During the French war, Montezuma had declared war on Isabella and managed to capture two of her four cities before making peace again. And while I was busy building infrastructure and researching tanks, all of a sudden Cyrus decided war might be fun after all and, in true Highlands fashion, declared war on China in 1926AD! Cyrus was far superior to China both technologically and in production, so I hurried my new tanks to the front and declared war on China too, so Cyrus would not get all of Qin's cities alone.
I moved my stack of tanks and artillery to Beijing and bombarded its defenses while Cyrus' unit pillaged tiles around the city. Then, after sending in a barrage II tank, Beijing was ripe to be taken.
What followed was a race who would be able to reach which Chinese city first, Cyrus or me. Due to the mountain ridgelines, some cities were quite tricky to reach!
China was blown out of existance in 1952AD.
After Napoleon's and Qin's demise, I was surrounded by friends only.
Bismarck had been a true friend, helping me out whenever I needed an ally in war. Cyrus had been a great trading partner for techs, and Washington had been fantastic for resource trading. Plus, we all were Hindus. I (in fact, we all) had bad relations with Montezuma, though - but it made no sense to conquer lands that would not be an extension to my existing territory. Betraying and attacking one of my friends felt totally wrong - no true Highlander spirit! - so I decided not to go for domination, but for a diplomatic victory instead. It would be interesting to see if my friends would support me despite my history of declaring war so often. If they were true Highlanders, they would honor a warmonger though!
So I signed a defense pact with Cyrus and adopted universal suffrage, free speech, organized religion and emancipation, and concentrated my efforts on growing my population. I replaced mines with windmills, installed more farms, set culture to 10% and emphasized food in all my cities that had not yet reached their happiness limit. In 1957AD, a defense pact with Washington was signed as well; only Bismarck couldn't be persuaded to do so.
I finished building the UN in 1970AD in Marseilles, my iron works city.
Elections for UN secretary general went smoothly.
It was nice that Montezuma was my opponent in the elections; that way my friends didn't need to think twice whom to vote for. Although when some turns later the elections for a diplomatic victory came...
Bismarck had abstained the vote! My oldest and best friend didn't vote for me! Maybe I had dragged him into too many wars, but at least he got Paris and Tours out of it! Never mind, I won a diplomatic victory anyway, and was declared leader of all the clans of the Highlands. There can be only one!
I was first in all major categories; only soldiers I was fifth - somewhat a shame for a Highlander. I was also only fourth in approval rate, but apart from increasing cultural spending I hadn't been able to do much about that. I was already importing every luxury resource I could!
At last, a bird's eye view of my empire from the end of the game. Note I had only build three settlers during the whole game...
The map had been very interesting and different to play. Because there had been no oceans or large lakes, the game had felt like a normal sized map instead of the small one it really was. The ridgeline mountains made for some interesting land layout, with several secluded valleys, choke points, and city founding sites which were not so easy to decide. Combat had been rough: Hills and forests everywhere, although this had been very helpful in the beginning against the raging barbs. The raging barbs had been fun, but I think I'll need a game with normal or even without barbs next. It was also very interesting how different the game plays for a peaceful builder or an early aggressor. But if you time your wars right, you can fund your research nicely by capturing cities. I could have gone for domination in the end as well (although I'm not sure 100 turns would have been sufficient for that) - attacking America or Germany would have been doable. Persia, on the other hand, would have been a nut too tough to crack in 100 turns only.
I hope you had fun reading this; I certainly had fun playing the game! If you haven't tried out the Highlands map yet, I urge you to do it some time - it will be a different and fun experience.
Next up will be immortal difficulty, which seems to be a similar jump point as Monarch.