running into sticky spot in cultural victory attempts
basically i have been playing as gandhi and going for cultural wins, i am now up to emperor difficulty. so far it seems that the most difficult situation for gandhi is to be landlocked and have the nearest enemy civ be an aggressive expander. my most current game had both of these strikes, with the added problem of no access to iron. typically i stick to one city, but in this case i went for a second city to get ocean access.
when you are gandhi and next door to an aggressive expander, in this case japan, war is basically inevitable and i have been at war with him from renaissance through to the beginning of modern era. long story short, i have been able to turtle and protect my cities without losing many units, but japan has recently completed the manhattan project (ahead of me) and getting nuked is probably right around the corner. if i remember right i am currently through about 3.5 policy branches. the way i see it my options are:
1:nuclear deterrence-not really feasible. i am behind him on nukes, and he has about 20 cities to my 2 so there is not really a way for me to expect to put any kind of a dent into his cities or units. i also don't think the idea of reciprocity is a factor in this game the way it would be in real life.
2:make peace-i have not made peace so far because his offers are ridiculously one-sided, like all my resources and gold, plus there is no guarantee he doesn't attack again after 20 turns.
3:stay the course-i could just keep turtling and hope he doesn't nuke me. i have the hermitage done, and i can go for cristo redentor so policies should start coming fast
4:make a boatpile of AA-i thought i read that nuke planes have 50% evasion. my question is, if you have more than one AA unit do they all get a shot? like say i garrison an AA gun, and have fighter planes on intercept, do they all get a chance? this i guess would be a variation on the "keep turtling" plan.
buy off a neighbor to attack him?
he might offer a ridiculously one-sided peace treaty, but have you tried counter-proposing? maybe take back the things you want and then propose it back to him? sometimes they'll go for it.
yeah i tried countering peace offers with gold or resources but not both, none of it was working. i have an allied city-state that has helped with fighting, but japan has like 6-7 allied city-states. other civs have been fighting with him too.
hmm sounds like you might just have to lose this game. normally in that situation, you'd probably want to rush to get rifling and then do a quick assault before he catches up to you in tech.
I'd say stay the course and hope he doesn't nuke you. I assume you don't have a strong enough military to take one of his cities, otherwise I'd suggest you pick off a small city and see if he doesn't change his mind about a peace treaty.
If you don't get a few puppets by the middle ages, then it's very hard to keep up your science and economy. It's hard to ally cultural CS's and pay for Research Agreements. This, in turn, it makes it hard to win before the big guns of modernity come out.
On higher levels, a little luck in the beginning (hello three CS's who afraid of nearby barbarian camps) can make all the difference. Try to hold out. If you lose just start a new game and hope for better luck.
Incidentally, I have won with a landlocked single city. You don't need that second city on the coast.