I decided to start a Deity difficulty game of Civilization 5 last weekend. In order to continue my progression on achievements i went with the Persians for my civ and a huge map. I'd already done all the standard map types, so i decided to go with archipelago. I figured that small islands and land masses scattered across a huge world _might_ delay expansion and conflict long enough for me to win.
I created a couple maps before i found one i was happy with. It turned out that that map had a nice setup for me, but despite being an archipelago type map i was actually on a snaky, vaguely z-shaped continent with not one but _two_ other civs on it! Egypt right next to me and Germany past them.
My original plan had been to build two or three cities and then beeline for a cultural victory. However with this setup i decided to see if i could take out Egypt right at the start to give myself some breathing room as well as some culture generating puppets.
I started my build order with a worker and a settler and then switched to military units. Even so before i was 100% ready to start the war Egypt started sending settlers across the land bridge to my area =P So i started combat and took out the two cities they'd established on my side and cleaned up a couple units before declaring a temporary truce so i could reorganize. I lined up my units at the two space wide bridge and then once again had to start the next war a little earlier than i really wanted because Egypt started sending through settlers again. I cleaned the invading units up but then totally failed to push past the land bridge. Not only was the narrowness a problem, Egypt had a city one space south of it so there was no way through without getting bombarded and whatever unit was stationed inside the city could sortie forth and attack. I made one major attempt to push through which resulted in several of my units getting killed. So i reloaded and negotiated peace again. I spent the first half of the truce building another unit or two and then moved most of may army across the land bridge into the small pocket between the sea and land bridge to the west, the Egyptian city to the south, another Egyptian city to the east, and a city-state to the north.
I declared war for a third time and killed a lot Egyptian units while taking a lot of damage and losing a couple units of my own. Finally with most of my remaining melee units in the red and my archers exposed i managed to take the eastern Egyptian city by the skin of my teeth and negotiated peace once again. I healed up and rebuilt lost units and moved them all over to my new puppet city. With that as a base of operations the fourth war was fairly simple. I killed off all the roaming units and then swept through the two remaining Egyptian cities. Everything was wrapped up around 425 AD (turn 132.)
So then with two cities of my own and four puppets i settled in for the long haul. I sent my triremes out exploring for other civs to trade with and city-states to ally with while focusing on researching techs relating to culture improvements. Things were going moderately well, right until the Germans (remember them? =P) declared war on me around 1400 AD, despite the friendly relationship we'd had right up until then. I had been focusing entirely on culture and science techs so my army still consisted of Immortals/Spearmen, Horsemen and Archers, while Germany came across the border with Riflemen and Artillery. I actually managed to hold them off for a turn or two and kill a couple units before they got an Artillery set up within range of my troops and stuff started dying =P
That happened sunday night and i was busy the first half of the week, so when i got back to the game thursday night i went back to the save right after i'd defeated Egypt and declared war on Germany. The initial situation was vaguely similar to the initial war against Egypt. There was a two space wide isthmus with a city beyond it. But in this case there was an extra space between the city and the bridge and i had upgraded archers with extra range. On the downside however the Germans had already gotten to musketmen, knights and crossbows, and a little later riflemen, and we ended up trading the first city back and forth several times. When i finally managed to hold onto the city for a couple turns i was able to make use of the newly researched Machinery to upgrade my three Archers to Crossbowmen. All three of them had extra range and extra attacks, and they were able to make short work even of Riflemen and Artillery. I finished off the fourth and final German city around 1170 AD (turn 177.)
Once again i settled in for what i hoped would be the long haul. However now i'd sidetracked even further from my original Culture-focused tech path. When 1400 AD rolled around again this time i got a message that Siam had finished the Apollo Program on the same turn i entered the Renaissance =P I hadn't gotten a single Wonder other than the two i'd captured and had no reasonable hope of getting any of the later ones, including the Culture critical ones. I continued struggling on regardless. Then around 1685 someone built the UN. After the first election i realized i was in second place and actually within shooting distance of first. I was getting a new Social Policy about every ten turns, but i had about 15 more to go before a Cultural victory. So i spent my next two Policies on the Patronage tree, and when election time came around again i spent my 4000 or so gold surplus to ally with an extra five city-states, getting me 13 votes in the UN, one over the 12 needed for victory :)
So a diplomatic victory in 1745 AD (turn 259) by virtue of someone else building the UN for me while i had a large stockpile of gold lying around. Not exactly glamorous, but it works :)