...I started playing Civilization III again.
To be honest, this was from a combination of reasons. One being, Civilization has been on my mind for a while, and about half my blog readers will know exactly why that is.
The other being of all things the Doctor Strange film with The Ancient One being Celtic. That got me spurned up to want to play the Conquest mission Rise of Rome as the Romans. (Who would then conquer the Celts.)
An additional factor making me want to play as the Romans is because this is something I--years ago--tried and failed to do.
Each campaign has one civilization that is usually vastly superior to the others.
In the dawn of civilization, the Persians tend to be the best. (Although, I believe it was the Sumerians I got my high score under? I replayed the campaign as the blue civilization south of Persia and east of Babylon, and I think my score was higher than my first and second playthoughs which were as Persia. Their warrior unit dominates earlygame and is still powerful even in the lategame and because of how cheap it is to build it is amazing.)
In the Rise of Rome, all you have to do as Persia is kill Greece's army unit, and then you've got free reign over the whole game because you start the strongest and will remain the strongest. It's pathetically easy to wipe Greece off the map early. You can also conquer Egypt with ease, and take on the barbarians as you see fit. Plus, if you stay on Rome's good side, you don't have to worry about their Legionaries. (A good way to do so being to ally with Rome against Carthage.) Victory by default, basically.
In the Fall of Rome, well, the first time years ago I won it as the Huns, but more recently I did it as the Persians. (Incidentally the Persians are one of my favorite civilizations in the main game proper. Scientific civilizations are awesome. And I believe their second is Industry, also nice to have.)
In the Medieval campaign, the one Arabian civilization (in the same location the Persians would be in) has an elite cavalry unit with the best stats in that campaign, which is available relatively early-on yet is never made obsolete--which makes them the best one by far, and once they conquer Jerusalem (not that hard to do given close proximity), it's just a matter of time.
During the Age of Exploration, Portugal's sea bonuses are by far the best thing available. (My opening strategy in that campaign is to blitz Spain, then as soon as I recover, blitz France, then the Netherlands, to basically wipe out the advanced competition, gain control of that continent, and while I am doing this establish a foothold in the new world, which I can easily blitz thanks to the difference in power between the natives and me. Oh. And sometimes I blitz England, too, though that's optional.)
During the Napoleonic Era campaign, Russia is the default winner. (Especially if you stay off of France's bad side.) The closest rivals to Russia in power tend to be the Ottoman Empire...conveniently, neighboring Russia, making a blitz against them a fairly simple matter.
During the WWII campaign, the Commonwealth is by far the best positioned. You basically just need to do a little basic save scumming to not lose any of your bases, then you can quickly turn the tide on Japan.
During Mesoamerica, you can play as whichever I believe, but the Mayans are who I find easiest. Javelin throwers tend to be a slightly better unit than Jaguar warriors in my opinion. Also, Scientific is again, awesome.
...But I digress. That's a tangent. What I was more getting at here, is. Well. I played Rise of Rome as the Romans before and didn't win. This was years ago, but I wanted to retry the campaign now and see if I could do better. I most definitely have. The campaign isn't over yet, but I've eliminated Carthage, am on my way to dominating Egypt (I won't eliminate them), and the brown barbarians are also in a rough spot thanks to me. I have the score lead, I have Legionary IIIs, and my citizens are being sent to settle with heavy cavalry. (Admittedly, my interior is incredibly vulnerable to attack, as they only have garrisons stationed, but I get to pick who I fight, namely, I can prevent people from fighting me by not provoking them.)
I have a foothold in Asia Minor thanks to the Persians (or was it the Egyptians?) giving me a city for free, I got Byzantium thanks to the Greeks giving me a city for free, and I also got a Celtic city they gave me for free. Admittedly I'm playing on the easiest setting, but that's more of a personal preference sort of thing: yeah, I can beat the game on a higher difficulty setting, it's just a pain to do so.
Not productively spending my down time.
And with luck I can actually post this now because I've had difficulty doing so.