Er, huh? I think the last sentence might be a bit confusing. I built my first settler and founded my third city. Wait...why my third city? Ah, what I forgot to report was this:
Yep, Victoria had found out how dangerous it can be to settle too near a holy-holy-holy-holy city. (The fifth "holy" came shortly afterwards! ) In 950BC, York deposed to me, and I had my second city. With it came a mean warrior armed to the teeth, which unfortunately failed to integrate well into my peaceful pacifistic society, so I gifted him back to England immediately.
575BC was the year the pacifistic Indians finally founded a new city on their own, Bombay! I had lost several good city sites north of Delhi because I had been so busy founding and spreading religions, but that price I was willing to pay. I only had mediocre lands to the south, but then I don't really want to look too juicy a target to attack later, now do I?
At least I had both copper and iron in the south, for building...uh...for...ah...okay. Right. Forget it, will you?
My research on Alphabet was complete now as well, and it was time to do some trading. I was still doing well in the tech race because of my beaker-powerhouse Delhi, with all its cottages and the oasis, but I expected to fall behind significantly during the middle game. First, because of my opening game I only had a small territory. Second, this territory wasn't very good, and third I was facing a lot of financial civs who all loved each other so they probably will exchange techs much more than usual! This might be a serious drawback of my "one world, one faction" gameplan. So...let's catch up on some techs I missed so far, and collect a diplomacy bonus on the way!
I also gifted Meditation to Victoria, since it was a cheap tech and she was trailing behind, and even gifted away some resources. Everything to make the AIs happy! Everything to divert their attention from the fact that my cities were empty...even if that means caving in to their demands. Besides, who can say no to this beauty?
I was so enthralled with Cathy's beauty, I nearly suffered a heart attack when Victoria's ugly face showed up next. I agreed nonetheless. I'll be everyone's bitch if need be, even Victoria's!
I founded another city, Madras, and then concentrated on converting the rest of the AIs to Buddhism. Although Delhi had dire needs of other things like a market, temples, monasteries, an aqueduct etc., I continued to build missionaries. And in 100AD, my vision of "one world, one religion, one faction" came true! How often do you see something like this?
Note how I'm second last in score - all this unusual gameplay thus far sure didn't help increasing score. But that was okay in fact; just keep a low profile and don't look like I might pose a threat to anybody... In other news, religion #6 was founded in India as well, just not in Delhi this time.
A lot of AI cities had no religion yet, and my other, lesser religions like Judaism and Confucianism started to spread to them, but I kept up my production of missionaries and made sure the AIs had always more Buddhistic cities. But I was starting to fall behind now, as expected. A first sign was that Cyrus beat me to the Great Library by six turns. Meanwhile, I was researching Paper, then Education on my way to Liberalism. As it turned out, Cyrus would beat me to that as well by seven turns! But the others ignored Education and Liberalism for some time, so at least I could use these for trading to catch up once again. At Liberalism, I adopted Free Speech to help with my economy. In most games, I would adopt Free Religion at this point as well, but not this time! No sense in losing the diplomatic bonus I got with my religion and for which I worked so hard.
Unfortunately, Cyrus managed to found Islam. And although I sent several missionaries into his territory, he even converted to it! That could become dangerous! But at least he would not only get mad at me, but would have to face the whole world if he really decided to start trouble...
I had founded some more cities at this point, and it was a very strange feeling seeing them all empty, undefended, unprotected. Plus, I had extra unhappiness in all of them because the population "demanded military protection"! Here I was, Gandhi the inventor of the philosophy of nonviolence, and my population demanded more military... Not only had every city one unhappy face because of this, but had this been a normal game, I would have adopted hereditary rule and would have had 1-3 extra happiness in every city because of garrisons! In that regard, this game felt like an immortal game...
Now that all religions had been founded, let's have a look at my capital.
How often do you see something like this? A holy holy holy holy holy city? One city that is home to five different religions? Now that all AIs except Cyrus shared my religion, and relations (even with Cyrus!) were good, all I could do was hope they wouldn't grow restless because they felt they had to have more lands. Or maybe they would sense my military weakness, and would decide to take advantage of this? Had there been aggressive AIs in the game, now it had been the time I would have bribed them to attack somebody else, just to keep them busy. I just hoped not doing something like this here wouldn't prove to be a mistake!
If someone would decide to attack me, I had an emengency plan though. Everyone was pleased or friendly with me, so bribing the rest of the world to protect poor India would be very easy. And I even had a plan how to protect my cities: Satyagraha!
Satyagraha is the way of nonviolent resistance Gandhi had "invented". It involved opposing enemy forces with civil disobedience, like blockading the streets with numerous unarmed protesters. If any AI would decide to attack me, I planned to do the same here... I would slow them down by throwing numerous fast workers into their way. I don't know how the path finding algorithm of the AIs works exactly, but I hoped to lure attacking units away by placing lots of helpless workers elsewhere as bait, happily sacrificing them instead of my cities. I also planned to surround my important cities completely with workers and missionaries, to fool the pathfinding AI into thinking they cannot reach them and go for less important fishing villages that were farer away instead. All I would need was time until my friends would arrive, and until I could make peace again - willing to pay any price the enemy AI would demand, even giving up a city if needed!
I wasn't sure if the plan of practicing Satyagraha would really work, so I just hoped I wouldn't have to find out... Anyway, more trades helped me not to fall behind in tech too far. Theology, Philosophy and Paper especially helped me immensely to fill out my gaps in the tech tree!
Here's an overview of the world in 1160AD:
Look how pitiful my empire was compared to the other AIs! It would be nice to have a few more good cities, but how to do that without any military? Hm, this way maybe...
Note how Cyrus had adopted free religion (and away from Islam...) earlier, improving relations again a lot! Peter had done the same, but would actually convert back to Buddhism later. I was falling behind more and more now, only Victoria was even worse than me, and I had no chance to build any more wonders. Cyrus got them all - Taj Mahal, the Statue of Liberty, Spiral Minaret, ... So the only great people I got were prophets, and I constructed the rest of the shrines throughout the game with them.
I beelined to Econonmics, then Corporation as best as I could, then started my way to Mass Media, only making a detour to Democracy to be able to adopt emancipation. My only real hope to win this game was via the United Nations, as I would have absolutely no chance in the space race - both technologically and production-wise.
Every turn I was anxious to hit "end turn", as I feared any AI would decide to attack me any time now. This was on Monarch, I had some close border tensions with my neighbours, and my whole military consisted of one lonely warrior guarding my holy city! And then, finally, in 1570AD, on my way to researching Physics, the trumpets of war sounded.