First, I would like to say that I think this is a great forum. It has increased my knowledge of the game and therefore my enjoyment enormusly. First question is there any way to tell how city defenses are reduced by say attacking with a canon? Second I can't find what tech. gives you off shore platmorm? I have found that Catherine the Great is great to be when you are a warmounger. I used to be a builder but am now having more fun at nobel level as a warmonger. I build a few cities than go for axmen and swordman to do a little city grabing. Then go for Cossak and really grap several. Sometimes this is all I need for domination victory. But I am know in a game where I need to start using canon. CivIV is great!