In this game of Through the Ages, I played England, John played France, and we weren't quite sure about Tim - maybe the Middle East. Okay, I know you don't get assigned countries in Through the Ages, it just turned out events in our histories related to events in the histories of those countries.
The game started out uneventful, but by around Age II it got going. Tim got Joan of Arc as his leader, which was definitely the right move as two Aggressions were immediately played against him, despite the 10 culture points this gave him. I picked up the Eiffel Tower, which I quickly regretted. When I picked it up, I was having a surplus of stone and was having trouble spending it all, but I hadn't upgraded past Bronze. I soon realized how difficult it was to save up for the 7-cost middle portion of the Eiffel Tower with each blue token being worth only one stone, without having serious corruption problems. However, I did eventually get it built after getting Coal, and it made me break away from the pack in culture points.
John, however, was building up a massive military. He got Napoleon and the Classic Army tactics, which at one point put him on the second row of the military track while Tim and I were hovering around 10. He made a rather devastating attack against me with a war over territory, which cost me a lot of population. Despite my Eiffel Tower, I decided was England, based on such cards as Scientific Method and Isaac Newton. So, when John as France with Napoleon took my territory, it was when the French captured the English king's holdings in France prior to and including the Hundred Year's War. Okay, a little anachronistic.
I reacted by taking military a lot more seriously. I picked up some modernized military technologies, and most importantly, Winston Churchill, cementing my Englishness. That persuaded John to fight his next war against Tim instead of me. Under threat of war, Winston Churchill would allow me to build up cheap military units, filling out my tactics and strongly narrowing the gap between us, reducing his gains. The next war was a culture war. Tim was able to mitigate the damage a little bit, using, among other things, a military pact with me that gave us both 4 strength. However, he lost enough culture to John that they swapped positions, while I was still out ahead.
John's final war, played at his last opportunity, was a cultural war against me. However, I had had a military buildup previously. Being in last place on strength, it had given me 10 extra stone to use for building military units. I also had Air Force in my hand. I dropped that, staffed it, and added one more discount military unit, which brought me to exactly matching him in military strength. Being the last turn, sacrificing units wasn't allowed, so there was no effect from the cultural war. By forcing me to spend my whole turn defending myself, he did prevent me from scoring a few other points with what I had originally planned for my last turn.
On John's last turn, he built one Warrior to push his military strength just above mine. The reason would soon become clear. He also built the Fast Food Franchise, which got him to about ten points behind me.
Tim used his entire last turn to declare Fundamentalism, so we say he was playing the Middle East. In fact, we had already guessed earlier he might be the Ottomans, because he started out appearing pretty strong, but fizzled around the middle.
John made some pretty huge gains from the bonus Age III events. His biggest single gain was probably one that he put in that gave 14 points to the best military strength, 7 to second best (me), and 0 to third. He finished about 4 points ahead of me, so really he won by just a single military strength (although he could have gotten a little more if he had any need to).