I finally finished by conquest in 1901. I ended up with 183 real cities; I did not bother to turn every engineer into a size 1 city. Though I did add some of them to existing cities. My initial plans were for a quick victory. I decided to not make any science or happiness improvements and concentrate on units first and commercial improvements second. I also decided that my top priority wonders were: Great Library, Pyramids, Marco, Leo, Darwin, and Hoover dam. I soon realized flaws in my plans. Science was too slow even with trade, so I decided to build libraries in my larger cities after all. I also realized that I have underestimated the Tithes generated by happiness improvements and started building temples. As for wonders, Great Library and Marco are useless together. You need one or the other not both. (Although getting both made me better understand how GL actually works.) Also, I should have gone for Great Wall, not because I needed it but to keep it out of the enemy's hands. Michael Angelo's and Bach were other oversights. They are a gold mine under fundamentalism. The map was another challenge. Starting position was not very good. I decided to look for a better place. In the process I found 3 huts and got 25 gold, Wheel, and a horseman. Built my first city in 3550BC; I wandered around for too long. I played in 2 sittings till 100AD. At this point I had 7 cities on my island and had not sailed yet. I had Great Library, Pyramids, Marco, and ready to get Leo as soon as the tech became ready. Others were busy building wonders too. By then, I had missed Colossus, Great Wall, and Sun Tzu. Soon I realized that I am going to need Magellan's more than anything else and went for that and got it. French Destroyed Romans in 3300BC. It was year 600 before I found Egyptians. I decided to have peace with them and use them as a trading partner. This was an excellent decision. I choked their growth where their continent got narrow and claimed the southern part of their continent. Two things helped me achieve this. Barbarians took over their city near the choke point and I got it from Barbarians. I also found an advanced tribe further south on their continent. Around 1000 I found Persians. They were too far to be my first adversary. Right around this time the Greeks were making a real pest of themselves. They soon allied with French which I had just found on my South. The invasion of the Franco-Roman continent started around 1300. This was a big continent. By 1836, French were down to 3 cities including heavily fortified Paris. I timed it so that I achieved Conscription and built Darwin's in the same turn (1836). I got Tactics & Amphibious warfare from Darwins. These along with Leo which I had alreay built gave me a huge instantenous advantage over my AI enemies. Paris was captured in 1836 after I threw 1 Cannon and 8 Cavalry at it. These were stationed in a fort built right adjacent to Paris by a pre charged Engineer.The Cannon and 5 Cavalry died. Capture of Paris gave me Colossus and Sun Tzu both of which were active. The remaining two French cities were bought off and the French were destroyed. Next, I went after Sioux who were allies with French and Greek. I had already discovered some of their cities compared to none of Greeks. Most of their empire was conquered in a decade. It took me a while to locate their last city. They were totally gone in 1867. Greek main land was discovered in 1851. Meanwhile, one of the small Greek cities I took over in the Franco-Roman continent was bribed back by Greeks and they also took Amphibious warfare (Marines). At the time it seemed like a significant set back, but in practice I moved fast enough not to encounter many Marines. In 1856 I consumed 7 diplomats sabotaging Athens till I destroyed its city walls! Then I killed its 4 defending Musketeers and a ship and took it over. Greek capital moved. I started buying Greek cities. For example, Corinth was bought for 1015; it was 3315 before fall of Athens. Once their homeland was conquered the remaining cities were eary targets. It only took as long as it did because they had not just spread out to the nearby islands but have also built a tiny city in the middle of Persian forest. They were gone by 1887. In 1876 Persians broke the cease fire I had signed with them without provocation. Their timing was perfect, as by then I was just mopping up the Greeks. The invasion of Persian continent started right away. Because of the location of Perspolis and location of my army, the Persian capital was among the last Persian cities to fall and thus I had to pay premium prices for the ones I bribed. Perspolis fell in 1888. By 1890 Persians were down to a single city I could not see. In 1880s Egyptians started landing troops on my islands. These troops did not attack or pillage just moved around. In 1892 I put 4 full transports worth of troops on their home land. In 1893 the attack on Thebes started. It took 4 spies to take the city walls down. 4 Cavalry killed the 4 defending Riflemen. Thebes is defenseless and I have no troops nearby to walk in it. I sent an empty transport to a close by city of mine and took a cavalry without spending movement points of the cavalry. Then transferred to a second and third transport till I could land it near Thebes and it took Thebes. After fall of Thebes, Alexandrias asking price for revolt dropped from 7650 to 3290. Heliopolis, Abydos, Byblos, Asyut, and Lisht were all bought off immediately. I this turn I also destroyed the sizable Egyptian navy. Egyptian civilization fell in 1895. The search for the single remaining Persian city got more heated at this point. Finally, in 1899 a Persian settler ran into a sentry of mine and helped me discover this last city. It was bought off in 1901. Right before the end, I had over 180 cities, over 100 engineers, and over 100 cavalry (them and Marines were the most advanced military units in the game).