I *finally* beat Civilization 3 on the the 'Deity' difficulty setting. I've been playing this game for over over a year now. I had a few other close games in which I was disappointed in the end, and I actually expected to barely lose this one too... but I somehow pulled it off.
The Egyptians were at least three times more powerful than I was, and it would have only been a matter of time before I fell to them if it came down to a war of attrition. I had a strong enough ground army to fend off any troops they tried to land on my continent, for awhile anyway, but they were able to do plenty of damage from afar. By the end they had almost completely destroyed every terrain enhancement my continent had within reach of their naval artillery, and there wasn't a thing I could do to stop them. Then they started striking much farther inland with airborn bombers, which I managed to slow down a bit with fighters and jets, but I eventually lost complete control of the skies as well, so I just had to resign myself to watching my nation get bombed for an entire minute at the beginning of every turn. Worst of all, the war lasted for many, many years, and my people were protesting in mass, but Egypt, who started (and then kept restarting) the war in the first place, would never allow peace for more than a few turns. My democracy was set to collapse under the strain of this war weariness, and I was forced to shift things over to Communism.
In the final turns I had riots taking place in nearly every city, thousands were starving to death from every corner of my nation because their farms had been bombed or polluted, and my economy was going to completely break down because I'd gone through my entire gold reserve attempting to beat the Egyptians to a key technology. I finally got that technology a turn before I went into the red, enabling me to build my last required starship piece, which I started in my capital city, far inland, the only place that was still running pretty smoothly despite everything. As the piece was being built I watched with dread as the Egyptians finally managed to land many transports full of units on my continent and make way towards my capital. They must have infiltrated it and known the game would be over if they didn't stop me. I threw everything at this army to slow it down, drafted citizens from every one of my remaining loyal cities even though I knew I would not be able to suppress the rioting that this would cause, and even destroyed a network of roads on my own land to prevent them from falling under enemy control. Somehow my batterred army held on for just long enough, and my ship was completed a turn before my capital would have fallen. The chosen elite were loaded onboard and I promptly launched, leaving my dieing nation behind in favor of the promising pastures of Alpha Centauri. Egypt can have the Earth if they want it so badly. :P
So yeah, I'm just lucky winning the space race counts as a victory condition. ^_^ And then, because I wanted to see what would happen and because it seemed disturbingly fitting... I decided to play a couple more turns and launch all of my stockpiled nukes at the largest Egyptian cities I could reach. After doing so they retaliated by nuking every single one of my remaining cities twice.. hehe.. but that doesn't count as part of the game, though, and as such doesn't make it into the world's history, just an amusing extra 'what if' that didn't really happen.
::whew:: sorry about the length. I was just having fun reliving it myself.