I don't really like doing RAs. They get canceled far too often through wars, AIs often don't have the cash, and when they do, I don't. Yes, I sell luxuries and resources to the bleeding edge. Plus, I love the benefits of Patronage and the two strategies tend to be mutually exclusive, based on . If you can afford to go heavy in both...well, you probably already have won. I'm able to achieve tech parity and to exceed the AI on Immortal pretty consistently in without using many RAs. It takes a little bit to make up the ground they start with but I typically hit Renaissance first and by mid-Industrial I have a sound lead...then I do my Mech Infantry slingshot and have a considerable lead from there on out. Easier to achieve with Korea or Babylon, but I have been able to do it with generic, non- biased Civs. However, on Deity, I just can't keep up in without going very RA heavy. Thankfully it is the one level where the AI is bound to have the to do them, but am I following an impossible path by trying to outdo the AI using pure hard on Deity?