I learned today that extended revolution (caused by changing civics or religion) can be your best friend in some cases. I played an Immortal game. Settings were small-pangea-marathon, to make it easier and shorter. Chose Cathy (my favorite -- too bad I can't see her when I play as her!), and got my best start ever: 2 elephants on a river, gems on the river, corn, copper (soon discovered with BW), and the rest forest/grass plains or forest/grass hills, often by the river. Sweet! Researched BW, made worker, and choprushed settler (not sure if this is still the best in the new patch... but it's not bad anyway). Soon I have 3 cities total, but I'm all out of room to expand! Monty to the the southwest and Elizabeth to the northwest, with ocean to the east. I gear up for war with axemen and a few spearmen, following the advice from the excellent warmongering article by The-Hawk to go to war sooner rather than later. I give Monty a tech-treat and send him after Isabella (next door), while I demolish Elizabeth. Elizabeth has a lot of cities, so it takes a while to finish the job. When it's finally over, I have tech at 10-20%, and a big army. I kept all her cities except one, because I'm going for an early domination win with this sweet capital city of mine and I want the land area. Monty and Issy are both Jewish now, while Hayuna (my new neighbor) is buddhist... let's use those troops! I convert to judaism to be sure my back is safe, and head off to crush the Incan. I start cranking horse archers to supplement my axemen regulars and patrol the borders to protect my land from pillaging. A few cities later, my budget is running negative. It is sustained only by capturing new cities every few turns. Soon Hayuna's cities are all gone, except one hiding somewhere. I get a peace tech, and immediately move on to Issy to support my fat army. By this time, my tech is completely stalled, 0%. I have cottages everywhere and I micromanage the cities to maximize commerce, but the city distance costs + unit costs are just too much. I grab most of Issy's land, but I lose some units to a strike, because I'm broke. What to do? I ask my pet dog to give me all his cash ("could you help an old friend?"), and amazingly he does. 230 or so. This buys a few more turns. I finish almost all of Issy's cities off, and I check the vitory conditions: I have 64% of the land area (need 68 for victory). I'm hemmoraging troops. Every turn I'm losing 3 or 4 units. Ouch. I still don't have currency or code of laws, or even construction (for cats & elephants). Monty is pulling way ahead in tech. There was one last city I needed to take. It had big culture, so if I took it down I would certainly win the game... however it was on a hill and there was no way my troops would walk over there without pay. I asked Monty again for cash -- no go this time. I considered disbanding all my troops and building up tech, but even with zero troops I would still have a negative budget. I wracked my brain for what to do... and then I realized that when you are in revolution, you don't lose any money! Instead of -92 per turn, I could have a balanced budget and happy troops. I pulled all of the city defenders out of my cities accross the continent (mostly archers) and sent them to the target along with a few remaining troops from my stack of doom. I switched around all my civics (even went from slavery back to tribalism to get another turn of freedom). Got 5 turns of revolution from that. Then I changed my religion to get another 2. This was enough to get most of my troops to the city gates... then it was one last glorious battle and victory! 772 AD. Ironic that my first immortal win was also my fastest win ever. I realized that when warmongering and running a budget deficit, revolutions should be used as often as possible, to save money (and troops!). This works especially well on Marathon, as a lot of troop movement can happen during each revolution. You can build up cash from conquering cities, and then go back to science during peace time perhaps when your people are happy and productive. This actually make the spiritual trait a disadvantage! I hope you find this useful next time you break the bank on early wars.