You might remember that before I went a-conquering in my Epic Nine game, I mused on whether a space race or cultural victory would be possible without any conquest. And I wanted to replay the game with one of those approaches, to see if it was possible for a total turtle approach to keep up in technology.
I chose culture for two reasons. First, if the cultural win was possible, it would probably come sooner than space would. Second, culture would serve as a decent proxy for space as well, though the reverse wouldn't be true. If I could keep up in tech while playing for culture, surely I could while playing for space; but a space race victory wouldn't say anything about possible culture.
Now that we've seen the reports, Zakalwe did in fact make it to a space victory without ever building any boats. So here's a look at how a cultural game plan went.