I'm actually reading Sisuitl's Noble guides, seeing what I can pick out of them and trying the things I can understand on the Chieftain level which is where I am now. (playing Vanilla) I suppose what I need is a guide to get you up to the level from which to get up to the level where you can use the Noble guides I have learned some things: Send your settlers with a warrior escort. Montezuma cannot be trusted even if you are the same religion and you have traded well to him. I had a game where he declared on me and pillaged things galore before I was able to build enough units to pound him in to submission and destroy him. I also had a Terra game where the barbarians (on their own continent) had riflemen. That was a shock. I tried a Quick Quechua Rush on an Egyptian city that was where I needed to expand. I had a recent game where I was Rome and quite dominant, because I had built Praetorians and conquered the Mongols who were my next door neighbours, and then later the Greeks who became very mean to me. My new next door neighbours were Hatshepsut and Roosevelt, and when Roosevelt declared on Hatshepsut, he came to me and asked me to join the war. I declined, but sold him some iron as I had lots and he had none. To my surprise, the next turn Hatshepsut and Roosevelt made a peace treaty, which was nice, because I wanted peace and quiet and wanted two quiet happy weak neighbours rather than one annoyed one. I'm still trying to get the hang of units being balanced by other units, and some units are not effective to attack other units. I suppose at heart I am a peaceful builder, and if you are friendly and peaceful to me I'll be friendly to you (such as if your name is Hatshepsut), but if you attack me, or prevent me from getting resources with which I can build, I want to make you pay dearly for it, even if I have to wipe you out, because I don't feel safe around you.