Ok... i've been developing this strategy over the last few weeks, both against the AI and human players online. Here goes... First off, this strategy is all about expansion + cottages. Catherine (Russia) is the best leader by far for this strategy, and it has been written specifically for her. Upsides: HUGE Tech Advantage Sudden surge of power mid/end game. Downsides: Weak to begin with Takes a lot of concentration / balancing. Ok... to start with, you need a worker - so get your worker building straight away. While that is doing, research whatever worker techs you need for the surrounding land. (Pottery is high on the agenda). After building the worker, go straight for a settler. What you want to do is settle as many cities as possible. Keep ALL your cities at 1 by getting them to all spam workers. This will both keep your maintenance costs low, and also provide you with a MASSIVE army of workers to improve your land. Because of the Creative attribute you have, your borders will automatically expand. And before you know it, you have a massive area of land under your control. Get one city spamming warriors/archers (while keeping your growth to a minimum) and send them to your other cities for protection. Keep spamming cities until you are down to about 50% Science. Depending on how you are doing with cottages, and if you've managed to find gold etc, you should get about 8/10 cities. Keep this balance, so slowly slowly grow your cities. Focus on growing your commerce cities first, and then slowly other stuff after that. While this is happening, decide what cities are going to specialise as. Stuff with lots of grass should turn into commerce factories (more on this later). Stuff with hills = production centers. Commerce centers should be ALL about cottages. Nothing else. Production centers, mines and just enough farms to be able to work them all. Decide on a GP farm, cover the entire area with farms. With your ton of workers, you should be able to accomplish this fairly fast. Tech. Avoid religions if you are playing the AI. Try and keep all the other religions happy. My tech aims go something like this: Writing (Put a library in your HQ asap) Then Bronze Working (get ready to chop a couple of wonders) Literature (Great Library - CHOP it in HQ) Music (Free Great Artist) Printing Press (+1 Gold in Village/Town) Education (Universities) Democracy (Universal Suffrage + Emancipation Civics) Liberalism (Free Tech) Then head straight for Communism ASAP. Up until this point, only mainly concentrate on building tech improvements (libraries, universities etc) in your cities. If you have the time, build happiness improvements and micro-manage your cities growth/hapiness. Chances are most of your commerce cities will be USELESS for production. Most of my commerce centers only get 1 - 3 hammers / turn. Don't worry, they'll never be building anything. Once towns are established, they'll be pulling 8 commerce/square. 9 if there is a river. That's 160 commerce BEFORE you get any additions. Thats just from one city. Depending on how crazy i'm feeling, and the terrain etc i aim for at least 2 commerce only cities. Sometimes 4/5. 4 commerce cities and you are pulling 640C. Put a library in each of those? You get 800C all of a sudden. That's a mid-game tech (Eletricity - 4200 beakers) in just 5.25 turns. With just librarys!! Just before you reach communism, slow your tech slightly and concentrate on getting money in the bank. By this point, i'm usually getting techs (modern included) every 3/4 turns. So slow it to about 6 turns and you'll be pulling in ~240 - 400 gold as well. As soon as you get Communism Rush Buy The Kremlin. Put your science down to 0%. Its usually about 1000AD by now. You'll probably be pulling in about 1000 Gold / turn. Set up your cities to build stuff, wait one turn - then rush buy it. Aim for markets/banks to begin with to maximise your cash input. You can go through and build wonders like a mad-man. I like putting them all in my Great Person farm. The other advantage is your way ahead in tech than everyone else, so they won't be able to build them yet anyway. Great People - Aim for Great Scientists, their academys are great to put in your commerce cities (+50% beakers). Once those are done, Great Merchants are ok - tho their paltry ~1500 gold is only about 2 turns worth of gold if you've set up your empire properly. Great Artists are good, your likely to be churning out a lot of culture mid-game, so a few culture bombs and you might find yourself a few extra cities. That's it - do this and you'll likely win the game. If your next to a warmonger, get a couple of cities to churn out units early on to keep the him from destroying your towns, but never let yourself be distracted from the main goal - COMMERCE COMMERCE COMMERCE. As soon as you get the Kremlin, all his production advantage goes out the window, cos you can rush-buy a complete, and modern army, well ahead of his tech-level. The other advantage of the Kremlin is it doesn't obsolete until the very end-game. So this strategy will hold true until the very end. Its worked for me loads of times - a very solid strategy. Any questions, suggestions or revisions?