I play almost all of my games on Emperor, but I want to give Deity a serious try now. My goal is less about winning and more about experiencing the excitement of struggling against overwhelming odds. That said, I really want to give this my best shot. My most immediate question is: How large should my initial defense force be to survive a Deity early AI invasion (turn 40 - 60), and when should I build walls in my capital? I am playing as Venice, and I am using the BNW expansion (which allegedly decreases early AI aggressiveness). I have described my situation in more detail below, as I assume I will have many more questions to ask before this game is concluded. ------ General Info 22 Civs; 20 city-states; Large map size; Continents map. I am playing Venice. Barbarians have not been a problem due to the close proximity of civilizations, but close borders mean that early war is more likely. I would like to avoid warmongering penalties unless absolutely necessary in the early game, but I understand that the current situation may make that impossible. ------ My Prior Development (Turns 0 - 40) I have assumed command of the various clans of Venetian traders and founded the City of Venice on the coast and beside a mountain. Being a mercantile people, the Venetians are inspired by my simple, inspirational vision for the future: to own the entire world and everyone in it. My first act as High Merchant was to order the construction of a glorious Monument of myself at the center of town. Although it will take my people several centuries (8 turns) to build something that will be worthy of my greatness, I explained to the laborers that it will all be worthwhile when their great-great-grandchildren are able to enjoy a monument of me. I also ordered my warriors to plunder the nearby ruins and to bring anything of value to my personal storehouses. These heroic tomb-raiders vastly exceeded my expectations and returned with cartloads of gold (95 gp) and cultural artifacts (20 culture)! After the monument was complete, I made a series of investments to increase the efficiency of our food storage (a Granary), our fields (a Worker), and our research team (a Library). These investments began to generate a profit almost immediately, but there was a trade-off: military development is now severely underfunded. I was gambling that profitable trade with me would limit any early aggression by my neighbors, but this is admittedly a very dangerous risk to take on Deity. Finally, I enacted a series of laws that protect the common people’s right to own property (Legalism), the rich people’s right to own the common people (Landed Elite) and my personal right own everybody (Monarchy). ------ The Current Situation (Turn 43) I have entertained emissaries from five great empires and one city-state, but only one is requiring my full attention: Britain. The simple tribespeople of Britannia have no concept of land ownership, and see nothing wrong with founding Nottingham ONLY FOUR HEXES AWAY from Venice (as in, only three empty hexes separate Nottingham and Venice). The vastly diminished potential land area for Venice is bad enough, but Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth also “covets the lands I currently own” in bright red. War seems inevitable, and my total military forces consist of exactly one band of warriors. I quickly sold Elizabeth some pearls for 5gp/turn, which reduced her “covets the lands I currently own” to dark red. I also asked the other nations if they would attack her (no luck), started building an archer, and am seven turns from researching masonry for walls. The only melee unit that I can build right now is a warrior. I can produce one archer every four turns. ------ I would appreciate suggestions on 1) how many archers are necessary for a reasonable defense? The cost of building too many archers is high (I am Venice and still don’t have a single trade route), but the cost of building too few is death. 2) how many archers should I have before switching to walls? 3) Is there anything else I should be doing to defend myself that I haven’t thought of?