This little guidette is going to be leading up to my bigger and better Mongol guide but is mainly there for those who don't like to read a bunch of boring stuff about number crunching. My big guide will feature all sorts of fun pictures of me playing and maybe even a video of me yelling something about a Keshik rush. Who knows! Until then, you'll have to settle with how to actually use these guys. First, lets examine these most awesome of traits. 1. Mongols receive 50% extra trade from captured cities. Sadly, this doesn't count for the Barbarian cities, but this matters very little anyway. The sheer number of cities you have will mean that the bonus will only really count for 30% of your cities in a typical game, and 50% for most games. 2. Ancient Age - Barbarian villages captured rather than destroyed. This is it. This is why you play the Mongols. Every game will have you racing to grab as many Barbarian cities as possible. In the early game, quantity>quality. You can't use the majority of the resources available, and the time spent building up those early cities means you'll have an early production advantage which is, again, crucial in the early game. Alternatively you could use these cities to rush a technology, such as Horseback Riding (as I will go over shortly) or Mathematics. Or you could use them for gold (early currency) to rush-buy Keshiks. 3. Medieval Age - +1 movement to Cavalry. Keshik. Rush. 5 techs and you get this. That's it. You can get this incredibly early if needed, although it only really matters after you've beaten your first civ. Because of this, it's not crucial to devote to aging up quickly, however, I will go over why Keshiks are just plain ol' great later. 4. Industrial Age - +2 Production from Mountain squares. Situational like the majority of these. It's generally a good idea to build one city (yes, build, you can build cities as the mongols!) near a mountain range. Mountains usually come in groups of 3 and 4, and, as a result, you can have a ton of production in a city if it has some plains around it. Luckily, mountains usually mean plains as well. Usually. Again, situational like most of the other tile based bonuses that other civs get. 5. Modern Age - Communism tech. See this right here? This is how you win games. By this point, if you haven't won, you will. You will have more cities than any other civ (100% guaranteed) and can simply steam roll them at this point. 6. Keshik. The Keshik are the Mongols special unit. It has the exact same stats as a Legion except that it can move two spaces (3 when you reach the Medieval age). The draw back is that they take 20 hammers instead of 10. What does this mean exactly? Well, you can have twice as many Legion units but you can move your Keshiks twice as far (3 times as far at medieval) per turn. This means that while you may have fewer in number, you will be able to get to the enemies cities quicker, or react to an attack faster. Mobile defense is great with Keshiks. The Keshik is the only reason the Mongols actually work. The quick mobility between city to city means that you can take out more, faster. While Legion units share the same stats, the (up to) 3 times speed is worth more than the 10 extra hammers they cost. No math here, that's for the other complete guide (which will feature a link to this page!). So, what does all of this mean, exactly? Well, you'll have more cities than you'll actually use. It's not a bad thing. You have the cities you don't use generate settlers to pump up your bigger and better cities. This should be your game plan once you have taken over one of the enemies capitals. Pump up your two capitals with your inferior cities. Alternatively, you could pull a semi-Tokugawa and ship your mass settlers to the islands of the world and pump out a few good research or gold cities. It doesn't matter really, pick your poison. The sheer number of cities you have mean you'll have plenty excess population to cherry pick where you want your super cities to be located. Don't be turned off by the fact that you get diminishing returns on your settlers. Start focusing on another city. By doing this, I've had 5 20+ population cities by the end of the Industrial Age without issue on Deity. I had two of my enemies capitals (meaning 3 capitals) and control of all of their cities. By the end of the game, I had 12 20+ population cities and 2 30+ population cities. Yeah, it's about like that. The Mongols are very open to any strategy if played properly during the early game. They are meant to quickly and efficiently take out at least one civ and then continue on to whichever victory they so choose. Oh, did I mention spies? Yeah, use them a lot. You can beat enemy civs without the use of a catapult very early on by using these guys. Disrupt an archers defense and have your Keshiks curb stomp them with great prejudice. The enemy won't build spies until a good way into the game, so don't be afraid to spam them. I usually have one city devoted to building them and save up about 6-7 for when I'm going to take out my second enemies capital. For everyone wanting a general strategy to use before I do my huge write up that is totally involved with pictures and maybe some video. Note: I'll have a more in depth strategy for my big guide as well as some very drastic variations on it. 1. Put your main city on pure production. You should have 4 hammers a turn. This means you'll have a warrior in 3 turns. 2. Once your warrior is out, go pure food. Send your warrior looking for any barbarian cities. 3. Once your city grows in population, devote that new pop onto research. Begin researching your way to Horseback Riding (should be one tech in). 4. By the time you have Horseback Riding, you should have 1-2 cities. Your main city should cease beaker production and start hammer production. 2 hammer tiles, 2 food tiles, the rest in research. Your other city should grow until it has 2 tiles and then devote it entirely to hammers. The majority of Barbarian cities will have 2 hammer tiles. 5. By the time you have a Keshik out, you should have another city. Use the keshik to explore whatever direction your other warrior is not. Continue building Keshiks. 6. Once you have an armies worth of Keshiks, assemble everything near the border of your nearest enemies capital. Assemble the army and send your warrior in first. Always use a single spare unit to scout the enemy cities. 7. By this time, if your Keshiks can not take his defenses, wait for him to send stuff out from his city. Attack anything that comes out EXCEPT settlers. Let the settlers sit and then take the city. 8. During all of this, bee-line for writing and mathematics. Writing allows you to build spies, and catapults are just great. 9. If, by some chance, you have been unable to take your enemies capital by this point, send spies in. Spies are the great equalizer. Your enemy will not have built any, and you can disrupt his defenses and begin to curb stomp them with great prejudice. Spies are only 5 more than your Keshiks and move one less (2 spaces). They are a great unit to send in. 10. By this time, you SHOULD have your first capital. This is all you really need. Build one archer army in all of your cities and begin production on settlers. Research Republic at this point if you feel like you need to get your capitals up faster. Use your capitals to mass-produce the more expensive units, like catapults, and use your smaller cities (save 1 or 2 for this) to produce archers. Send Keshiks in to scout your next target out. This is about where the next strategy guide will take you down the various roads of victory and how to achieve them with the Mongols. I hope you enjoyed reading this and forgive me for any spelling mistakes or grammar errors. I'm using Google Chrome and while it does spell check, I haven't figured out how to correct the spelling. My next guide should come out in two weeks or so. I may or may not have it in PDF form (would be a first for me) but it will definitely contain pictures and MAYBE a movie. Maybe. We'll see. Maybe the PS3 2.50 firmware will come out before then and I'll be able to actually take pictures of my stuffs in game!