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?

  • were you victorious?
    – Valamas
    Feb 3, 2012 at 20:59
  • @Valamas yes, once I declared a war they stopped working on spaceship modules and just produced military units. It was actually pretty dangerous because they were able to produce nukes and bombers, but by employing counter-nuking tactic I was able to overwhelm their military while still focusing my own production on the spaceship.
    – Oak
    Feb 6, 2012 at 23:21
  • In a nutshell the best thing to do is blow it the f**k up
    – IG_42
    May 26, 2016 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


Declaring war might just be enough. If you can do damage to their military while they're on the offensive (via defensive unit placement on your side and strategic coastal city harassment on theirs), you'll probably end up with a net decrease in their overall science/space production. The CPU will also prioritize building replacement units, even though you are both very far apart. If you set up adequate defenses on your end, even if they come knocking their military won't be able to make much progress.

If you can get a few other nations to join in your fight, they might make the war a little more "real" and bear the brunt of the harassment. You can also use allied city states or Civs as a staging ground, as you suggest. However, you'll have to be careful that your allies don't lose, thereby causing Russia to grow ever more powerful.

I wouldn't bother trying to take territory from them unless you can really cripple their military first - and they'll probably be begging for mercy by that point. As you've noted, trying to land enough units to make progress is going to be painful.

I'm not much for nukes personally, and it's possible that if there are multiple Civs in play that they will ally against you if you commit multiple nuclear atrocities, which could end up giving Russia time to rebuild while you fight a multi-headed war. Desperate times, though...

  • Good point about just declaring war in an effort to divert their production. I thought about going for a sneak attack but it's risky, and if I can have them fall behind by just declaring war and picking off stray units, all the better.
    – Oak
    Jan 24, 2012 at 23:37
  • Actually other civilisation real don't care if you use nukes. They only care if started the war or not. You can carpet nuke the enemy, capture all his cities and sell them of to the highest bidder, which will give you massive amounts of gold for it.
    – user38485
    Dec 17, 2012 at 9:12
  • I don't have the BnW expansion yet, but as of G&K I don't think nuking causes any diplomatic issues.
    – SaintSix_
    Aug 9, 2013 at 8:42

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