Time Victory


Nov 8, 2020
Does anyone have any tips/strategies for completing time victories? I did a quick search of the forum but didn't see a thread.

I've tried a couple games on Immortal/Emperor (large size map) and I keep running into the same issue. I've been playing Hemispheres/continents, so I take over my side, which keeps me under the 50% domination limit (maybe less because i keep a couple small vassals). But then by the 1800s 1900s, everyone starts getting close to Space Victory. I try to keep them at war but even still.

I'm playing another game right now, around turn 300something/500 and have been focussing on maximizing my score. I'm at future tech 40 or so, 100% research getting 1 tech a turn, a good amount of gold, all my cities have sushi and mining, and all I need to do is survive another 200 turns, but the AI, even though many are at war with each other, are building spaceships.

I tried invading the one that is the closest to completion, but this doesn't feel like a long term solution since I can't capture their cities without getting a domination victory.

A couple thoughts I had - in future I can turn off 'no city razing' and perhaps just blast through and raze an AI if they get close to spaceships. Doesn't help me this game unfortunately. Another thought I had would be to mass spies (I do have a big espionage lead with all of them) and perhaps sabotage production over and over in their cities that are building parts. This feels possible but it does seem unlikely I'll be able to keep it up successfully to the end with all the different AI.

Thoughts? For those of you that have successfully done higher level time victories, how did you do them?
Burn their cities down rather than keeping them to stay under the land limit, and play it like an ordinary domination/conquest game?

Once they've all got 1 or 2 pop left, they're not gonna be winning anything.
Never intentionally done a time victory; it seems like a somewhat silly contest for some of the reasons you included. However, I've had a few games naturally get close to time victories. Spies destroying production over and over again is a big one and not a terribly uncommon endgame for me. A couple thoughts you may have missed.
- You only have to raze the capital after they launch shuttle to stop their victory. At its simplest, this means hitting a city with ~3 nukes and capturing/razing with warrior. They have to rebuild all the parts again.
- Nuclear holocaust will stall the game down for everyone. This is how I've naturally gone into the 20th-21st centuries, being super far behind the AI and playing nuclear whack-a-mole with whoever is furthest with the space ship. I've gotten a little more than half the world's tiles deserted and I see no reason why you couldn't pulverize the planet further. I realize you're probably wanting a HoF score and destroying the map sounds like a terrible idea, but score is mostly pop and pop is mostly sushi, especially if you pick a very wet map script. And a wet map script lends itself to nuking capitals, since we want those to be coastal. Inland invasions are harder (so that's where I'd rely on espionage).
- Don't leave all the AI alive. It's much easier to whack one mole than 6. Stops them from tech trading and getting discount bonuses too.
- Subsidizing sabotage. Assuming you take to the previous point about leaving only 1 civ alive, make sure they've got as many cities as possible while missing out on as many resources (that you have) as possible. I've plundered a mega AI hundreds of gpt in debt to me each turn, so I could see clearing 1000 very possible with enough motivation and HoF conditions. Might be able to abuse corps to further add to their debt here.
- Culture victories are far more scary to me as cultural lovers don't just boost 3 cities to legendary but all of their cities. Select AIs that won't pursue culture - or at least leave a mega AI that won't pursue culture. You may already indirectly be doing this which is why you haven't raised culture as an issue.
- Manipulating the domination limit & espionage cloning might be topics that you should look into and see about incorporating.
If you are going for Time Victory then you should eliminate, vassal or neuter the AIs. There really should be no one left that can really pursuing a space victory.

Vassal count 50% toward land requirement, so no issue keeping couple of them around. You can direct their research as well, so keep them away from Space techs.

If an AI is actually getting close to space, then attack and raze their capital. Otherwise keep any remaining AIs at war and pillage them into the stone age....or nuke them.

Honestly, my biggest issue with time victory, which I've only ever done rarely for HOF games, is hitting culture victory before time expires. One has to be careful about concentrating culture too much in a few cities. Corps like Sushi add culture too.

edit: yeah...like coanda said, the game should be played like a Domination game where you end up as close to the limit as you can without game over. Depending in map, if you are hitting to dangerously close you can always create colony vassals to lower your land %.

I never play with no city razing.
Thanks everyone, these are superhelpful tips! Especially the spaceship destroying one by razing the capital, I was not aware you could do that.

What is the relationship between their capital and the spaceship? Since I have no razing on, is it possible to achieve the same effect simply by capturing the capital, or does it have to be razed?

Related question - is it possible to capture the city that built the apollo program, for example, in order to halt their spaceship production? If so, any way to figure out which city has the apollo program?

Culture (both mine and others) is something I try to be cognizant of. I think I am okay on my own - I build all the wonders in my capital, so that may go Legendary, but it should be the only one. I find other AIs getting culture victories is less a worry because I can see it coming hundreds of turns in advance. This game for example Asoka was heading that way, and I managed to convince a bunch to invade. Also it's easy enough for me to invade and capture one or two of the most cultured cities to put a stop to any victory. The spaceship I can notice once a few parts start showing up but it seems to require a quicker reaction. It also seems harder to me because I can't just see the big culture city and take that. In a previous game i captured a few cities, but he still managed to build the final spaceship parts out of his other ones. Though this point about the capital is interesting i might be missing someting very useful here.
Exciting Update for me!

I just discovered the 'Sabotage Project' spy mission (very expensive). It looks like this may be the answer to all my problems. I was thinking I would have to sabotage production and kind of guess which city was producing which part and sabotage it before it produced it. But, as far as I can tell, Sabotage Project appears available in ANY of that civilization's cities, and I can select any of the already built spaceship parts and sabotage them. No need for war! No need for razing! Just a need for some serious spy points. Sabotaging one engine costs 20,000 spy points at my first glance, but I can get this down to half that by sabotaging the Security Bureau and waiting 5 turns.

Also @lymond, I've been playing a lot of espionage victory games lately, and I've found the no city razing helpful there so I never have to worry about accidentally razing a legendary city on recapture (though I did just do that on my last GOTM haha).
Does anyone have any tips/strategies for completing time victories?
  1. Play on Big and small, Normal Continents, Tiny Islands, Islands mixed in
  2. Keep one continent empty after you have wiped out the AI to avoid tripping domination
  3. Kill all the AIs except 1
  4. Gift the remaining AI a crappy ice bound city then take all their other cities off them
  5. Only build Wonders in your Capital and 1 other city to avoid an unwelcome cultural victory
  6. Spam Sid's Sushi and Mining Inc to all your cities
Top Bottom