Winter is coming
2002 A.D.: Norse software engineers at the Sigtuna Institute of Technology complete the coding of the Great Firewall.
A new wonder in Gods & Kings, the Great Firewall, in a nutshell, makes me almost impossible to spy on. With my tech lead as wide as it is, I can't risk having anyone stealing from me.
Later in the year, the Norse military sees the introduction of the SVM-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle, revolutionizing its ground combat doctrines. The first unit to be trained with the new tactics is the 2nd Infantry at Munich, one of the legendary three companies that took on impossible odds and came out alive in the Great War. Simultaneously, the Norse navy launches its first nuclear submarine off the coast of Denmark.
2003 A.D.: Greece completes two great construction projects: the Corinthian Opera House and the Confederation Building at Athens. They put out a call to all the powers of the world to come together in three years time to elect a Supreme Dictator of Earth.
Head, meet desk. Now meet desk again. And again. And again. Not only did Greece steal the Sydney Opera House out from under me, it has completed the United Nations after all. I thought the overwhelming stomping I delivered to its backside would have set it too far back to beat me to the punch, but I was wrong.
Basically, a handful of turns from now, a UN vote will happen, and if anyone gets over 16 votes, they win a diplomatic victory. If only major nations were allowed to vote, that wouldn't be a problem. We all hate Greece. The thing is that city-states also get to vote, and whatever GENIUS set this stupid map up placed 24 of them. Greece is allied with basically all of them, and making enough money to continue paying them off indefinitely.
The worst part is this: on my current course, I will complete my space program TWO TURNS after the UN vote happens. There is nothing I can do to speed production up at this point: I've already bought every production-increasing structure in the two cities that are building my last two spaceship components.
So, essentially, it comes down to this: I need to blow up the UN in something like the next 10 turns or I lose. Strap in, kids. It's gonna be a bumpy last few miles to the finish line.