The 2 key aspects to a peaceful, "builder" game are diplomacy and who you draw for neighbors. 1. Diplomacy Your best results with diplomacy are to avoid committing to a religion. This may sound backwards, but a huge negative diplomatic factor is having a different religion then you neighbors. If they all have the same religion, you want this and they will like you a lot more. Demands. I am usually happy when the AI makes demands from me. This is an opportunity to "buy" diplomacy points. Attitude toward you. Several AI's will not attack you simply if you are at "pleased" status with them. The are very few situations when they will attack you if they are "friendly". So if you can get them to pleased or friendly, you can often neglect you military until you build your economy to the point where you can crank out some strong defensive units (longbowmen, rifles, infantry) 2. Neighbors If you draw a war-monger neighbor such as Montezuma, Shaka, or Kublai Kahn, diplomacy often times means nothing. Often times, you are better of killing them as quickly as possible. I recently won my first standard size deity game. It was a culture win in which I built about 6 warriors and 6 archers. Nothing else. The opponents ended the game with infantry and marines. I stacked the game with a bunch of peaceful AI (Ghandi, Mansa Musa, Roosevelt, Hatshupsat, Frederick, and Jaoa) and smooched some serious butt. Also try an early warrior rush. Build 6 to 8 (probably overkill) warriors right from the start. Then walk them all over to your nearest neighbors capitol and conquer it. This should work on warlord difficulty. You will very quickly have two cities with awesome potential. This should give you a huge boost over the other AIs and may allow you to play a peaceful game after this.