Quickly checked out Civ 3 again. I rediscovered my love for this game and want to win an emperor game at least once.
From a quick glance it seems pretty insane. If you're lucky you can get perhaps 2 ancient wonders, but more likely you'll only manage one.
Well, you could just make a custom map where every square consists of mountains (I have won on Sid difficulty this way), mut I'm not sure that really counts (the game actually didn't give me a score when I did this).
Of course, I have a feeling you might not be satisfied with that "win" and might actually want to play on a sensible map (that is, one where each civilization can actually find places to build cities), and I'm afraid I can't help you there (unless you are willing to use the scenario debug mode (I don't remember what it's actually called), but I have a feeling that wouldn't be satisfactory either).
(By the way, I also made an all-water map; trying to start the game would result in a crash with an error message to the effect of "can't find enough starting locations".)
Oh, and in case you're wondering, the Sid game I won ended before any ancient wonders could be built; since a city is needed to build anything (including wonders) and there was no place (on the entire map) that a city could be built, no wonders could ever be built that game.
Yeah I want to finish an at least semi fair game. I've saved a pretty good starting location playing as the French. Two continents with 7 AI civs, but I'm on the side with only 2 other civs. Also, I can use several early warrior to restrict my northern neighbour india to its part of the continent, and as an added bonus neither India nor my other neighbour Russia has access to iron. So I don't have much to fear from them at least until early in the Middle Ages. There is also a sizeable island closeby but I can keep russia and india away from it with strategically placed galleys.
It seems pretty clear that I can't out research the AI, at least not from the start. What I'm going to do instead is to race and make sure I can build the Great Lighthouse and Great Library. Then I'll put my research to 0% and send a galley across the ocean to the other continent and contact the other 4 civs. That together with the Great Library will give me all the techs for free into the early middle ages at which point I want to be in a good enough position to re-enter the research race.
The only gamble with Civ 3 unfortunately is the resource placement - which might require use of the debug mode. It's not unusual to find yourself on a continent with no coal, or no oil, or any of the other important resources. The last civ 3 emperor game I played that was all that saved me - my main rival didn't have rubber I think.
But that's for another time I think. Since that post I have tried another attempt at that map, but fell way short. Instead I want to try a second emperor playthrough of the first game. The last time I did it my aim was to max out the palace but I only got as far as 33/37 upgrades :P Now I kinda want to try again