I'm currently competing with Russia for a science victory, and unfortunately they're in the lead, so I thought about using my military to try and slow them down. Unfortunately they're on the other edge of the map, but I currently have a task force composed of a few heavily-promoted ships and embarked units on the way there, equipped with about 5 nuclear missiles.
Russia is no pushover though, and this force is definitely not powerful enough to steamroll over them, at least not quickly enough for my liking. They might also have cruise missiles or nuclear weapons in stock, even though my reconnaissance was not able to spot any. This is a non-wrapping map and they are far beyond the range of my stealth bombers, at least until I conquer a city or two from them.
What is the best way to stall their science victory?
So far I've thought about:
Try to blitz-conquer their capital, using nukes if necessary. I think I can do it, but I'm not positive I could hold it indefinitely against their counter-attack; they might also switch to building the spaceship on their new capital*. On the other hand, if this will cause them to lose all their currently-built modules, it might be the best option.
Strategically nuke their top cities (over 20 citizens). This will probably put a serious dent in their production capability. Unfortunately some of these cities are deep enough inland that I will have to land my units there and risk their demise.
Settle in some safe corner of their empire and start waging war from there, hoping they will divert their efforts from the spaceship to war-time production.
Try to send some units around their back door to harass them, hoping they will dispatch units there, then blitz in and try to conquer multiple key cities, effectively taking them out of the game. I'm not sure this is something I can pull off, especially if they have bombers and missiles up their sleeve.
So, any ideas?
*Actually I'm not sure... can a civilization win a science victory using their non-original capital? Edit: apparently they can continue construction even after their capital is captured: What happens when you conquer a city where a spaceship is under construction?