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February 25th, 2009, 18:02
Woo-hoo, I won my first Prince-level Civ IV game!

Yet around 1750, I thought I'd be lucky to make it to the endgame, never mind win. It was an almost completely bloodless victory -- I only ever fought barbarians, and was only attacked once, an invasion that I repelled without ever firing a shot or landing a blow.

I played as Peter of Russia. Started on a continent with Saladin to the south, Lincoln to the north-west, and Suleiman to the south-west. I had a lot of bad luck in the beginning; lost a few 80% fights, and fell significantly behind. The thing that saved me was that I founded Christianity and built the Apostolic Palace: when Suleiman attacked me, I managed to pass a resolution ending the war before he had time to do any damage.

I figured that there was no way I'd win a war against my bigger and more advanced neighbors anyway, so I went for economy and science. I managed to conclude a defensive pact with Saladin and then Lincoln, which made me pretty safe from attack, so I could then effectively ignore the military side of things. I never did build anything more advanced than two prop fighters there, as it happened.

Traded tech aggressively; took any deal I could, and built up both. And… inch by inch, discovery by discovery, I pulled ahead. Russia's special building, the Research Institute, helped a lot, for sure. Then I figured the Space Elevator was almost within reach; I did everything I could to get it. I did. And that pretty much cinched it -- I got the spaceship flying well before anyone else. Lincoln was pushing a massive cultural assault on me (I lost Ekaterinburg to him that way), and he got two cities to Legendary cultural status, but I got to Alpha Centauri first.


I don't think winning a computer game has *ever* felt quite this good. Civ IV at this level does not pull any punches. Damn!
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