In 235BC, a list of the largest civs was published.
Not bad considering the hole we had started in.
The Palace in Delhi finished in 190BC, and my beaker output jumped from 14 at 20% science to 24 at 40% science. Now that I was in infrastructure mode, I missed whipping a bit, but all the forests on this map made up for that quite nicely. In 160BC, Huayna asked me to declare on Asoka again (they were still fighting), and I agreed to make him happy but made peace again as soon as I could.
In 100BC, I spawned a great scientist and construced an Academy in Delhi, which not only was my new capital, but also had lots of cottaged floodplains. First time for me here: I did have a heavily-cottaged capital with a BC academy before, but never in a different location than I had started...
Later, Huanya offered me this deal:
I gladly accepted - once Asoka would be destroyed, Huayna would stop trading techs with me anyway, so this huge sum of cash would fuel my research towards more important techs nicely. And indeed, Huayna wiped out Asoka's last city in 215AD.
In 35AD, I finally had Construction and went for Currency next. In 110AD, my first war elephant rolled off the assembly line...no wait, that sounds wrong somehow. Anyway, in 365AD I felt I had enough tools to climb out of the hole completely. Having access to ivory and going for Construction early is just powerful! Here are the lands I expect to acquire soon:
And seeing the power graph, I think I was indeed ready to pick another fight.
At least Huayna had some more diverse troops: Archers, spears, axes, horse archers. But war elephants are good just against anything until pikes, so...
Tiwanaku fell in 410AD. As always, I made sure to attack wounded units with city raider catapults, so that I could promote them to accuracy afterwards. This made conquest of subsequent cities much faster.
Macchu Picchu fell in 500AD. Catapults and elephants are really shredding the enemy in the pre-Feudalism era. Then, I advanced on Cuzco...and saw this on the western coast:
No way could I reinforce Bombay in time, so I would be forced to make peace - but I wanted to do this after capturing Cuzco anyway. The only question was: Would I be able to capture Cuzco in time, before Huayna had landed his units?
Here's the answer:
Huayna had already landed his stack, and I was able to capture Cuzco with the last unit in my attack stack, on the last possible turn, before being forced to negotiate peace. There had been more units on the way, but they would have come too late...
So peace it was, for some turns at least. Huayna had a tech I wanted anyway, so... Pointy Stick Research, you just have to love it!
Note he still didn't have Construction, or otherwise I would have had a much harder time fighting him, both because of catapults and because he still had ivory in one of his western cities.