After looking through the Civ Finatic Forums, I was disappointed to not find a single multiplayer guide. So Ill present to you one strategy for multiplayer (Small, FFA, Quick setting) games that I have developed extensively and only recently updated for the BNW expansion. Note: This current guide is a wall of text. Ill update it to make it more eye friendly depending on comments. The Strategy: ICS piety empire. Backdrop: ICS, or Infinite City Sprawl, in Civ 5 is generally associated with wide empires. This strategy differs from your 4 cities tradition opener or your OCC since you focus on having a wide variety of equally effective cities, instead of only a couple mega cities. Ideally you settle (or rather, spam) cities 3 tiles apart, and jam as many cities as you possibly can in as little space as possible. Your cities start off small in population as happiness is a limiting factor early game, but as you progress forward towards the later stages of the game, your population skyrockets. With the Brave New World expansion, building an ICS empire has become remarkably more efficient and a lot less risky. A couple of things to note with this expansion is that 1) even with 10+ cities, you will still be gaining culture policies at a remarkable rate and 2) your tech rate will be a bit slower as opposed to a tall empire early game due to a 5 percent tech cost modifier per city and lack of a national college. The expansion also gives us the basis for this build; an updated Piety policy tree. Faith, unlike other resources such as culture or science, grows linearly with each number of cities. Therefore wide empires generate the most possible faith per turn (FPT) in the game, allowing us to abuse religious building, unit, great person, and science building purchases. In this Expansion, ICS empires are most suited for the following victories: Domination, Science, Culture, Diplomacy. (pretty much everything but Time) The following Civs are most suited for ICS piety empire (unique faith building, quick religion spreading, quick religion founding, or overall religion benefits): Maya, Byzantium, Egypt, Songhai, Ethiopia, Arabia, Celts, Siam, Rome, Shoshone (faith ruins) The following Civs are suited to a lesser extent (great ICS, just not as benefiting from piety) Persia, Assyria, Huns, Poland, Russia, Carthage, Iroquois, Inca, Korea, China. The Build Order: Capital: Monument, shrine, scout, worker, settler, settler, settler (for number of settlers to build, x2 amount of luxuries available to be attained by settling*) temple, food buildings> happiness buildings> gold buildings > production buildings > science buildings > culture buildings (writers guild, etc) Build national wonders as they become available. Every other city: Monument/shrine*, archer/comp archer/chariot (build as needed), temple** happiness buildings > food buildings > Caravans/Cargo Ships***> gold buildings >production buildings > science buildings. *For most benefit, only start building shrines in your other cities after you have the piety opener, until then monuments are most beneficial. ** do not build a temple until your religion has spread with +2 gold per city faith. Otherwise you will not be able to afford them and will take a massive science hit. If you have positive gold per turn, or can afford to take 10-20 turns worth of negative gpt, spam away those temples. Getting an early religion is very, very, important. *** use trade routes to keep your empire afloat at 0 gpt. Any excess caravans should ferry food to your capital. In general, due to trade connection gold (see http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=438745) you want to have your capital growing more than your other cities. Therefore you should focus on food buildings, followed by happiness in capital. As those are your two limiting factors. From then, you build gold buildings such as the market and bank in order to have gold per turn to be able to afford to build workshops, libraries, as well as universities. As for your other cities, as you do not need food buildings early on as your happiness will be the factor limiting your growth. Because of this, you should focus on building Collesuems and Circuses before grainaries/water mills/aqueducts. Do not build a workshop before you build a market. If you do, youll lose science a turn because you wont be able to afford the gold per turn cost. Wonders to build: none. But the following might be helpful: Pyramids, Great Wall,Machu Pichu, Notre Dame, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Prora. You generally do not want to build wonders, since there are usually better, safer things that you should build. But if you get a city with high production, or a city with marble, then consider building one of the above. Social policy order: Liberty Opener > Republic > Collective Rule (start building settlers here) > Piety Opener (start building shrines in your other cities here) > Organized religion > Mandate of Heaven (start mass buying happiness buildings) Citizenship (start building road connections) Meritocracy > Representation (LIBERTY FINISHED: Spawn great engineer for a quick wonder, great scientist to plant, great writer for a free social policy, great merchant for quick city state ally (Mercantile and Marinetime the best options) or great merchant for 350 gold for a quick comp archer upgrades for an xbow rush. Religion tolerance > Reformation For the reformation beliefs, Jesuit Education is the best choice, as you can amass a lot of science very quickly by mass buying all the science buildings as they become available. Scared Sites along with faith buildings allow you to generate a lot of tourism early on, and sometimes makes a pre turn 140 culture victory possible. To the Glory of God is also a viable option, mass buying great people can quickly buff up your empire to unimaginable lengths, and is pretty good considering faith purchased great people do not add towards the great person generation counter. For Domination and Science Victories: If you get Jesuit Education, ignore Theocracy and go Rationalism opener > Secularism (start working all scientist specialists you have) > Humanism > Free Though > Order (Social Realism) > Order ( Hero of the People > Order (Workers Faculties) With all this, you should be able to achieve over 1000 science per turn fairly quickly and fairly easily. Use your new era units to rush people, or aim for a spaceship victory. For Culture Victories: If you get Sacred Sites, Theocracy (PEITY FINISHED: plant all Great Prophets ) Aethetics opener > Cultural Centers > Fine Arts > Artistic Genius > Flourishing of the Arts > Ethics (AETHETICS FINISHED: mass buy writers, artists, and composers with faith). Use Composers to tourism nuke. Use writers and artists for great works. With mass culture buildings in all your cities, you should have enough slots and then some. Order or Autocracy for tourism modifier. For Diplomacy Victories: If you get To the Glory of God, theocracy > Patronage Opener (pledge to protect all city states you find) > Consulates > Pilanthropy > Scholarism > Cultural Diplomacy > Merchant confederacy (PATRONAGE finished) This strategy revolves around your ability to mass buy any great person at will. City states will often ask you for great person births, some of which would take 30 or more turns to produce. If you can buy a great person with faith, however, you can fulfill these requests from the get go. You can also use bought great engineers to build any wonders city states may ask. You can also use great merchants for diplomacy boost and use the gold for even more diplomacy. In effect, you can ally most of the city states on the map with relatively little effort. If you still have social policies remaining, get Freedom for +4 from great person yield. The Tech order: Pottery> Animal Husbandry> Sailing (if sea resources) = archery = mining = Calandar = Masonry> the wheel> construction> writing > philo> (In short, get techs for all luxuries you need and connect them ASAP, then get philo for temples) math > currency > engineering> Bronze, Iron, Metal casting> Physics (for notre dame, optional if you want to build with great engineer) = (guilds > machinery, optional if you want to xbow by upgrading your composite bowmen army) >beeline to education > compass > astronomy = acoustics = printing press > beeline to industrialism (build 3 factories now), beeline to Scientific theory From here, beeline to Plastics if you got Jesuit Education, Refrigeration if you got Sacred Sites, or tech whatever if you got to the Glory of God. Happiness: For a complete guide to happiness, see http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=436022. For a quick summary, each city you found starts with -3 happiness (global) and -1 happiness (local) from initial population. You counter global happiness with social policies and luxury resources, and counter local happiness by building happiness buildings. From this we have a simple formula for the number of cities you should have. You gain 1 global happiness per trade route from the liberty track, therefore each city you found generates -2 global happiness. Therefore you need 1 luxury resource for every 2 cities. Max NUMBER OF CITIES, C = (Number of unique luxuries in own borders)x2 - (number of puppets/annexed cities without courthouse or happiness buildings) Do not count any resources that you get from trading with others or from city states, those resources can be easily lost and WILL send you to -10 or lower happiness. Ideally however, you want to have 1 or 2 less cities than your max, since usually having the max number of cities means you have to overextend towards other players cities; in general you want to isolate yourself with a lot of cities, and not have any hanging cities too far away from the rest of your empire) Buildings such as Mosques, Pagodras, Cathedrals, Collesuems, and zoos act as a cap on your cities size. If you only have a Cathedral (+1 happiness) and Pagodras (+2 happiness) in the city, then you should cap that cities population at 3 by using Avoid Growth. Any excess happiness you have left over should be left to your capital to grow, as that would result in the most benefit to your GPT from the Trade Connection formula as well as resulting in at least one tall city within your empire. Late game after your ideologies and social policies generates way more happiness than you could ever use (20+), only then should you start allowing your cities to grow past their local happiness limit. Religious Beliefs: Pantheon: Desert Folklore; God of Craftsmen; God of Sea; Goddess of Love; Messenger of the Gods; Sacred Waters; Sacred Path. Choose one. Founder: Church Property; Initiation Rights. Choose one, these two help with your early game gold deficit, before your trade routes are up and your city connection gold comes into play. If they are all taken, or if the enemys religion has spread to one of your cities by the time you found a religion, get Interfaith Dialog and spam missionaries for mass science. If that is taken, get pilgrimage and hope for the best. Follower Beliefs: Pagodas, Mosques, Cathedrals in that order. If two out of the three are taken, get the one remaining and one of the following: Religious Center, Guruship, or Feed the World. Enhancer belief; Defender of Faith, Holy order (if you got interfaith Dialog), Iterant Preachers (if youre the first religion to be founded), Messiah (if youre getting Theocracy finisher later on), Reliquary (nice synergy with Sacred Sites), Just War (for all your warmongering needs), Religious Texts (if youre the 2nd or 3rd religion to be founded). Thats about it for religious beliefs, these ones gift the most benefit for having a large empire. Ideally you want to have both Pagodas and Shrines, as they not only cost faith but produce faith as well. A must, really. For this reason it is important to shrine and temple spam early on, to make sure you get the first religion, or second if somebody else is playing a religious civ/allies a faith city states/ Stonehenge/etc. Multiplayer elements: In multiplayer games, you do not want to expand onto other players. You DO want to isolate yourself off and develop your empire. So that means if you spawn on your own continent, or in a mountain range, that should be the limit to your expanding. Dont expand to other continents, and dont expand outside the mountain range. If you dont have enough land to ICS, dont ICS. Go OCC or 4 cities tradition opener. In multiplayer it is also important to pay attention to the demographics and diplomacy tab, as it gives you a general idea of what all the other players are doing. Youre not playing with Ai, youre playing with other humans. They will try to take your land, and they wont sign research agreements with you if youre first in tech, they also wont trade you all their gold for your luxuries; so dont bother. Deity tactics do not work in multiplayer and therefore you should adjust your play style accordingly. A final note about multiplayer games; often a times you will find yourself being rushed by Xbows, Unique units, Gattlings, Frigades, and so on. So at the very least; check demographics and make sure you are caught up in military units in case all hell breaks loose. Conclusion: Well, thats about it. To all of you who read it this far, I hope you enjoyed the new insight of how to play wide in Brave New World. Ive tried OCC, 4 cities tradition, and ICS, and out of the three I find ICS to be the most fun and difficult one to master. There is a lot of micromanagement involved in order to get the most benefits out of ICS. Also; this is my first Civ guide, so I hope it isnt so drab for your tastes.