For Civ, I decided to let the Carthage campaign rest. I had basically taken absolute control of the Mediterranean, save a single Celtic city. Instead, I wanted to test the "victory by default" hypothesis for Persia, and chose the highest difficulty level, which I misremembered: not Deity. It's actually Sid. (As in, Sid Meyer's, as in, game founder's.)
...Turns out I can actually hold my own quite well. Now, granted. It's only 335 BC. I've yet to spot Greece's natural army, which is somewhere nearby, I'm sure. My invasion force for Cyzicus is pitiful: two archers and a now-wounded spearman. (He fended off a swordsman.)
I've got three units (an immortal and two archers) marching towards Sardis. A fourth, a horseman, killed the Hoplite who killed a spearman (I was going for "best of 2/3" when I had three units attacked), but got slightly wounded and is resting outside. I've got FOUR units approaching Miletus (though they easily could divert to Sardis as necessary): a wounded veteran immortals, a horseman, and two archers.
My army (a veteran immortals, singular) is looking to intercept the immortals I'm fielding in 3ish turns. Normally, from the Egyptians, I would buy Gaza--this time, however, I bought Kmun. (I intend to invade and take Gaza by force, then Pelusium, when I have the troops to do so, and also to defend Khmun.)
I couldn't get any cities from the Romans (no surprise, given their small starting size), but even on Sid I had any number of choices from the Carthaginians. Mind you, most were terrible: Gabes (middle of their territory, nothing there), Thenae (ditto), Olbia (island with nothing), Aleria (island with nothing), Mersa Madakh (nothing), and Carmona. (Edge of the world, basically nothing.)
Carmona, however, is loosely next to a source of spices, so that's what I ended up going for.
I'm sure when I see the real strength of the Macedonians (I'm actually anticipating the mother of all counterattacks next turn to decimate my forces), I'll be in panic mode. Especially for the vulnerable Cyzicus forces. But I'll manage. Even on Sid. I'm anticipating that on this computers-are-royally-cheating difficulty level, me to utterly be trounced wonder-wise and tech-wise, but I'll be trying all the same for the wonders.
Apparently, score scales with difficulty, since I'm only a few turns in and my score is already 5858--higher than my final score as Carthage. Right now I'm at the default 7% of world area (largest, with Macedon at 4), and 20% of world population (Carthage has me beat at 24%).
This is the third turn though, so we'll have to see how it goes. I need to keep my citizens happy since they literally complain with less than 3 in a city. The good news is, though, I'm apparently doing okay in terms of other aspects. 72% approval places me second, 1433000 population places me 3rd, GNP at 202 million places me 2nd, Manufactured Goods at 94 megatons places me at 3rd, I have the most land area, second-highest literacy (at 0%), lowest pollution, highest life expectancy, second-highest family size, and highest annual income.
Athens appears to have a population problem, too.
I'll have to keep you updated on how things go.