Okay, so this is a weird one. I declare my independence wait for the REF to come, using the common strategy of letting them take my city and then retake it, rinse and repeat, except then a strange thing happened, they never landed the rest of the REF!!! This stayed the same until the game ended due to time. Very frustrating, and a waste of time, their ships just keep sailing around bombarding my cities but never land the rest of their forces, forcing me to lose!! Thankfully I played a new game and won that splendidly, restoring my hope in the game.