As you can tell from the last screenshot, I get Smith's Trading Company
safely; also, Rome is getting conquered by Portugal very quickly. In fact, Henry has just burned the city of Rome and the Great Library to the ground. (In real life, both the Great Library and the Temple of Artemis were destroyed and reconstructed something like three times each. Saddam Hussein actually provided a good deal of funding for the modern incarnation of the Great Library.)
I blow some cash investigating AI cities trying to build Bach, and it turns out Carthage has a backline core city that has me beat. Carthage is in a Golden Age from its war, and it looks doubtful that Egypt can conquer Carthage fast enough to beat me. Besides, I don't really need the happiness much anyway, so I'm going for Newton instead of Bach.
In AD 770 I get a 2-for-1 deal on Military Tradition and Theory of Gravity. I use the first to upgrade knights to cavalry, and the second to swap Augustodurum over to Newton. I have to pay England an arm and a leg for Saltpeter, but Egypt will have Nationalism not long from now, and Cleo also is rich enough to upgrade all of her defense, aided by Sun Tzu.
I'm ready in AD 800, and I order Egypt out of my territory -- and she complies. Well, I'll just declare war myself, then! On the first turn of war I capture El-Amarna and burn Hieraconpolis to the ground. I await the Egyptian counter, and ... there isn't one! Egypt is doing well in its war against Carthage, and there wasn't any offense around to counter my sudden attack. Hehe.
Egypt does re-take El-Amarna in AD 820, but then I retake it and this time burn it to the ground, as I don't quite how the defensive resources to defend another city there. I'll just park some units and my replacement settler on the nearby mountain until things calm down. Oh, Augustodurum also completes Newton's University
this year, and I score a 2-for-1 deal on Democracy and Magnetism, which puts me into the Industrial Age and complete tech parity for the first time in many years.
Shortly thereafter, Egypt takes the city of Carthage. Maybe I was wrong about being beat to Bach ... at this time, Egypt shows up with Nationalism. Drat. I burn Alexandria to the ground on the turn (AD 850) that Cleo shows up with her brand-new monopoly and freshly-upgraded defenders everywhere.
In AD 890 my cannon/musket/cavalry force takes Memphis and Copernicus's Observatory from 4 rifle defenders.
At this point, Rome was down to one island city. I gave nine techs to him out of pity. Then Rome allied with Egypt against me the very next turn! Well, Seizure, I was thinking about defending your last city since it's close to me, but if you insist ...
AD 940 brings a peace treaty between Egypt and Carthage, who has been reduced to a couple of tundra islands. Portugal had been brought in an alliance against Carthage, however, so Carthage is also probably not long for this world.
In AD 960 I defeat the rifle defenders of Heliopolis and burn it to the ground. I also get my first MGL on my 9th elite victory; I form a cavalry army. Shortly thereafter, Egypt signs a MPP with England, who promptly declares war against me. Oops, so much for my saltpeter. The brand-new army assists in burning down Byblos, but is nearly killed in its first attack; Egypt's counter kills my army. Oh well.
With no saltpeter and facing a growing number of rifles, I want to end this war. However, I need to get a replacement settler in for Byblos, and all that territory is covered by Thebes's culture, so I need to stay at war a few more turns to escort in the settler. At around this time, it occurs to me that I can do research myself -- the AI's are being greatly slowed by all the wars. I go for Steam Power at 100%, due in 11 (would have been due earlier if I had started it sooner, d'oh).
AD 990 brings about the elimination of Rome. Seizure, you are the weakest link, goodbye! Egypt also allies with Portugal against me. Oh well, it's not like they're a major threat. I found the replacement city in AD 1010 as Portugal destroys the Carthaginians.
London completes J.S. Bach's Cathedral
in AD 1030.
I discover Steam Power in AD 1080 and have made peace with England and Portugal by this time. I promptly cash in my monopoly for Nationalism and a large amount of gold. Here is my new and improved empire at the dawn of the era of the railroad barons; my entire empire just barely fits into one screenshot. Also note the Egyptian cavalry near my new city of Glanum. It stayed put there, and I didn't dare ask it to leave. Alas, it was sitting on a dreaded mined grassland, so I had to be very careful about micromanaging a corrupt new city for many turns.