I've been playing Civ IV on and off for a long time, and I've improved a lot from when I started. When I found the forums I ghosted them for a while and even dug through the War Academy articles. I watched videos from Lain and AbsoluteZero as well, and those seemed pretty helpful. I tried to emulate them, but could only make it work up to Prince, where I can beat the AI over time unless the map is just monstrously bad. On Monarch I just get stuck (except for a cheesy culture win on a lucky map once), which feels like cheating to me. My goal is to eventually have a passable winrate on Immortal (maybe 75%+). What am I missing? Two things I've noticed specifically: I struggle with teching quickly until I have a vassal or two to dump part of the burden on. I also seem to have production issues late game, when I switch out of slavery. Hammers aren't as readily available, with respect to production costs late game.