1000 AD Ė 1866 AD
After skirmishing with Monty for a while, Toku joins the party and declares on me too. Toku was looking nasty at the time, I believe he was second when the war started. Both Monty and Toku send largish stacks with decent Siege to my eastern border cities and I have to build up a lot before killing the units. I managed to clear out both stacks but no one was willing to make peace with me.
I capture a Barbarian city in the SW of territory:
This makes my 8th city. I figure I can fit another one in near the incense. I then get a bit of a thought, with 3 religions in my territory and 9 cities I can have a red hot go at a cultural victory. I am not sure if I have left it too late but I will give it a try, the only way to know is to try right? I managed to snag Taoism too so I end up with 4 religions, once again, it is just a question of how much time I have remaining and if I can hold off these psychotic AIs long enough.
I have a positive turn in the war with Monty, the ďmercyĒ event comes to my aid. I jump all over it to get peace with him. Leaving my just up against Toku. Who now has Samurai. Against Archers! I was looking pretty much screwed at this point. I just stacked as many units as I could in his target city hoping to buy time and to hopefully win some surprise victories and clean up the rest of his stack. I try to tech like a madman to Crossbows and Longbows while also building units which will avoid my demise. The AIs can tell I am weak and are extorting all sorts of things out of me but I am only too happy to oblige because another war at this point would finish the game. I donít dare declare a state religion. I even consider gifting the AIs things in order to make sure they donít kill me.
Toku absolutely mauls my defenders in his target city. I have researched Crossbows and Longbows but the reinforcements wonít get there in time to stop it from falling. I get to the point where I am desperate to hang onto it so I call him up and offer him CoL (the only tech I had that he didnít, I would have offered him all of them), 69 gold (all my gold), 19 gold per turn (my whole surplus) for peace. I didnít think it would work but he accepted and I was off the hook! I doubt I could have retaken it and I am sure he could have rolled up my whole empire at this point but maybe he had other concerns. Or maybe I am reading way too much into this.
With impending death no longer hanging over me I start rebuilding my military and building towards my cultural victory as much as I can. I get a GE which I use to rush the Sistine in Aksum. I convert to the same religion as the AP (Judaism Ė Periclese and Ragnar with Bismark as a voting member) and I revolt into Caste and Pacifism.
Just when I think things are finally getting back to normal, Periclese asks me to declare on Ragnar! I thought we were all on the same team! I more interested in being friends with Periclese than Ragnar so I agree. Bismark also joins in the dogpile. The drums of war are beating all over the world now and Monty asks me to declare on Toku. Still remembering my lucky escape, I decline. Also I hate Monty. For not doing that Toku offered open borders with me for probably the first time ever. I agree because I would rather be friendlier with him.
Shaka, who supported me in my last war with Monty asks me to join with in smashing Monty so I agree. The AP then has a resolution declaring war on Monty which carries making Monty at war with everyone. How to win friend and influence people, Monty style:
With Gunpowder in hand I build up a force of my UU to defend my borders. I just sit around and kill any stray units that come into my borders which trying to build up temples and Cathedrals for my attempt at a Cultural Victory. Periclese has an attitude of Friendly so I set up a trade with him to trade my Iron for his Copper. I do this because Copper is a resource multiplier for some Cathedrals (Hindu and Tao I think) and so will help me build up faster. Iron also helps keep my relatively powerful ally alive. I found city number 9:
I end up coming from behind to win the Liberalism race! I also get elected to the AP. All in all it was a pretty successful section of the game for me.
The Germans stomp the Vikings and end up vassalising them while Toku does the same to Monty. I snag Democracy and revolt to US and Free Speech. I use the ability to cash rush to build the required temples in city number 9 give me the ability to build 4 cathedrals in each of my culture cities. As the Industrial era dawns (with the discovery of Steam Power) there is an uneasy peace over the land and I think this game is going relatively well. I come crashing back to earth in my next report though
The real key to this section, I think, was diplomacy. I read a post by Blake recently that reinforced the value in picking friends and sticking with them even though any request they make, including going off to war when you donít really feel like it. This becomes even more important in the next DAR, but more on that when we get there.