Youre right in this instance, with my tech and gold lead, the peaceful path is the best option. After building Viseu, I was just able to afford rushing a library and a university, which pushed the Mayan borders back far enough to allow me to build a city 1 square east of the aluminum in 1806: But there was no guarantee that this would happen, and as you pointed out, it probably wouldnt have worked at a higher level. If it hadnt, at this point Id be broke and still looking for a way to hook up the aluminum. And if I hadn't had the tech lead and enough gold for rushing, this strategy would certainly have lead to my losing the space race. In such cases I feel justified in starting a war focused solely on obtaining the necessary resource. I posted this scenario because it presents a good example of just how minimal and non-aggressive such a war can be . . . 1800: Built Viseu and moved 8 tanks, 4 infantry and another settler into position just to the west: 1802: Declared war on the Romans. Moved settler, two infantry and two tanks 1 square southwest; moved the rest one square west, outside of Viroconium. Moved 4 tanks, two cavalry and two infantry outside of Yaxchilan. Positioned battleships off Quirigua and Cumae (but didnt bombard anything). In the interturn, a Roman cavalry attacked my stack near Yaxchilan and ran off injured. 1804: Built Sao Mamede, aluminum is hooked up. Moved forces near Yaxchilan closer to mountains. Tried to get peace, Romans refused to talk. Notice that I havent attacked anyone, nor do I plan to. I leave the stack near Viroconium where it is and move the stack near Yaxchilan onto the mountain next to the city. Over the next several turns the Romans attacked Legartero with cavalry. I sent no offensive troops after them and absorbed their attacks with infantry. I tried for peace on every turn. In 1816 I got a battleship around to the west side of the continent and positioned it outside of Rome. In 1818, Caesar agreed to peace. My only purpose for declaring war in this situation was to allow me to build a city near the aluminum. I threatened the Roman cities to bring about peace, but attacked no one. However, the Roman attacks on Legartero cost me two infantry, and the Romans lost four cavalry. Even though I now have aluminum and all my money, these lives lost make the peaceful route, when feasible, more desireable. I addressed my justifications for war in the OP, but they are certainly open to debate. You are more than welcome to reject them should you decide to play a game this way.