I don't know if this has been discussed before. I've been experimenting with starting with a city built in the middle of the ocean (city on an ocean tile, and the other 20 resource tiles also ocean). Obviously the game won't let you build a city on an ocean tile, but you can save in 3980 BC with just settlers, then in jcived, place your capital in the ocean and delete the settlers. I place the city where it has access to four ocean tiles with fish. I call this scenario "Atlantis" after the legend or "Cantre'r Gwaelod" (similar legend in Wales). Strategy: 1) No shields: you have to buy *everything*. So buy militia at doubled price (50c) then switch to the thing you actually want to buy. Don't discover Gunpowder because that obsoletes militia. 2) Limited food: only one surplus food unit in Despotism. So set Science at 100% and research Democracy as fast as possible. Then switch government immediately (also for reasons 3 and 4 below) and grow using We Love The President days. 3) Wonders are costlier per shield than improvements. So discover Masonry and sell your palace, so you can buy the palace and switch to the Colossus (which you badly need). Selling your palace would cause massive corruption, except you have *no* corruption because you already switched to Democracy, right? 4) Defence: Any military unit you build will disappear immediately (except in Despotism), because they need 1 shield maintenance but your city has zero. So use a civilian unit (diplomat or caravan) for defence. This works because if you only have one city, any unit inside it is invulnerable to barbarians. 5) Once you're big enough, escape to land by bribing an enemy city with a diplomat. To do this you want to build a sail, but that means you need to switch back to Despotism (else the sail will disappear due to lack of shields). Buy back your palace first (else you'll have 100% corruption). In Despotism, raise luxuries to get a We Love The Emperor day, so you get the food/trade production of Monarchy. 6) Then buy a sail and take your diplomat exploring! You can take caravans too. As soon as you've bribed an enemy city, re-home the sail there (or pillage it). Then you can switch back to Democracy, and use your new city as a base to conquer/populate the world. Technical issues: i) Due to a bug (at least in 474.04) you can't look into the city if you have no units, and with no shields you'll never build a unit without buying. So I just add a caravan in jcived in the start to bypass this. ii) You can't unload land units into the city (because the game sees it as an ocean tile): the only way to get them in is transported on a sea unit. iii) When a sea transport unit *leaves* the city, it transports land units out of the city even if they're not sentried (whereas with a normal land-based city, only sentried units will be transported). This combined with (2) makes life awkward: sometimes I've had to make an extra sea unit just to "rescue" the city's land units, and then pillage it. Variations: A) Use jcived to start as a Democracy in 3980 BC (set Data->Civilizations->[your civ]->Misc->Government to 5). B) Use jcived to start with railroad on the city's resource tiles (to get an extra food unit from the fish tiles, and an extra trade unit from all the tiles). I strongly suspect you need these or some other boost (e.g. a pile of cash) to win this scenario in Emperor mode. But maybe someone here will prove me wrong!