentally erased 150BC screenshot where I met everyone and got a World Map of everything. Still blackening the full map just in case,