Civilization V: The Swedish Saga, part 4 (1868 A.D. to 1951 A.D.)
For the third time in a row, I've reached a new era before anyone else. There are still a few civs wallowing in the middle ages, and most haven't even advanced from Renaissance to Industrial. However, even with my superior technology, I only just barely qualify for "World Superpower" status. Greece, Rome, and Russia all have larger empires and armies than I do. Speaking of Greece and Russia, they continue to dominate the southern hemisphere with their tight-knit Axis. The Northern Allies, spearheaded by Rome and myself, are doing all we can to halt their advances. And we're succeeding, thanks to the quick mobilization of the Treaty of Vienna that united us all under mutual Defensive Pacts. Declaring war on one of us would mean declaring war on all of us...which neither Greece nor Russia has had the audacity to do.
However, the Treaty is in danger of fracturing from the inside. England has dropped out to dance on the half-dead remains of France, and Austria and Denmark (two of the original signatories) seem to be trying to split off into their own third faction, though it is sure to spell disaster for both nations. My first order of business is to pick up Navigation (which will take all of 1 turn with my amazing Science score), improving the economy of my coastal cities. Second order of business: prep for a world war.
1868 A.D.: The Swedish spy network established centuries ago is formally reorganized into the RSI (Royal Special Intelligence) agency. They set up counter-spy networks in Stockholm and Sigtuna.
If you've been following along, you'll know that I have been doing... less than amazing in the espionage department. Now I have a grand total of four spies to work with, which will hopefully help my chances. Unfortunately, you can't stick two incompetent spies in one place to make the equivalent of one competent spy. I could be more aggressive here, but when you have as wide a tech lead as I do, defensive spies are much more valuable.
1872 A.D.: Rome declares war on Spain. Although they initiated the conflict, Rome is able to justify its actions to the signatories of the Treaty of Vienna, largely helped by its seniority in the organization. Spain is dropped from the Treaty, joining England as a late-comer whose time among the Allies did not last.