Delhi is placed under siege for several turns, using cats to blast its defenses down to zero while my infantry gather outside it. In 1610AD, the city falls to my combined arms force:
Ha, took the Indian capital! Note that my old elephants are still being put to good use! That Medic II elephant is greatly speeding up the rate at which my units heal, even if he doesn't do much fighting himself. Never get rid of highly promoted units, since they retain their promotions after being upgraded. That goes especially for Medic promotions; units with them can retain their usefulness for ages. Also, this illustrates why it's always good to have at least one Medic unit with any stack. The faster your units heal, the faster they get back into the field again.
I have more units outside Lahore but no cats/cannon at hand to bring down its defenses. What to do? Well, I can use my frigates that I built to guard my coasts to bomb the city and bring its defenses down from the sea!
Now as you can see, naval ships don't reduce the city defenses nearly as much as siege units like cats and cannon do (each shot was only taking away 4%!) However, ships are much more mobile than siege units, so using naval task forces to reduce the defenses of coastal cities is a very strong strategy late in the game. I'm only up to Frigates at the moment; if I could get some battleships and carriers, you'd see some real damage. Maybe in the future...
Although the effect was relatively minor, my frigates did reduce the defenses of Lahore from 40% to 20% over the course of 3 turns. With several infantry in range, time to send in the troops.
Uh, whoops. Well, that will happen sometimes, otherwise the combat wouldn't be random. Now before you say, OMG how can a longbow kill an infantry, consider that the longbow was getting +20% from city defense, +25% from his natural city defense bonus, +25% for the city being located on a hill, and +45% from being promoted to City Garrison II. The actual combat odds were 24 for me versus 15 for Gandhi, so this wasn't outside the range of possibility (less than 2:1 odds). Unusual, to be sure, but not impossible. That's why attacks are not won on pieces of paper. I call off the attack for a turn and marshall some more forces outside Lahore.
Now returning to a subject I mentioned earlier, one of the most useful things that Great Artists can do is to expand the borders of cities captured during war. I had London (my Great Person factory, remember) start working on a Great Artist for me shortly after the war began, and now that I've captured Delhi I'm prepared to use him to expand my borders in the captured Indian territory. Take a look at what this guy can do:
So ironically, the Great Artist - the peaceful cultural specialist - is remarkable useful for wartime operations! (By the way, there is a "delay" of several turns before borders will expand fully, which is why there is some open cultural space between Delhi and Gao. This was done to prevent some abuses in MP.) Once again, the Great Artist has not made inroads into Indian territory, but what it has done is to give me control over all the space I've already captured (along with the earlier culture bomb in Bombay). Another thing that Great Artists do is to instantly end resistance in a city in which they are used; thus, Delhi has already stopped resisting and is ready to start rebuilding (I'm having it work on a granary). And all that culture grants you a defensive bonus as well in the city. Yes, don't forget about Great Artists when it comes to warfare!
Meanwhile, I'm starting to feel the effects of war weariness in my cities, so all the more reason to get this war over with soon:
War weariness works basically the same way in Civ4 that it did in Civ3; it gradually builds up as a result of fighting and losing units. There are certain buildings (jails) and civics (Police State) that you can use to fight it, or you can use the luxury slider (which is also the culture slider) to increase happiness levels. I should be good for now, but if the war goes on too much longer I'll be in trouble.
The small town of Karachi falls in 1635AD. More importantly, the second Indian capital and only remaining large city of Calcutta comes under attack at the same time. A couple turns later, I take the city!
Ooh, lots of spoils of war there. Multiple workers (Gandhi must have fled to the west with his workers, and now I'm starting to grab them in his last cities). My armed forces move rapidly on to Kolhapur (whose defenses have been bombarded down to zero by my frigates) and I capture the last Indian city on the western part of the continent:
Even more workers to grab there! Now Gandhi is down to a single city left - which Mansa Musa is about to capture next turn. I helped him out by bombing down the city defenses, and taking out the top defender. Take a look:
And that's it! Gandhi is gone for good. I sign peace with Caesar as well, and now the planet has returned to peace. Minus one of its members, of course. One final look at the Foreign Relations screen:
Getting a little bit emptier on that screen! Caesar is the only member of the non-Hindu block to survive, mostly because he's been too far away for me to reach him. Everyone else is incredibly happy with me, at Friendly relations (the highest you can get). Mansa Musa is at an unbelievable +26 with me (!!!) which is by far the highest I've gotten with any AI civ, ever. Things are looking good for the Hindu team.
Next time: pushing for victory. The conclusion of the Walkthrough!