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Solo Deity: Deo-y-Deo

So, Sirian starts a thread on the CivFanatics Forums that there'll be a new series of succession games starting, all at Deity level. The qualification is that you must have won a game on Deity difficulty, which I haven't done. I know I can play fine at Deity, having played two games (including the Epic Four restarted game) up to tech parity in the industrial age, but saw neither through to completion.

So... what's the easiest, fastest game I can set up on Deity difficulty?

I had just finished the one-on-one game of Epic Seven (I recommend you read that report before this one), and despite being set to beyond-Emperor difficulty, it felt like somewhere down around Monarch. So let's set up a similar game, but on full-blown Deity difficulty, and go for the same 20k cultural win. Tiny map, Archipelago, 70% land.

I set up the rest of the parameters in ways I hoped would favor me. Sedimentary barbarians, since the AI's free units make barbs no danger to them but they would be to me. Arid/Cool climate, since the human player is much better at managing tundra fishing villages than the AI, and an overall slower tech pace is more conducive to a cultural win. 5 billion years, to spread out the resources since the human is better at naval operations.

This report is actually of my second attempt, since the first didn't work out the way I wanted. The first time, I tried Babylon as the civilization, but botched using the Colossus as the Pyramids prebuild, and both the civs turned out to be on the same landmass. Not what I wanted. :)

I decided I needed an Industrious civ to run the early Pyramids gambit, and wanted one of the cultural attributes but didn't want to play Egypt all over again, which meant Xerxes was our man. For my opponent, I definitely wanted to saddle them with useless Expansionistic, neither cultural trait, and not the powerful Industrious or Commercial; and so the Zulu were born.

I did leave enabled all victory conditions except Diplomatic. I'm going to go for the 20k culture, but we don't HAVE to win by that route, and I do want at least a possibility of losing in the late game.

In slightly less detail than an Epic report, here's Xerxes vs. Shaka.

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