I've been playing some Civilization II. It is a fun game. Unfortunately, diplomacy seems to be an impossible option, at least for the long term. You can bribe someone with all the money and technology you want, only to find that they hate you five turns later.
There's a mode where you can re-enact historical scenarios. There are only two in the game at start, but I assume that there are more on Internet somewhere. I've played WWII a bunch of times. Hint: Play as Germany. They win.
Another hint: Do not play as the "Misc. Countries" team. They have only 4 cities, and one of them is conquered by the Nazis on turn one. Before you even get to go. I tried to stick it out, relying on the fact that the other teams had bigger fish to fry. Then I received this message:
Apparently, they had heard about my plan to colonize the uninhabited Middle East, and thought they had to set aside their differences to stop me.