I guess the title says an awfull lot of what is about to unfold - basically I would very much like to strengthen my game, so here is an ambitious attempt at beating Emperor. I will play turnsets when I have time and feel I have recieved the necessary feedback to continue the game. First of all, details about the game; Large Continents Map, Standard speed, Standard amount of opponents, no custom settings, time victory disabled. ... And for this ambitious project I am playing a Financial leader: I love Imperialistic for the fast Settlers, and Financial is always good. I must admit I am inspired by DaveMcW's Cottage Guide (posted December 8th)... Anyway, I roll this start: My spidersense tells me that there is tundra north, desert east. Moving through forests is costy, so unless the warrior move proves me wrong, it's a Settle-in-place; As you can see, I start out Worker first, with BW on the menu (fits so that the worker can move onto a hill and start mining/chopping the turn BW comes in). Turn 6: First encounter: ... Oops. If any AI is going to ruin this attempt, this is a likely candidate! Turn 8: It gets worse...: And the Great Khan is here aswell, excellent! I will need some diplomatic skills to survive this! Turn 10: Third opponent: I don't know much about this AI, but I bet his rather peaceful approach to the game combined with the fact that he is already the worst enemy of GK (and vica versa) will lead to his certain death, sooner rather than later. Turn 22: First casualty: My starting warrior is eaten by a Lion, against odds. Ah, well, I have a rather good idea about where my next couple of cities will go. Turn 30: Pathetic attempt at MM: A chop between warrior builds goes into Settler (2nd chop). In hindsight I should have worked either Gold or the second mine this turn to maximize hammers into the Settler. Turn 39: First Settler out: ... This time I think I got some of it right, this is an overflow from the first Settler (finished by third chop), and an attempt to maximize hammer output. Turn 42: York is founded: I couldn't see Rice nor eastern Gold when settling, but the city is actually in a decent spot still. I have not yet teched Mysticism, so the city builds a warrior for fogbusting/powerrating. Turn 45: The Buddhists: Turn 15, Buddhism was founded. Now I find out who did it: ... And I guess this is the last rival on my continent, although this is just guessing. Turn 50: First stop, and an overview: First of all, the land around me: None of the units has moved yet. Notice the Settler moving towards the western Warrior - is this the best spot to settle? Notice the barbarian city in the southwest - this may prove a good addition to the English Empire, or a military focus in order to surive. Notice the lack of Copper - Horses are in a poor location. My military is not looking good, I have no access to Archers yet (no Hunting either). First barbarian Warriors have been spotted (and one of them killed) London city screen: I am building a Worker (currently I only have one), I have a feeling that this is a good choice, perhaps even a third one after that - is this right, and/or should I let the city grow? Am I working the right tiles? Tech Tree: As mentioned, I have poor military techs. Still, I have set tech to Pottery (Graneries and Cottages) - is this a good choice? My neighboors are warriors, rather close, and barbs are Emperor level - should I aim for Archery first? I should probably be running binary research - meaning the slider needs a turn on 0% to finance running 100% the next few techs? Demographics: My GNP is the best there is (Financial, gold mine, traderoute London-York, etc.), but my Power is the worst. Nothing I didn't know. I have not adobted Slavery. That was the first round! I appreciate all the feedback I can get, and for those interested, the save will be attached after each turnset. You can shadow and see if you do better. Just make sure you put any spoiler information in spoiler tags!